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    Post #1 - January 20th, 2012, 11:57 am
    Post #1 - January 20th, 2012, 11:57 am Post #1 - January 20th, 2012, 11:57 am
    I get to Evanston extremely rarely, but will be going to an early movie at the Century 12 tomorrow and then out for dinner. We're looking for not more than about $30 including a beer or glass of wine. Asian or contemporary American preferred. I am currently not eating wheat, so someplace that I can get something gluten free other than just a salad. There are so many restaurants, but we've never been to any of them, we're having a hard time choosing. Koi and Lulu's came up in our search, any feedback?
  • Post #2 - January 20th, 2012, 12:10 pm
    Post #2 - January 20th, 2012, 12:10 pm Post #2 - January 20th, 2012, 12:10 pm
    Hi- Doesn't beer have wheat in it? I have been to Lulu's several times, and recommend it, but I have never been to Koi's. They are both in walking distance of the theatre. There are a few noodle places in downtown Evanston that might work too, including Cozy Noodle, which is on Davis, near the post office, and right down the street from Bennison's. I have been there before, and they are very reasonable, and they frequently have coupons for the restaurant. I don't think they serve alcohol though, and most of the noodle places don't. Most noodle place are BYOB though. Hope this helps, Nancy
  • Post #3 - January 20th, 2012, 12:23 pm
    Post #3 - January 20th, 2012, 12:23 pm Post #3 - January 20th, 2012, 12:23 pm
    Right around the corner from the movie, at 1735 Benson, is a wine-bar/restaurant called The Stained Glass that I went to once and which was pretty good.
  • Post #4 - January 20th, 2012, 12:57 pm
    Post #4 - January 20th, 2012, 12:57 pm Post #4 - January 20th, 2012, 12:57 pm
    NFriday wrote:Hi- Doesn't beer have wheat in it? I have been to Lulu's several times, and recommend it, but I have never been to Koi's. They are both in walking distance of the theatre. There are a few noodle places in downtown Evanston that might work too, including Cozy Noodle, which is on Davis, near the post office, and right down the street from Bennison's. I have been there before, and they are very reasonable, and they frequently have coupons for the restaurant. I don't think they serve alcohol though, and most of the noodle places don't. Most noodle place are BYOB though. Hope this helps, Nancy



    Thanks - I won't have a beer. Appreciate the responses.
  • Post #5 - January 20th, 2012, 1:25 pm
    Post #5 - January 20th, 2012, 1:25 pm Post #5 - January 20th, 2012, 1:25 pm
    I know you are looking for Asian or American, but if you open to other alternatives in downtown Evanston you might want to consider Bistro Bordeaux: http://lebistrobordeaux.com/
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #6 - January 20th, 2012, 1:49 pm
    Post #6 - January 20th, 2012, 1:49 pm Post #6 - January 20th, 2012, 1:49 pm
    I like Koi - they have some nice Chinese dishes and aren't too pricey. For January, they have a noodle soup special and get their noodles fresh from Chinatown each morning. The beef noodle soup is really good.
  • Post #7 - January 20th, 2012, 2:00 pm
    Post #7 - January 20th, 2012, 2:00 pm Post #7 - January 20th, 2012, 2:00 pm
    I'll second the suggestion for Lulu's. There are many nearby options - http://www.downtownevanston.org/visitin ... estaurants
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #8 - January 20th, 2012, 2:32 pm
    Post #8 - January 20th, 2012, 2:32 pm Post #8 - January 20th, 2012, 2:32 pm
    I have nothing but contempt for Lulu's, having suffered through too many lackluster dishes there.

    I would highly recommend Kansaku at 1514 Sherman Ave.

