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Abigail's Bistro - Highland Park

Abigail's Bistro - Highland Park
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  • Post #61 - June 11th, 2009, 1:41 pm
    Post #61 - June 11th, 2009, 1:41 pm Post #61 - June 11th, 2009, 1:41 pm
    A sign posted outside Abigail's the other day announced a new dinner schedule. They will be open for dinner Tuesday - Saturday; closed Sunday & Monday. Lunch will continue to be Wednesday - Saturday.
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
  • Post #62 - September 11th, 2009, 8:45 am
    Post #62 - September 11th, 2009, 8:45 am Post #62 - September 11th, 2009, 8:45 am
    After driving by Abigail's since it opened, we went there for my wife's birthday. 9/9/09.

    First some news.
    Abigail is not the owner of the restaurant. Abigail is the daughter of the owner. Abigail has a sister Sophia. We were concerned that when they grew up Sophia would be resentful. We were told that perhaps a coffee bar/cafe named Sophia may open in Highland Park. We suggested the old vacant store front once occupied by Sloppy Joes just down the block.

    Now.

    The interior was classy without being stuffy. Being a Wednesday night, we were seated immediately. The staff is very attentive. We were greeted by a hostess. Offered drinks by our server. Welcomed by the manager. Very professional.

    We had Martinis and they were appropriately dry. I wanted a Manhattan but only order them at Beinlich's. (I've grown accustomed to their taste). The menu is a little on the cute side...little things, big things, etc. But the selection was choice...

    We were served the Cheese Biscuits which were warm, cheesy, crusty and delicious. Another Martini and more biscuits and I would have been good for the evening.

    For our "little things" Peggy ordered Gazpacho which she enjoyed very much. I just don't like the word "Gazpacho." I had a crab dish flavored with tarragon. Very nice. Our "bigs things". Peggy went with the tuna nicoise which she said was her favorite thing in the world to eat. After 31 years of marriage, you'd think I'd know that. But she really liked the tuna and the extra large capers.

    Having heard that the burger placed 7th in the Chicago Magazine poll I ordered one. Medium. It came a little redder than I perceive as medium but ate and enjoyed it. Very flavorful with a red onion thing happening. The fries were parmesany and good as well,

    For sweet things or whatever, we ordered homemade ice cream, chocolate sauce and profiteroles. We consumed together all was fine. The pasty alone...not as good.

    For "beans" I had decaf and it was served hot and prior to the dessert so that when the dessert was served we had hot coffee. This is important to me.

    The only downside to the experience was the noise. Whether it is the low ceiling...an exuberant clientele...or the desire to rev up the "buzz", I would have preferred it to be a little quieter.

    It was very pleasant to have a good meal in a sophisticated spot and be home in 5 minutes. We would go back.
    Don

    http://ageless-northshore.com/
    Midlife in the Midwest
  • Post #63 - January 17th, 2010, 12:06 pm
    Post #63 - January 17th, 2010, 12:06 pm Post #63 - January 17th, 2010, 12:06 pm
    Abigail's has been on my radar for some time and we had a wonderful dinner last night.

    A few observations:

    • Extremely well done space, from the foyer to the restrooms. Great attention to details. A beautiful place to enjoy a leisurely meal with good friends. Others have commented on the noise level, but it didn’t bother me. The room had a fun vibe, not a boring or stuffy atmosphere.

    • Our server was helpful, very honest with opinions, attentive, and extremely friendly.

    • No reservation policy, but the 40 minute wait seemed to pass quickly.

    Very interesting menu and it was hard to make decisions since so many items sounded appealing. The menu is arranged by small, medium, and large plates. I ordered one of each.

    My meal started with a very nice mushroom bisque. Next was the pomegranate glazed duck breast, with fennel, a bit of orange, arugula, and hazelnuts. Perfectly cooked duck, I really liked this dish. Finished with beef short ribs over sweet potato gnocchi with apple puree, Brussels spout leaves, and a pit of pan sauce. I am a huge braised meat fan, love short ribs, and these did not disappoint. Extremely satisfying.

