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“Great food and friendly people”
Review of NEAR

NEAR
Ranked #16 of 75 Restaurants in Barrington
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Barrington, Illinois
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great food and friendly people”
Reviewed January 7, 2014

There were few choices for great Italian food in Barrington until NEAR entered the scene. The menu is limited but the food is always consistently good. You can easily make a meal of the appetizers and two that we recommend are the eggplant, served like you have never had it before, and the roasted garlic shrimp. A recent renovation has improved the bar area but the restaurant still lacks in warmth and ambiance. Table clothes and upgraded furniture would certainly help. The food quality and preparation will keep us coming back despite the lack of style.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    35
    15
    9
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Barrington, Illinois
Level Contributor
242 reviews
133 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“OK Evening.”
Reviewed December 14, 2013

Sometime the way things begin influence how they eventually end. We had reservations. The two women in front of us did not. My husband held the door for them to enter ahead of us. The hostess decided NEAR did have a spot for them that evening and gave them the last best seat in the house. We, with the reservations, were seated by our lonesome in the middle of what we thought was a big square, cold room devoid of tablecloths, artwork or much to soften the ambiance. The food was unique, tasty and a bit edgy for Barrington. We liked it; we didn't love it. The menu is quite limited and the service was only average. No one attended our bottle of wine even tho the restaurant was not very busy on a Saturday evening. Our waiter sometimes brought the food; sometimes others brought the food; sometimes we got explanations on preparations of the particular plate; just as often we did not. It was a meal. It wasn't particularly memorable and we probably will not return.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Cam8880
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
86 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“On the verge of excellence”
Reviewed September 21, 2013

We had a wonderful meal starting with a few small plates, the arugula salad with ricotta whip and the chicken liver crostinis which both were generously portioned for "small plate" and very tasty. Mains were the ribeye, done to perfection with a deep woodsy mushroom sauce and the pork loin w/pork belly in polenta - again done just right, polenta was super creamy. The only issues to call out - the spinach was not to temperature but still had good texture and was fresh. Also, the decor was as other noted, a bit sparse but in a week or so it be renovated so can't wait to return for the next meal in updated surroundings. Hope the new decor will complement the quality of the menu.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JRB_Travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, Illinois
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
Reviewed September 12, 2013

We were brought here by friends who know we appreciate good food and restaurants that source their ingredients locally. Did not disappoint. Clever, delicious and fresh.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank monika301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
82 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Fantastic young restaurant”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Near offer great inventive dishes with a real home cooked / fresh flavor. I’ve only had their shared plate dishes ad decent prices. Marinated eggplant, grilled octopus, and crostini are some of my favorites and those 3 dishes can feed 2 for around $30, not bad!

My only negative comment, the atmosphere needs help, solid walls make it a bit noisy and less comfortable.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank awb2222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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