    The sushi and modern rolls are quite good, and it is a short walk from the theater.
  • Post #9 - January 20th, 2012, 3:10 pm
    Post #9 - January 20th, 2012, 3:10 pm Post #9 - January 20th, 2012, 3:10 pm
    You absolutely won't be able to eat dinner at any contemporary American restaurant for $30 including a glass of wine or beer (unless your definition of contemporary American includes chains like Chili's and Bravo :D which are both on the same block as the theaters). Even at inexpensive Asian places, it's not hard to exceed that threshold. So I don't know how serious you were about that figure, or about going to a contemporary American place. Wishful thinking, perhaps? In any case, most of these restaurants have menus on their websites* showing prices, so you can get an idea of how much they generally run.

    As for the restaurants near the movies in Evanston, starting with Asian...

    For Thai, Thai Sookdee is the best Thai food in Evanston (it's my favorite in the entire Chicago area) and it's right around the corner from the theaters. Don't miss the tom kha gai (soup). Great panang too. Based on what you've specified, this is my top recommendation.

    For Chinese, I've been to Koi several times. In my most recent visit, dishes were way too sweet. I don't recommend it. Pine Yard is decent - not great, but okay. Same thing for Phoenix Inn - not great, but okay. 527 Cafe serves Taiwanese and is also worth a visit (caution, Taiwanese is different from other Chinese cuisines).

    I've been to Lulu's numerous times, usually for their AYCE "munch a bunch" (weekend lunch, Mon-Tue dinner), at which I've tried a lot of different items on the menu. Not exceptional, but decent, with a nice variety of food from various Asian cuisines.

    Now, on to contemporary American...

    You mentioned the Stained Glass. It's near the theater and it's quite good. But it's not inexpensive - figure $50-80/pp. Beware, they get very full on Saturday nights; you can make a reservation to avoid a long wait. They also have a less expensive place around the corner (they share the same kitchen) called the Cellar, which I didn't like as much, and will also easily exceed your $30 target.

    My favorite contemporary American place in downtown Evanston is Chef's Station, which is practically across the street from the theaters. But it's not inexpensive either - figure $60-90/pp.

    More mainstream American places include Pete Miller's (steakhouse) and Davis Street Fishmarket (seafood). Prairie Moon is also worth considering, with good American/Californian food in a sportsbar/diner atmosphere. And Dixie Kitchen, for cajun/creole.

    As for Bistro Bordeaux, it's okay, not as good as it was when it opened though.

    Another place you might consider is Bat 17. It's sort of a mishmash of cuisines, including everything from Jewish deli sandwiches to some pretty good salads. Other cuisines represented nearby include Mexican at That Little Mexican Cafe, tapas at Tapas Barcelona, deep-dish pizza (with a gluten-free "crustless" option) at Lou Malnati's, and stuffed pizza at Giordano's.

    All of the above places have liquor licenses for that glass of wine, and are within roughly a five-minute walk of the theaters.

    The last time I found myself in downtown Evanston on a Saturday night looking for a place to eat without a reservation, the waits to be seated were lengthy at quite a few places. If you plan to go to a place that takes reservations in advance, make one. Otherwise, don't be surprised if you have to wait a while.

