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Chinoiserie (BYOB) in Wilmette

Chinoiserie (BYOB) in Wilmette
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  • Chinoiserie (BYOB) in Wilmette

    Post #1 - September 8th, 2004, 10:09 am
    Post #1 - September 8th, 2004, 10:09 am Post #1 - September 8th, 2004, 10:09 am
    We have eaten at Chinoiserie many times and always had a good meal. I have never posted on it, probably because while billed as Nouvelle Chinese, it is more like Schaumburg Chinese. We have some friends who really like it, so we wind up there every once in a while.

    To be honest, we haven't explored the menu very deeply. We have ordered safe dishes and have been happy: good food, inexpensive, BYO, and I don't have to drive all the way into the city. The reason for the post is, while eating there a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday evening, it was almost empty. There always seem to be a lot of open tables, but this was exceptionally empty. There are plenty of big wine cellars along the North Shore and not that many restaurant options for BYO'ing. I don't get it.

    We usually start with the fried dumplings, which are good. A small salad comes with dinner and it is dressed with an awesome wasbi vinagarette.

    Our favorite entree is the Drambuie beef over garlic mashed potatoes. They bring out unlimitted servings of both steamed rice and the garlic mashed. Chicken in plum sauce and Chinoiserie chicken are both ok, as well.

    509 4th St.,
    Wilmette, Illinois
  • Post #2 - September 8th, 2004, 11:29 pm
    Post #2 - September 8th, 2004, 11:29 pm Post #2 - September 8th, 2004, 11:29 pm
    Before Chinoiserie expanded, they were exceptionally crowded, but since that time, whenever I've been there they have been nearly empty, perhaps it was the sense that one was discovering something new - in the heart of Wilmette! I agree with Al about the restaurant. They take traditional Chinese preparations and infuse them with some nouvelle touches, like adding Drambuie. I have enjoyed my meals, but I keep feeling that I should enjoy them more than I do. In this they remind me of Jin Ju, where the synergy between Asian and Western food isn't quite magical, but certainly above par. To succeed as "nouvelle Chinese cuisine" one needs greater creativity. Two stars.

    Of the dishes that I've had a Chinoiserie, I recommend Asian Plum Pork. Also, Green Beans Sauteed in Garlic.

    509 Fourth Street, Wilmette
  • Post #3 - January 20th, 2008, 9:37 am
    Post #3 - January 20th, 2008, 9:37 am Post #3 - January 20th, 2008, 9:37 am
    Last night we were stuck on where to eat before going to the movies in Evanston. I wanted to eat at Tank, Demera, Katsu or anywhere on Devon. Our dining partners, who are strict vegetarians and Vegans, suggeted The Chinoiserie, located around the 4th and Linden El in Wilmette. I grew up in Wilmette and other then Mustards on Central have always considered that immediate area a food wasteland. I had never heard of the Chinoiserie so I figured, what the heck. Since no one has posted on this place in some time, here is an update.

    The atmosphere is kinda like your grandma's house circa 1978. threadbare tablecloths and plastic seat covers on the tables and chairs. The whole place was kind of dark and dusty. The vibe was pretty weird.

    They restaurant is billed as "Nouvelle Chinese." If Nouvelle means serving mashed potatoes instead of rice, then I guess the places is Nouvelle (BTW they do give you rice too). They brag quite a bit about being "Zagat" rated. It is all over their menus and everywhere else. I wasnt impressed

    We started with the fresh spring roll appetizers, they were servicable. We were also served a salad before our entrees, just eh

    We had the Ma Po Tofu, Chinese Broccoli and Japanese eggplant entrees as well as a chicken dish for me that I can only describe as chicken in hot sauce. My wife had their version of Vegetable Lo Mein (they call it Schnoodles)

    The food was pretty bland and was closer in proximity to the Betty-Crocker cookbook version of chop suey or something your mom made in her first wok purchased at Crate & Barrel in 1983, than what you might expect to be served in a professional kitchen. I wont return
  • Post #4 - January 20th, 2008, 10:09 am
    Post #4 - January 20th, 2008, 10:09 am Post #4 - January 20th, 2008, 10:09 am
    pretty much agree with the last review. the food quality has deteriorated significantly over the past few years. in 2003, it was truly innovation, now it is just bland and overpriced.
  • Post #5 - January 20th, 2008, 3:01 pm
    Post #5 - January 20th, 2008, 3:01 pm Post #5 - January 20th, 2008, 3:01 pm
    Again to agree with what was said above. We went last weekend for a pretty "meh" experience.
    This area of Wilmette always seems pretty "twilight zone" any way, and the "chinese cuisine by way of your wasp grandmother interior" fully lived up to this.
    My two problems were the temp. the food was served at (One of the side dishes went form cold to verging on "icy") and the cost. I noticed after we left that the take out menu was less expensive by a couple of dollars per item than what was printed on their dining room menu, which made me feel double cheated.
    With Wah Meh one block over with their truly excellent wonton soup (the chef is such a stickler for the proper skin he special orders it from California), I see no reason to go here.