    I was fortunate to be able to sample a few other dishes, Buffalo style rock shrimp (good for what they were, but with all of the other options, I would not have ordered them), roasted beet salad (excellent, we make similar variations of this salad), delicious fennel crusted scallop, the lightest butternut squash ravioli I have ever eaten, and a delicious toffee bread pudding with a fantastic sour cream ice cream.

    We dined with another couple and we were all very impressed with the experience and based on the good value will return again soon.
  • Post #64 - March 27th, 2013, 12:04 pm
    Post #64 - March 27th, 2013, 12:04 pm Post #64 - March 27th, 2013, 12:04 pm
    I'm excited to say that I've got the pleasure of having bought a house that's walkable to Abigail's. Last week I was in town doing some final preparations on the house and dined at Abigail's twice- once at the bar and once in the dining room.

    A few reactions:

    1) Their cocktail menu is superb- it's not nearly as deep as what you'd see at a specialty cocktail place like Violet Hour (largely because this isn't their only focus) but everything I tried was excellent- I tried the barrel aged manhattan- stellar, the breakfast bottled cocktail, again stunning, and a good bit of wine and scotch. Note to wine folks- they have the Peter Michael Les Pavots on the menu- one of my favorite wines of all time.

    2) The food menu is very, very diverse- lots of asian flare to it without being a fusion menu. In my visits we had:

    Chicken liver pate- stellar example of what a chicken lever version of foie should be, beautiful garnish as well. Bread was grilled perfectly too (you'd be surprised how often this gets screwed up)
    Fried oysters- very good again, perfect batter, nice service. The sriracha aoili could have used a bit more heat, but still was quite good.
    Mussels - great broth (red curry) but generally not my thing- I enjoyed them but just not my go to ordering thing- my dining mate loved them, though
    Oxtail Ravioli - holy shit, get to Abigail's and have this before they take it off the menu- in a great Pho like broth complete with bean sprouts and the traditional garnishes for Pho. Sometimes I dream about this.

    Service was personable without being intrusive- I like the vibe of this place.

    Needless to say, I'll be back :)
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #65 - March 27th, 2013, 12:19 pm
    Post #65 - March 27th, 2013, 12:19 pm Post #65 - March 27th, 2013, 12:19 pm
    I had one thing at Abigail's a long time ago - the burger. It was excellent, as were the fries and I can't think of one that may be better in the immediate area. But I have not been back since and I can't really think of a reason why other than I am not a fan of 2 top tables right next to other people. I'm somewhat private I guess. But I will be back. It was so good.
  • Post #66 - March 27th, 2013, 12:27 pm
    Post #66 - March 27th, 2013, 12:27 pm Post #66 - March 27th, 2013, 12:27 pm
    Ram4 wrote:I had one thing at Abigail's a long time ago - the burger. It was excellent, as were the fries and I can't think of one that may be better in the immediate area. But I have not been back since and I can't really think of a reason why other than I am not a fan of 2 top tables right next to other people. I'm somewhat private I guess. But I will be back. It was so good.
    I don't mind the close tables- i mean it's a bistro, but that said the bar was very comfortable to sit at as well.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #67 - March 27th, 2013, 9:07 pm
    Post #67 - March 27th, 2013, 9:07 pm Post #67 - March 27th, 2013, 9:07 pm
    A few more points on Abigail's...

    -Larry's bar program is very solid...especially for the burbs

    -There typically isn't too much Asian influence on the menu.

    -Mussels can always be ordered with a traditional white wine sauce in lieu of the curry sauce

    -the bar is comfortable, but they won't serve food there on Fridays or Saturdays

    -Chef Michael has a good handle on his abilities and does not exceed them. His execution is flawless.

    I wish it was within walking distance from my house.
  • Post #68 - March 28th, 2013, 9:14 am
    Post #68 - March 28th, 2013, 9:14 am Post #68 - March 28th, 2013, 9:14 am
    milz50 wrote:I wish it was within walking distance from my house.