    *Website links:
    Thai Sookdee
    Koi
    Pine Yard
    Phoenix Inn
    527 Cafe
    Lulu's
    Stained Glass
    Cellar
    Chef's Station
    Pete Miller's
    Davis Street Fishmarket
    Prairie Moon
    Dixie Kitchen
    Bistro Bordeaux
    Bat 17
    Tapas Barcelona
    That Little Mexican Cafe
    Lou Malnati's
    Giordano's
    Chili's
    Bravo
  • Post #10 - January 20th, 2012, 8:29 pm
    Post #10 - January 20th, 2012, 8:29 pm Post #10 - January 20th, 2012, 8:29 pm
    Thai Souk Dee is very good, near the theater, and when we have gone after movies, generally not packed so that you have to wait for a table. Also, well within your price range. Not Asian or contemporary American at all, but we always enjoy Dixie Kitchen -- not spectacular cajun/creole to travel a distance for, but good food after a movie. I have always wanted to like Lulu's, and have always been underwhelmed.
  • Post #11 - January 20th, 2012, 9:52 pm
    Post #11 - January 20th, 2012, 9:52 pm Post #11 - January 20th, 2012, 9:52 pm
    You could have South Asian Nepalese (and Indian) cuisine at Mt. Everest. And I'll second the others suggestion of Thai Sookdee for inexpensive Thai in a large attractive room.
    If you have an Android smartphone, download the free "Downtown Evanston" app, which has online coupons for many places mentioned here. Fifteen per cent off at The Cellar, ten per cent off at Bistro Bordeaux, fifteen per cent off at Stained Glass, special deals at Davis Street Fish Market, etc. It could save you a few bucks.
    Edible, adj.: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm. ~Ambrose Bierce
  • Post #12 - January 21st, 2012, 9:14 am
    Post #12 - January 21st, 2012, 9:14 am Post #12 - January 21st, 2012, 9:14 am
    The Downtown Evanston Appis awesome - just make sure you also download a barcode scanner so you can use it.
  • Post #13 - January 21st, 2012, 10:05 am
    Post #13 - January 21st, 2012, 10:05 am Post #13 - January 21st, 2012, 10:05 am
    Hurdler4eva wrote:The Downtown Evanston Appis awesome - just make sure you also download a barcode scanner so you can use it.

    That's pretty cool. I notice that The Stained Glass has had deals on it, although not at the moment.
  • Post #14 - January 21st, 2012, 10:17 am
    Post #14 - January 21st, 2012, 10:17 am Post #14 - January 21st, 2012, 10:17 am
    riddlemay wrote:
    Hurdler4eva wrote:The Downtown Evanston Appis awesome - just make sure you also download a barcode scanner so you can use it.

    That's pretty cool. I notice that The Stained Glass has had deals on it, although not at the moment.

    It's kind of hidden as "'The Cellar at the Stained Glass' 15% off check". I don't know if the deals change daily or regularly, but I usually check it before spending money in Evanston. I generally get the most bang for the buck at the hardware store (50% off!) and such, rather than restaurants. But if a 30 second download to your phone can save you ten or twenty bucks at a time, it's worthwhile. I also notice that it works on Apple phones now, as well as Android.
    Edible, adj.: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm. ~Ambrose Bierce
  • Post #15 - January 21st, 2012, 10:35 am
    Post #15 - January 21st, 2012, 10:35 am Post #15 - January 21st, 2012, 10:35 am
    Tom wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:
    Hurdler4eva wrote:The Downtown Evanston Appis awesome - just make sure you also download a barcode scanner so you can use it.

    That's pretty cool. I notice that The Stained Glass has had deals on it, although not at the moment.

    It's kind of hidden as "'The Cellar at the Stained Glass' 15% off check".

    Good to know. I agree, this is a good app which I will use the next time I'm in E-town. (As my gang calls it.)
  • Post #16 - January 21st, 2012, 11:22 am
    Post #16 - January 21st, 2012, 11:22 am Post #16 - January 21st, 2012, 11:22 am
    Tom wrote:It's kind of hidden as "'The Cellar at the Stained Glass' 15% off check".

    It's possible that deal might only apply to the Cellar and not to the Stained Glass. But of course, it's worth asking for it at either place.
  • Post #17 - January 21st, 2012, 12:50 pm
    Post #17 - January 21st, 2012, 12:50 pm Post #17 - January 21st, 2012, 12:50 pm
    If you go to Pete Miller's you can get their burger (sans bun or bring your own gluten free one?) and a glass of wine or beer and should be just under $30. Do check what the seasonings are, though, I know they mix seasonings into the meat.

    At any Asian place that uses Soy sauce - it is almost always made with wheat, and contains gluten, so watch out for that as well. Not sure about Fish sauce...
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #18 - January 21st, 2012, 5:27 pm
    Post #18 - January 21st, 2012, 5:27 pm Post #18 - January 21st, 2012, 5:27 pm
    NFriday wrote:Hi- Doesn't beer have wheat in it?

