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“Fantastic food, just look for a booth”
Review of Michael

Michael
Ranked #2 of 33 Restaurants in Winnetka
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Transit: Metra - Indian Hill Station
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
123 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Fantastic food, just look for a booth”
Reviewed June 16, 2012 via mobile

To start you'll notice that your seated in either a "family style" tables (way to close to each other) by the windows, or in great looking booths by the inside wall. After you "find" your table the choice, the menu is unlimited! We ate Foie Gras, Pistachio dusted goat cheese, Rosted Duck, Beef Tederloin, Hazelnut Creme Brule, and Lemon tart. All where fantastic and took our minds off the neighboring table of which we could of easly held their hands or butted into the conversation.

Helpful?
1 Thank Ppapp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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116 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    76
    15
    12
    9
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Deerfield, IL
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Fine dining in Winnetka”
Reviewed May 30, 2012

The food here is superb. I ordered two things I normally avoid - sweetbreads and duck. Both were delicious. I agree that the maitre d'/sommelier is most unpleasant. We saw him completely ignore people who arrived and there really is little room to wait. He is the reason for 4 stars and not five. It's a little pricey here but worth it and Tuesday is BYOB!

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank dezinerdi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
47 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Downtown quality on the north shore”
Reviewed May 24, 2012

We live quite close to Michael and whenever we want to entertain or have a special occasion but don't want the hassle of going downtown, Michael is the perfect choice. The newly-renovated dining room is lovely, the service is experienced and professional, but the show-stopper is definitely the food. The meal starts with an amazing warm cheese puff amuse bouche, which I would give just about anything to learn how to make. Our favorite first courses are any type of scallop dish on the menu or the lobster ravioli which are so nuanced you just want to cry. The beef tenderloin (often with a second beef preparation like shortrib on the side) is the absolute benchmark of what a beautifully prepared and lovingly sauced beef dish should be. Any game, particularly elk if it's on the menu, is not to be missed. Desserts are wonderful, but we usually go for the cheese instead. Truly, Chef Michael has raised the bar beyond reach of most of his peers at this wonderful, very special restaurant. Thank you for coming to the neighborhood, Michael!!

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Guita G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northbrook, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Frustrating...”
Reviewed May 14, 2012

Lets begin at the beginning. My wife bought a Groupon. Specifically, $75 for 2 5-course with wine pairing meals. Regularly $75 each, buy one get one via the Groupon. We had decided to take our friends here and even before arriving, we knew that we wanted to get 4 of the same. We also knew that they did not allow more than one Groupon per table. Not an issue. We simply wanted to get 4 meals and pay for 3. After attempting several times to explain the above to the waiter another waiter came by, understood the ask, and came back to inform us that there is no such thing as a regular item of a "5 course with wine" option for $75. The tasting menu only had a 4-course or a 7-course option, and the wine pairing was a separate charge. How can there be a regular price on the Groupon if there's no such thing. Frustrated, I suggested the following options to the waiter...
1) Honor the regular price of the Groupon and allow to purchase 2 more 5-course meals for the regular price of $75 each...OPTION REJECTED
2) We buy 2 4-course meals(which with wine pairing comes out about the same price as the 5-course) and throw in another course...OPTION REJECTED
3) Buy 2 7-course with wine pairings and have the 5-course be 'upgraded' to 7 to make the food consistent for all people in the party....OPTION REJECTED

Basically, they would not accommodate any option other than 'order whats on the menu'.

We went ahead with ordering 2 7-course meals (with wine pairings). The dishes in the 5-course and 7-course meals were NOT consistent (maybe 3 overlapped).

Service:
* Service was slow.
* Drinks were watered down, even after asking for stronger versions.
* Sommelier NEVER came by to ask how the meal was or how the wine was. In fact, he made extra effort to avoid our table. I should also note that every tasting I have been to (quite a few) the bottle of wine was brought and poured from. This I enjoy, since if I like the wine, I can at least write down the name for future reference.

Food:
* Food was inconsistent. Some items were amazing (cheese balls, pea soup - served in a thimble-sized vessel); some good(foie gras, steak); some just ok (salmon, hen).
* Espresso served with NO CREMA. Tasted like strong coffee. Any restaurant that has supposed high standards would at least invest in a good espresso machine capable of producing a thick crema.

All in all, I was VERY disappointed. I have eaten here before, and asked if Chef Michael was there. He was not. Figures.

Next time we'll forget the Groupon and go to Chef's Station in Evanston. Its about the same price (perhaps a few dollars more), but I have never been disappointed there.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank boobalaboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Meh, I've had better”
Reviewed May 8, 2012

Let's start with the maitre d' who doubled as the sommalier. I was one in a party of four and arrived 10 minutes early. Telling this to the maitre d', he simply looked at his reservations book and never acknowledged me nor showed me where to wait for the rest of my party. Let's continue to the food. The rolls, though warm, looked and tasted like ones you buy at the grocery store bake shop. The amouse bouche was a fried cheese ball, nothing special. The appetizers were great. The pea soup was lovely and the addition of the quail egg was inspiring! The foie gras was wonderful especially the seared medallion. But, the accompanying brioche was too buttery which competed with the natural buttery foie gras flavor. The pistachio dusted goat cheese on the salad was yummy and complimented the salad greens with the sweet dressing. But, the addition of the overly buttery mushrooms ruined the entire dish. I could have eaten the goat cheese with the salad and dressing or just the mushrooms but not the two combined. The duck was cooked perfectly but...(again, there's a "but") the sauce was cloyingly sweet which made me shake out the excess from each piece of duck before eating it. The cabbage confit contained chunks of cabbage and was quite chewy. Another person in my party had the way-over-salted flounder which she picked through in an effort to find the least salty parts ending up leaving half of it. What a waste of money! . Another person in our party specifically asked for her salmon to be cooked all the way through and had to send it back. Two of us had dessert. The praline creme brulee was fantastic. My chocolate souffle tasted like a glorified brownie.
BTW, none of the wait staff asked us how our food was nor inquired why we left so much of it on our plates. Definitely not worth the money. I should have taken note of Chicago magazine's 2 star rating and eaten elsewhere.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank 622Stacey622
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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