    What you mean those Costco hot dogs aren't cutting it for you? :-)
  • Post #69 - March 28th, 2013, 10:55 am
    Post #69 - March 28th, 2013, 10:55 am Post #69 - March 28th, 2013, 10:55 am
    Good to know about bar food service on Friday/Saturday- one other item of note, they do take out especially on the early side. They told me they generally won't do it on show nights unless you're ordering no later than 5 or so. Not sure it's a formal rule, but it's a very small place so I get it.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #70 - March 28th, 2013, 11:33 am
    Post #70 - March 28th, 2013, 11:33 am Post #70 - March 28th, 2013, 11:33 am
    edb60035 wrote:
    milz50 wrote:I wish it was within walking distance from my house.


    What you mean those Costco hot dogs aren't cutting it for you? :-)


    I'm not too proud of it, but I've been known to go over there for a late afternoon snack...which either includes some samples and/or a hot dog. Pro-Tip - you can request kraut for you dog.
  • Post #71 - March 28th, 2013, 11:39 am
    Post #71 - March 28th, 2013, 11:39 am Post #71 - March 28th, 2013, 11:39 am
    jpschust wrote:Good to know about bar food service on Friday/Saturday- one other item of note, they do take out especially on the early side. They told me they generally won't do it on show nights unless you're ordering no later than 5 or so. Not sure it's a formal rule, but it's a very small place so I get it.


    One other item...I saw recently you were looking for a good local place to get a steak. Abigail's does a good version of steak frites, which is almost always on their menu. I know it isn't a filet or bone-in ribeye, but it is a nice dish nonetheless.
  • Post #72 - April 28th, 2013, 2:33 pm
    Post #72 - April 28th, 2013, 2:33 pm Post #72 - April 28th, 2013, 2:33 pm
    Seems I almost never go out to eat up north these days. Ever since my office moved to Niles about 2 years ago, I almost always travel south when I want to go out after work. On the nights I head north, I generally just go home and cook. Last week, however, we decided to have a night out up north with milz50 and wife, who suggested we go to Abigail's, which was a great call. It'd been a couple of years since I'd been there and even though I very much enjoyed that previous visit, I enjoyed this most recent one even more.

    We had a few items from several sections of the menu, all of which were thoughtfully conceived, skillfully prepared and delicious . . .

    little things
    pan fried shishito peppers - parmesan, miso, yuzu
    I'm so used to having these grilled straight-up and served with a little salt but this more elaborate preparation was very successful. The flavors of the additional components really complemented the peppers without overpowering them.
    sichuan green beans - cashews, fish sauce, aioli
    Another very tasty, distinctive prep. I thought the additional funkiness delivered by the fish sauce was great -- and a fairly bold choice for Highland Park. I don't even think the Thai places up in HP use it. :wink:
    tuscan kale salad - cranberries, pine nuts, parmesan, olive oil, lemon, balsamic
    I love kale salads and I thought this one was terrific. The dried cranberries and balsamic added just enough sweetness to offset the bitterness of the kale without going overboard.

    neither small nor large
    sea urchin risotto - lobster, black summer truffles, english peas
    One of the best things I've eaten this year. I loved everything about this dish. It was unctuous, rich and entirely compelling. We actually ordered 2 of these and I'm very glad we did.
    oxtail ravioli - Vietnamese pho broth, thai basil, chile, bean sprouts, scallions
    I thought the execution here was flawless. The ravioli were perfect in just about every way but for my palate, I felt the dish skewed a bit sweet.
    lamb meatballs - spicy harissa tomato sauce, cucumber yogurt, cilantro
    Really tasty meatballs that were ground well and packed just about perfectly. I thought the harissa sauce was spot on.

    bigger than the rest
    squid ink fettucine - andouille, shrimp, scallops, fennel, spinach, tomato, losber sauce
    A fantastic dish that was both delicious and comforting. The al dente, briney-black noodles could not have been any better and the other components were sensational, too. Pure delicious comfort.
    whole roasted branzino - parsely citrus salad
    A very fresh-tasting whole fish, served as a whole fish, which was righteous. The fish was cooked very well, with moist and flaky flesh.

    sweets
    homemade cookies
    chocolate peanut butter mousse tart - peanut brittle, banana ice crean
    warm flourless chocolate cake - sour cream ice cream (we subbed this for mint chocolate ice cream)
    upside down pear cake - vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce

    We were damned full but still managed to end up with 4 desserts for the 4 of us. I thought they were great across the board -- at least the tastes of each one I had. These were each very well prepared and beautifully composed. I also thought the ice creams -- all house-made -- were expertly created, with great flavor and very silky texture.

