Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Solid Meal at Praire Grass Cafe

Ever since I saw chef Sarah Stegner on an episode of Top Chef (as a mentor to one of the cheftestants), I have been inspired to visit Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook. I had heard good things about it in the past, but never made a visit.  Sarah Stegner is a co-chef at the restaurant, so I had to go.

My husband went to Prairie Grass Cafe for a date night. I have to admit that when we first arrived, I was not very impressed. The restaurant sits among a number of office buildings. However, some of the best restaurants we have been to have literally been holes in the wall, so you can never tell from the outside.

The decor was simple yet slightly upscale. Really, the decor is such that you feel that you are at a nice restaurant, yet you can be casual and relaxed. The restaurant was spacious so you did not feel like you were on top of other people--I hate feeling like cattle! There were some screens set up showing some prairie scenes--a little different.

The service staff was very attentive. We were served piping hot bread right away. I had the Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with Creamed Spinach for dinner. The dinner was excellent--I knew that I was probably consuming a few too many calories, but I feel that the dinner was not overloaded with cheese and cream. My husband had a barbecue brisket. He felt that the quality was great but the barbecue flavor was not quite what he expected. He probably would not have ordered it in hindsight. He also had the tortilla soup which was dynamite!

Overall, we enjoyed our meals at Prairie Grass and would  go back. While the food was good (especially the tortilla soup), nothing totally knocked our socks. Also, the laid-back atmosphere is not necessarily what we look for when going on a date night. However, if we are looking for somewhere that has a great meal yet is casual, we will go back.

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