    Wheat beers do; most beers don't. But nearly all beers are based on barley, so if the issue is gluten, almost all beers will have some (there are a few gluten-free beers out there, but they're unlikely to be on any restaurant's menu, with the possible exception of Prairie Moon, which has the best beer list in Evanston).
  • Post #19 - January 21st, 2012, 8:21 pm
    Post #19 - January 21st, 2012, 8:21 pm Post #19 - January 21st, 2012, 8:21 pm
    nr706 wrote:(there are a few gluten-free beers out there, but they're unlikely to be on any restaurant's menu, with the possible exception of Prairie Moon, which has the best beer list in Evanston).

    Prairie Moon's HUGE (two pages!) beer list can be viewed here. It includes:

    Green's "Quest" Gluten Free Tripel
    A Belgian tripel & the first gluten free we liked 500ml $10
  • Post #20 - January 26th, 2012, 12:06 pm
    Post #20 - January 26th, 2012, 12:06 pm Post #20 - January 26th, 2012, 12:06 pm
    Thanks all for the suggestions. We ended up at Thai Sook Dee which was good, not the best Thai I have ever had, but we weren't looking for that, just a nice dinner. We got something I had never had before, a burmese style curry with pork shoulder that was even better the next day.

    I'm sure I will have the opportunity to check out more of these places as my sister has recently moved to Rogers Park and she enjoys exploring Evanston as well.
  • Post #21 - January 26th, 2012, 12:54 pm
    Post #21 - January 26th, 2012, 12:54 pm Post #21 - January 26th, 2012, 12:54 pm
    knitgirl wrote:I'm sure I will have the opportunity to check out more of these places as my sister has recently moved to Rogers Park and she enjoys exploring Evanston as well.

    There are some additional places in the vicinity that are worth recommending, but have not been mentioned because they are not in downtown Evanston near the Century theaters where you were headed on this occasion. More specifically, the intersection of Chicago and Main, a mile south of downtown Evanston, features Oceanique, an upscale seafood-focused chef-driven restaurant; Campagnola, a friendly/neighborhood-y restaurant with moderately-priced Italian and contemporary American cuisine; Cross Rhodes, for inexpensive/casual gyros and Greek food; and Kuni's for sushi. Skokie, just west of Evanston, has had several worthwhile places open recently in its downtown along Oakton, including Yolo for creative provincial Mexican cuisine, Kabul House for Afghan food, Libertad for Mexican and Latin fusion, and Siunik Armenian Grill.
  • Post #22 - November 15th, 2012, 12:52 am
    Post #22 - November 15th, 2012, 12:52 am Post #22 - November 15th, 2012, 12:52 am
    Kuni's has many fond posts but no dedicated thread I can find at the moment, and I don't have the material from just one visit to start one right away, but hope to return soon. The handrolls (I had one eel and one fatty tuna) were generous and lovingly prepared; the staff was wonderful, and I like the careworn room. Hot towel, good goma-ae, reasonable quality miso and green tea, an atmosphere missing in many new neighborhood sushi joints.
  • Post #23 - November 15th, 2012, 11:45 am
    Post #23 - November 15th, 2012, 11:45 am Post #23 - November 15th, 2012, 11:45 am
    Love Kuni's - very excellent and fresh fish. Sit at the Sushi bar for the best experience - and to watch Kuni-san and his assistants.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #24 - November 18th, 2012, 7:35 pm
    Post #24 - November 18th, 2012, 7:35 pm Post #24 - November 18th, 2012, 7:35 pm
    Third to Kuni! Our go-to sushi spot. Everything always fresh and perfectly cut. Charming host and Kuni-san is an outstanding sushi chef. Note: closed on Tuesdays!
    "You should eat!"
  • Post #25 - January 12th, 2019, 7:31 am
    Post #25 - January 12th, 2019, 7:31 am Post #25 - January 12th, 2019, 7:31 am
    Took my granddaughter for lunch at Kuni’s yesterday before she leaves for a semester in Spain Monday.
    As always the gratis Green Tea Noodle Roll was excellent!
    I had the Sashimi Omakase and Sarah had California, Shrimp Tempura and at my suggestion, Salmon Skin, (Maki Rolls)the best of all three in my opinion.
    The fish and shellfish were of outstanding quality.
    Ama Ebi, Hottagai, Toro, Hamachi, Yellow Fin and Albacore along with Hirame, Sake(Salmon) completed the Omakase.
    I have known Kuni-San for 40 years since first encountering his skills at the long time defunct Hatsuhana.
    My daughter requested California and ‘French’ Maki rolls to be brought back and she promptly disposed of them.
    I don’t get into the ‘City’ trendy Sushi bars anymore and with Katsu’s retirement this is my go to place for sit down Sushi/Sashimi in the Japanese Tradition.
    -Richard
  • Post #26 - January 12th, 2019, 8:32 am
    Post #26 - January 12th, 2019, 8:32 am Post #26 - January 12th, 2019, 8:32 am
    budrichard wrote:I don’t get into the ‘City’ trendy Sushi bars anymore and with Katsu’s retirement this is my go to place for sit down Sushi/Sashimi in the Japanese Tradition.
    Budrichard, while I like Kuni's Renga-Tei fills that space for me.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #27 - January 14th, 2019, 10:27 am
    Post #27 - January 14th, 2019, 10:27 am Post #27 - January 14th, 2019, 10:27 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    budrichard wrote:I don’t get into the ‘City’ trendy Sushi bars anymore and with Katsu’s retirement this is my go to place for sit down Sushi/Sashimi in the Japanese Tradition.
    Budrichard, while I like Kuni's Renga-Tei fills that space for me.