    I think the small space/no reservations policy and proximity to Ravinia are largely what kept me away from Abigail's over the past couple of years but that was pretty short-sighted on my part. The food is delicious and distinctive, the service is fantastic, the space is comfortable and there's a small bar where one can perch while waiting for a table. I look forward to returning on a more regular basis -- especially on some of those nights on which I head north after work.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #73 - November 2nd, 2013, 9:45 am
    Post #73 - November 2nd, 2013, 9:45 am Post #73 - November 2nd, 2013, 9:45 am
    Just recently I started looking in the area to see what works and what doesn't and I have noticed they don't have some of items posted here anymore.
    http://www.abigails493.com/Dinner.html

    Is this the price issue and the lack of demand in this price range, so the owners have to change the menu to keep the regular customers more excited so they stop by more often? Or no one really cares about lamb and oxtail raviolis at any price?
  • Post #74 - November 2nd, 2013, 11:09 am
    Post #74 - November 2nd, 2013, 11:09 am Post #74 - November 2nd, 2013, 11:09 am
    Lenny007 wrote:Just recently I started looking in the area to see what works and what doesn't and I have noticed they don't have some of items posted here anymore.
    http://www.abigails493.com/Dinner.html

    Is this the price issue and the lack of demand in this price range, so the owners have to change the menu to keep the regular customers more excited so they stop by more often? Or no one really cares about lamb and oxtail raviolis at any price?

    It could be for a number of reasons, including seasonailty or that their online menu isn't updated as frequently as their actual menu.

    But please, let's not let this thread drift into a general discussion about what does and doesn't work in the area. If you want to have that discussion, please start a new thead.

    Thanks,

    =R=
    for the Moderators
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #75 - November 3rd, 2013, 7:11 am
    Post #75 - November 3rd, 2013, 7:11 am Post #75 - November 3rd, 2013, 7:11 am
    My Gnocchi with Pork Cheek last night, which was one of the Best Things I've Eaten [Lately], or ever:

    IMG_2638.jpg

    Every bite was amazing. I ordered the entree-sized portion and left a clean plate.
  • Post #76 - May 27th, 2014, 6:17 pm
    Post #76 - May 27th, 2014, 6:17 pm Post #76 - May 27th, 2014, 6:17 pm
    I'm watching the review of Abigail's on Check Please! and it's annoying me --- specifically, comments from two reviewers such as, "you don't really think Highland Park and calamari..." and "we really didn't expect eating in Highland Park we'd get high-quality seafood..." Are there whole neighborhoods in the city or whole suburbs that ARE famous for their calamari and good seafood? There were also comments about expecting to see nothing but old people and being pleasantly surprised to see some younger people too. At least one reviewer admitted he didn't have any respect for Highland Park beforehand and didn't see why he had to go to the suburbs to eat at a Check Please! restaurant. Geez.

    I suppose people's preconceived notions of various neighborhoods and suburbs are unavoidable, but I can't help wondering if the moderator could have taken a bit more active role and steered the conversation toward a greater focus on the restaurant's food, ambience, and service than on the town in which the restaurant is located. Any restaurant reviewed on Check Please! only gets talked about for about 8 minutes. What a waste of time that the more memorable takeaway from those minutes were what two of the reviewers thought about Highland Park than what they thought about Abigail's.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #77 - May 27th, 2014, 10:50 pm
    Post #77 - May 27th, 2014, 10:50 pm Post #77 - May 27th, 2014, 10:50 pm
    Katie wrote:I'm watching the review of Abigail's on Check Please! and it's annoying me --- specifically, comments from two reviewers such as, "you don't really think Highland Park and calamari..." and "we really didn't expect eating in Highland Park we'd get high-quality seafood..."


