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“Innovative and Inviting!”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Inovasi

Inovasi
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Ranked #3 of 34 Restaurants in Lake Bluff
Price range: $10 - $17
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Route 176
Transit: Metra Rail stop Lake Bluff, 200 ft from the front door
Description: We're a casual, contemporary American restaurant. The focus is on fresh, local and often organic ingredients and products on an ever-changing menu. Inovasi's menu is similarly portioned veggie, meat and seafood dishes. Smaller than full-size entrees but larger than tapas or small plates, Inovasi's menu ranges from $8-$16, with most dishes hovering around the $10 mark. Everything is designed so people can try multiple dishes.
Illinois
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Innovative and Inviting!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2013

We have eaten here many times; we discovered this place several years ago. We have returned often and enjoyed every visit. I will admit, though, that we have not made it past the bar. We enjoy coming on the nights when there is music being played in the bar, and enjoying our meal with the music filling the room (and, I do have to admit, the level of conversation often tries to rise above the music, which can make it pretty noisy). The menu changes all the time, and it's great to go and discover wonderful new dishes. We generally order small and medium plates and split them between us. Prices on menu items range from $6 for several small plate dishes to $24 for one of the more expensive large plates. Last night, the roasted beet dish was outstanding... complex, flavorful and delicious. The shrimp was great; it's often hard to decide what to order as there are always multiple appealing dishes. We split a sandwich and soup to finish our meal. Wines are constantly changing as well; I am sometimes disappointed to find a previous favorite gone, but have also discovered new wines that I might not have otherwise tried. We seldom order dessert as we are usually too full. As others have mentioned, the food is fresh, locally sourced and often organic. The staff changes frequently, but our server last night did an outstanding job of pacing our food and drink, and of making sure that we had what we wanted, and with a smile. We'll be back in a few weeks, and i would guess the menu will have changed again. I would highly recommend that you try this restaurant when you are in the area.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank IllinoisSusie55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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126 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    55
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    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
32 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“At last. . . something interesting in the burbs”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2013

We've dined here three times now in the last year and our experience has varied. Once we did the tasting menu and although I'm ordinarily no slouch in the eating department, I felt like I might need to be taken out to the car in a wheelbarrow. Some really good dishes that night though! There are other nights that we've gone that we've ordered the shareable plates and felt like we had as many misses as hits. The dnining room is very pleasant, although if you have loud talkers next to you, it'll be noticed. And unlike someone who complained about rude hostesses and servers, I've always been reasonably happy here. Perfect? No. But this is a restaurant where high quality, imaginative, interesting and usually tasty food is available without spending a few hours on the Edens and the Kennedy! It's got to be difficult to do this kind of restaurant in the suburbs where the tables aren't booked up six nights a week and there's not much of a late night second-seating opportunity. And yet, here it is. . . and we're appreciative of it and will be back!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank wrgoodell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
46 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Fabulous Food, Wonderful Location”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

Inovasi in Lake Bluff is a must go when you are in the area. Their ingredients are from local suppliers and FRESH, FRESH, FRESH. Their kale salad is to die for. Go in warmer weather, sit outside and people watch. Don't pass up the bread and dip.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Betsyjohns1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
104 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“A very pleasant surprise”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2013

This is a very imaginative restaurant located in the center of Lake Bluff. While a fairly limited menu, the mix of small and larger plates and very fresh and locally sourced food is outstanding. Apparently the menu frequently changes thus a detailed review of what we had might not make a lot of sense. But, all four in our party were very happy with our selections. I live in Lake Forest and nothing in our town rivals Inovasi. We will be back!

Sadly, on a beautiful Friday night the restaurant was only half full when we arrived at 7:30. Hopefully it was an aberration as this restaurant deserves to succeed.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank TimeTraveler123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Highland Park, IL
Level Contributor
55 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Sensational Slow-Cooked Pork”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

We've dined at Inovasi a lot but the dinner I ate a couple of nights ago was one of the best. I started with something I'd never heard of, Papas Bravas, because I like to try new items instead of the same old stuff. Papas Bravas consists of crispy potatoes, almonds, olive oil and parmesan. It was delicious and as an appetizer, it was filling. Inovasi's pork entrees have been tasty, so I ordered the Slow-Cooked Pork and Grits. The pork had a charred exterior and flaked with my fork making it easy to eat but the taste? In a word, sensational. The menu says the dish is served with antebellum grits, raw shaved veggies and green romesco. When ordering I didn't bother to ask about the grits or romesco, so I looked them up later. Romesco is a sauce -- a blend of almonds, olive oil and red peppers though you can find other recipies on the Net. Antebellum grits are stone-ground hand-milled grits. They were a delicious bed for the pork. A couple of scoops of walnut ice cream and coffee finished my meal. Everything was wonderful but I'll never forget the pork.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank federico48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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