    Do you order any particular suhi while there, Gary? Or just the omakase?

    I've been to Renga Tei several times already, but I love their homestyle dishes (e.g., sanma, hamachi kama, etc) so much that I haven't even tried their sushi yet!
  • Post #28 - January 14th, 2019, 5:00 pm
    Post #28 - January 14th, 2019, 5:00 pm Post #28 - January 14th, 2019, 5:00 pm
    Behavioral wrote:Do you order any particular suhi while there, Gary? Or just the omakase?
    Like you I am a fan of Renga-Tei's homestyle dishes, plus my bride loves their sukiyaki. I adore Renga-Tei's sushi/sashimi as well.

    Far as raw fish favorites, I often order whatever is featured on the white-board in the entrance or what is on special that day, such as white-board Chirashi which is served more as a bento. I typically ask if they have uni, toro, different types of mackerel, salmon skin etc. I'm a sucker for their saba, scallop, red snapper, anago, hamachi, ikura, either nigiri or sashimi, and love the negi hamachi maki.

    While I've never (in 20+years) ordered omakase, I sometimes get a combo, either Sushi C, Combo dinner D or Renga-Tei Set of sashimi.

    If its more than just the bride and me we typicaly get a few appetizers, great goma-ae, top-tier agedashi-tofu, pickle, cold tofu, grilled collar, tempura, a homestyle dish or three and whatever nigiri or sashimi strikes our fancy. We often end with jello (don't scoff until you've tried it) or gratis slightly sweet dried sweet potato strips.

    GNR Thread ----> Link
    Main thread -----> Link
    Lots of random love for Renga-Tei (just one example) Link

    Not sure how helpful this really is, as it seems I like just about everything, I've been going to Renga-Tei for over 20-years and still love the place.

    Renga-Tei, Count me a Fan!

    I thought about moving this post to the Renga-Tei thread, but Lincolnwood is close enough to Evanston to make Renga-Tei a reasonable weeknight don't want to drive far choice.

    Renga-Tei
    3956 W Touhy Ave
    Lincolnwood, IL 60712
    847-675-5177
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow

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