    Am I to think that the meaning behind these comments was, "Highland Park is full of Jews, and Jews don't eat mollusks"? I'm trying to imagine some other interpretation, and coming up empty. Unfortunately.
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #78 - May 28th, 2014, 1:30 am
    Post #78 - May 28th, 2014, 1:30 am Post #78 - May 28th, 2014, 1:30 am
    riddlemay wrote:
    Katie wrote:I'm watching the review of Abigail's on Check Please! and it's annoying me --- specifically, comments from two reviewers such as, "you don't really think Highland Park and calamari..." and "we really didn't expect eating in Highland Park we'd get high-quality seafood..."


    Am I to think that the meaning behind these comments was, "Highland Park is full of Jews, and Jews don't eat mollusks"? I'm trying to imagine some other interpretation, and coming up empty. Unfortunately.
    You sound like George Costanza who HAD to know why the woman Seinfeld was dating didn't like him. Just let it go.
  • Post #79 - May 28th, 2014, 3:36 am
    Post #79 - May 28th, 2014, 3:36 am Post #79 - May 28th, 2014, 3:36 am
    riddlemay wrote:Am I to think that the meaning behind these comments was, "Highland Park is full of Jews, and Jews don't eat mollusks"? I'm trying to imagine some other interpretation, and coming up empty. Unfortunately.

    I didn't think it was a religious prejudice; I just think it was a comment about people who live within the boundaries of the City of Chicago disliking to venture beyond those boundaries (something that's not an issue for most LTHers). It reminds me of the Check Please episode featuring Oceanique, where the reviewer criticized it because it was so far away. It's maybe three or four blocks from Chicago's city limits.
  • Post #80 - May 28th, 2014, 9:05 am
    Post #80 - May 28th, 2014, 9:05 am Post #80 - May 28th, 2014, 9:05 am
    nr706 wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:Am I to think that the meaning behind these comments was, "Highland Park is full of Jews, and Jews don't eat mollusks"? I'm trying to imagine some other interpretation, and coming up empty. Unfortunately.

    I didn't think it was a religious prejudice; I just think it was a comment about people who live within the boundaries of the City of Chicago disliking to venture beyond those boundaries (something that's not an issue for most LTHers). It reminds me of the Check Please episode featuring Oceanique, where the reviewer criticized it because it was so far away. It's maybe three or four blocks from Chicago's city limits.

    These are the kind of people who automatically go somewhere like Bottlefork and think they've tapped into something amazing simply because it's hip and happening . . . and in a city neighborhood they consider cool. They are not discerning and their food knowledge is notably limited. Dining sophistication requires a lot more than looking at a street sign to see where you are. Expertise is not what I have come to expect from folks who appear on Check, Please! The show aims much lower.

    That said, it's clear to me that there are far more meaningful food opportunities in the city than in the suburbs. That doesn't mean that the suburbs are without their gems. There are plenty to be found and as far as North Shore dining goes, Abigail's is one of them.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #81 - May 28th, 2014, 2:44 pm
    Post #81 - May 28th, 2014, 2:44 pm Post #81 - May 28th, 2014, 2:44 pm
    Not begin Jewish and therefore having only a vague familiarity with observant Jews' dietary customs, I admit that angle did not occur to me as I watched the show. I was just annoyed at and disappointed with the surprise expressed at finding good seafood in HP, as with the review of Oceanique in Evanston. What areas of Chicagoland DO those two guests think of when they think "great calamari" and "high-quality seafood"? All I can think of is Des Plaines (the Boston Fish Market), and you know they wouldn't have wanted to schlep out there either.

    I've generally been in favor of the minimalist approach to moderator intervention on Check Please, but this episode got me thinking about it again. If not the moderator, then maybe the producer should say a few words in advance to city-dwelling guests about not griping about having to eat more than 6 blocks away from an El stop and to suburb-dwelling guests about not griping about having to eat somewhere where they have to pay for parking. Can we please not waste so much time discussing the fact that you had to venture outside your comfort zone? Because that's pretty much the point of the show.

