"The Cellar at the Stained Glass", Chef Nina Faustmann

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Last week, wanting to be a bit spontaneous, my boyfriend and I drove to Evanston, IL, the home of Northwestern University, to find whichever restaurant looked appealing for our appetite. Once we finally found a parking spot in the busy streets of the fast paced miniature city, we walked along the sidewalks reading menus hanging outside each restaurant. Passing by a barbeque joint first caught our eye until we came across a framed newspaper clipping about the top budget restaurants in the Chicago land area. Once we breezed through menu items we had to try it.

The Cellar at the Stained Glass restaurant was an interesting and long name, but then we noticed the Stained Glass was an adjoining restaurant just down the hall. The Cellar is the more fairly priced restaurant so we decided to save the Stained Glass for another night when our pockets were more full.  The menu ranged from popular American comfort foods to French and other European favorites.  Similar to a tapas style menu, the portions are smaller and the server emphasized that many guests share their orders.  We decided to go with the Fried Chicken with Pommes Frites, Bacon Wrapped Dates stuffed with Chorizo and Lobster Mac n’ Cheese.  I would have to say that by far the Lobster Mac was my favorite. The elbow macaroni was smothered with a white gruyere cheese sauce and the large chunks of tender lobster, a generous portion without a doubt. The bacon wrapped dates were lacking the chorizo that we expected but overall were pretty good. The pommes frites were my boyfriend’s favorite, just as he has had in Europe; thinly cut fries accompanied by garlic flavored aioli. The fried chicken was very tender and the batter was fairly seasoned, but the white gravy was very flavorless and served at room temperature. This disappointment made us wonder if the plain gravy was supposed to be served in such a way or just a mishap in the back of the house. Overall, the dining experience was enjoyable and I would like to come back and try many other menu items that seem very intriguing for my palate.

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