Recommended to us


545 North Bar & Grill
545 North Milwaukee Ave, Libertyville, Illinois 60048, (847) 247-8700

Tony had to stay later than normal at work yesterday, which means he missed his normal train. Then, he missed the next train out to Prairie Crossing too. So he called me to come meet him at the Libertyville station instead of having to wait until the 7 PM train. I made it there without too much hassle (i.e. I didn’t get lost even once).

It was too late for him to start making the dinner he’d planned (turkey breast, stuffing & mashed potatoes — we had it tonight instead), so we went to dinner in Libertyville at 545 North seeing as how it a) wound up being the closest restaurant to where I parked the car and b) it looked nice. It was actually a little nicer than we’d planned on for a Tuesday night dinner, but luckily I’d changed out of my shorts and t-shirt into something cuter. I was still sniffling and coughing, but at least I didn’t look like a total drudge.

We decided to do an appetizer sampling and picked four off of the menu: an artichoke & spinach dip (very yummy and actually served with enough chips), beef skewers (really nice — chunks of filet topped with blue cheese and skinny fries, done to a turn), chicken avocado quesadilla rolls (also really good, in what was labeled a lime creme sauce, though it didn’t taste all that limey to me), and a foccacia bread Grilled Asparagus & Portobella Pizza (definitely my least favorite — has a kind of odd smokey flavor but with an overwhelming sense of blandness for all that).

The waiter was personable, prompt, and polite — Jeff, also a relative newcomer to Grayslake, though he’s lived in the greater area all his life from the sound of it. He gave us some ideas of things to try out (Firkin, another place in Libertyville that has blues on Thursdays; some huge mall in Schaumburg that has an Improv playhouse in it with big headliners, but also funny local comedians; some monastery place that has a real pretty drive) and even explained to me the difference between Cubs and Sox fans. Good waiter. Ask for him if you go. I like when they’ll talk to you like real human beings. He was even nice enough to take the pizza thing off of our bill (we left the majority of it; I think I had 3 bites).

Atmosphere-wise the place seemed pretty nice and stylish. Too bad it was raining though…they have an outdoor patio on the back with a really nice outdoor fireplace. That would have been really cozy. Everyone was actually pretty friendly. Not sure if it was the owner that lit the candle at our table, but it seemed like it — who else is casually friendly and dressed in street clothes and comes and goes when they want? Oh — and it passed Tony’s water glass test…they kept the glasses filled.

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Kamehachi Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar
1320 Shermer Road Northbrook, IL 60062 (847) 562-0064

So, last week when I went to pick up the fan (yay, I found the fan store all by my little lonesome without getting lost once) and then Tony (both being on Lake Cook Road, which made it easy) we then went out to dinner at Kamehachi.

I had to take a set of their matches with me so I could remember how to spell the darn name. They didn’t have any menus or cards you could take. What’s up with that?

Anyway, they actually have a few different locations, some being in the city. I can’t speak for any of those, but the one in Northbrook is excellent.

We sat at the sushi bar (and for anyone who goes to a good sushi restaurant and sits at a table — you don’t know what you’re missing). Carlo was our sushi dude. He’d been a sushi chef for 7 years and seemed to be the go-to guy for any special orders that came in, even though he seemed to be younger than some of the other chefs (though he did know what that old TV show Good Times was — or whatever it was — I never watched it and I don’t even remember how it came up in conversation).

We didn’t order anything off of the menu. He just made us stuff. Well, he did kind of ask first on some things, but some stuff he just made. My only regret is that we went early and weren’t super hungry yet. Next time I need to go late and be starving because it was all awesome. Some of what he made us wasn’t on the menu at all.

Tony’s favorite was probably this martini glass filled with various chunks of sashimi (tuna, yellowtail, who knows what all) in different sauces mixed in with seaweed and other un-identifiable things. I’m not sure what my favorite was. It was all good. The deluxe dragon roll (or something to that effect) was especially good.

Even our waiter, Peter, was really nice. He gave me some good recommedations of other Asian restaurants to try. And some free green tea ice cream. 🙂 It always pays to talk to people and treat them how you’d like to be treated. Or maybe I’m just chatty.

We’ll definitely be back. Tony had actually been once or twice before when he’d been up here for work. Maybe we’ll try out one of their event nights. They do sake tastings and wine tastings every now and again.

The places Peter recommended are Gumrai Thai at Arlington Heights Road & N.W. Hywy. (found an online review of it at Harvard Avenue) and Three Happiness (for dim sum) in the city (209 W Cermak Rd) and if we’re looking for good duck, he said we should check out the New Chinatown area around Broadway and Argyle in the city. Also good Vietnamese there. Now I just need to figure out the whole train / el situation so I can get me some dim sum. I haven’t had good dim sum in years.

Dorfler’s Meat Market
1182 McHenry Road / Arlington Heights Road
Buffalo Grove, IL (847) 459-3060

Tony called me earlier today and wanted me to pick up some fish for dinner from a seafood market (if I could find one). I posted to the Prairie Crossing email list for suggestions, but people mostly just recommended Sunset (which we’ve tried and like okay, but we were hoping for a small shop with maybe a little more variation in what they get in). So I found a place online called Dorfler’s and thought I’d try it. It’s about 11 miles from here, so not too far.

It’s actually a pretty good market for meats, seafood, and deli products. Big, clean, well-lit and no mysterious fishy (or otherwise) odors. I did learn that they get in new seafood daily and it all did look fresh, though only one (rainbow trout) had the head still on. So I talked to a guy that works there and he said if you call ahead you can get pretty much anything with the head on/whole. Best to call a whole day ahead though.

They also deliver. Not normally as far as Grayslake, but when I asked he checked with a guy in the back who lives out this way and he said he’d be happy to deliver stuff on his way home. That’d be for both meat and fish.

Prices were okay and they do offer coupons too. I bought some Chilean sea bass and some grouper. We’ll see how it is and maybe we’ll order up a whole red snapper later this week or next. So far seems pretty promising.

A few people mentioned a good shop out in Glenview (though according to the website I found, it is in Willmette?) called Burhop’s. We might have to make the drive out that way and check it out some weekend. I’m not sure where it is, but I do know it is farther than Deerfield.