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“Execution remains a constant problem”
Review of Lovell's of Lake Forest - CLOSED

Lovell's of Lake Forest
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Everett Road
Transit: Metra, Northshore Station
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
43 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Execution remains a constant problem”
Reviewed September 29, 2012

I have been dining a Lovell's on and off for over 15 years now, always with mixed results. Sometimes superb and fantastic, other times badly wanting.

Tonight was a new low.

On the good side, the Gazpacho was out of this world - as always. Also, because the main course for one of us was so bad, the management did not charge us for that entree or the 2 glasses of wine - that was a very good gesture and recovery. But like a few times before, the poor execution of the food was really hard to understand given head chef Jay Lovell's talent and reputation. We started at 6pm and it was not crowded so the execution issues are hard to accept. I had the Barrimundi that was so overcooked, the bottom had the consistancy of toffee and the fish above had the consistancy of sawdust. No kidding - it was that bad. The cheese topped baked potato accompanyment had no flavor or seasoning, nor did the steamed broccoli which also had no seasoning whatsoever. I went over 15 minutes with an empty wine glass and no one noticed, check in or cared. When the entree was presented, I had to tell the server (not our waiter) that I wanted a second glass of wine to enjoy with the meal. He said it was not his job - but would tell the waiter. Not done, the waiter showed up about 5 minutes later to see how we liked our meal (not) and I reminded him of my request to the server who clearly had not communicated this need to him or anyone. Glass 2 appeared quickly.

I travel on business all over the globe and dine and restaurants of all cuisines and price points. This is the first time in probably 20 years I could not consume the entree. Again, they did the right thing and took care of the charge - but geeze. As I have indicated, this is a wonderful venue but with very spotty quality from the kitchen and staff over the years. I live about 10 minutes away and used to enjoy frequenting this restaruant, but over the past 5 years I have been avoiding it as the value referenced against the execution is not worthy. Jay Lovell, you have a wonderful restaurant and have some fantastic offerings. I would like to be more of a local regular if you can sort out your kitchen and service problems.

Please give me a reason to return.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank H B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

83 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Gurnee, Illinois
Level Contributor
29 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Tried it 3 times and still....”
Reviewed September 7, 2012

.....always leave a bit disappointed and wished I would have gone somewhere else. Service is great but food is just so so.

Thank LeslieAKP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
54 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Old Standby”
Reviewed August 20, 2012

The lovely garden room, the delicious food and drinks make this a go to place when I'm craving a sophisticated meal. I like to count on fresh fish, and though the restaurant is pricey, the quality of ingredients is very good.

Visited July 2012
Thank AZLolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norcross, Georgia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Made our anniversary very special”
Reviewed July 29, 2012

Lovell's has been a favorite of ours for many years. The food has always been consistently good. Entree's are creative and flavorful.
We had our 25th wedding anniversary at Lovell's. Our party was situated in one of the most beautiful parts of the restaurant, near a bay of window's, where we could enjoy conversation.
We asked each guest to please let us know if there was anything Lovell's could do to make their dinner perfect. All our guests were extremely pleased with their selection. The wine was paired to enhance the experience and the suggestions by the staff turned out to be right on par.
Desserts were heavenly, the staff could not have been more attentive. Thank you for a memorable anniversary, Lovell's!
The only way it could be better would be to meet my hero, Captain James Lovell, who frequents the establishment. To the Chef & owner, your dad is not why we love the restaurant. You are a "chef hero." However, We wouldn't have known about your fabulous restaurant if I hadn't been reading more about Captain Lovell- such a fine man. He certainly has a talented son.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank rasoprano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
78 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Beautiful surroundings offer unusual dining”
Reviewed July 26, 2012

Looking like a French chateau...or maybe English manor house...the exterior promises more than the interior.
Chef Lovell offers an unusual menu....so unusual that sometimes it is hard to decide what to order. Perhaps he needs some more popular items.
The decor, above the bar, and downstairs in the (cigar?) lounge) features Jay Lovell's famous father, Jim Lovell, the astronaut, who lives close by. Lots of photos, awartds, etc. Very inspiring.
Easy parking.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank anns1933
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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