    I'm reminded of the show's review of the Tavern in Libertyville, which, as Phil Vettel mentioned in the Tribune just recently, is the first place in that suburb he gave two stars to, ten years ago, and which is still as fine a location for a special-occasion steak dinner as any you'd drive into the city for. But what I still remember from the Check Please episode on the Tavern is the city dweller who talked as if he'd been sent to another planet, populated entirely by blue-haired old ladies. Or at least that's what he expected, and couldn't resist talking about, until he got around to reporting his pleasant surprise with the actual experience of dining at the Tavern. But, oh, look, we're out of time.

    People who live in the city, no one's forcing you to trek out to a suburb to eat, and the same is true in reverse for people who live in the suburbs. But for people who nominate themselves for the opportunity to hawk their favorite place on the show, is it too much to ask that you accept with good grace having to go a bit out of your way to get a free dinner at the two places suggested by the other two guests?
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #82 - May 30th, 2014, 6:06 am
    Post #82 - May 30th, 2014, 6:06 am Post #82 - May 30th, 2014, 6:06 am
    I must confess that this board's affection for the cramped, loud and very average Abigail's has been a source or enduring mystery for me. That said, I would agree with the view that, for Highland Park, it is a bit of a surprise. Is it shocking to anyone here that, painting with a broad brush, the quality of restaurant in HP just isn't all that high? Really, I don't think one needs to be labeled a bigot for taking this view. Smokeless bbq? HP has it. Over priced mediocre hot dogs? That too. Yet another outpost of a mediocre pancake slinging family's restaurant....well you know the answer. So, stumbling on a place that may actually merit a follow up visit in HP is surprising.

    As for the reviewer in question, while I have no idea what their religious views are, don't care, and certainly would never publicly accuse someone of bigotry based on evidence thinner than some of the gruel served in Highland Park restaurants, I will note that using a "Calamari" standard as your baseline for "high quality seafood" is both highly amusing and a serious indictment of one's own culinary knowledge.
    "Living well is the best revenge"
  • Post #83 - May 30th, 2014, 6:31 am
    Post #83 - May 30th, 2014, 6:31 am Post #83 - May 30th, 2014, 6:31 am
    At least during the Alpana Singh reign of Check, Please, there were some interesting caricatures & juxtapositions of diners being taken completely out of their comfort zone. Check out this classic repartee from a few years ago between a 60's-ish male diner who recommended Myron & Phil and a somewhat-flamboyant thirty-something who tried it out, with honest comments:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2jlCD6ntc8

    I liked it because it was real. This new version of CP is milquetoast, with dull, youngish urbanites who have little to say.

    Sorry to hijack, back to the Abigail's discussion. I gotta go, if only to try out that luscious pork belly gnocchi that riddlemay described upthread.
  • Post #84 - May 30th, 2014, 8:11 am
    Post #84 - May 30th, 2014, 8:11 am Post #84 - May 30th, 2014, 8:11 am
    Pursuit wrote:I must confess that this board's affection for the cramped, loud and very average Abigail's has been a source or enduring mystery for me.


    I find it odd to see Abigail's as described as very average. There are facets of the menu that are very average, but I can find facets of almost every menu that look pretty average to me. That said, the great majority of the menu is quite interesting and the execution is near flawless. That said, it's a bistro- it's loud and cramped and small. That's what a bistro is by its very nature.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #85 - May 30th, 2014, 9:34 am
    Post #85 - May 30th, 2014, 9:34 am Post #85 - May 30th, 2014, 9:34 am
    I wrote about a very positive experience a few years ago. We loved Abigail's, but hadn't returned due to no reservations and very long waits.

    We finally returned in April, but I didn't post since it was just an average meal which I felt was a bit high for what we ordered/received. The menu was odd, several very similar dishes/ingredients. Many of the small and medium plates were really like the more straightforward side dishes, but more expensive. Nothing really stood out as really good, needing to go back for.

    Regarding their cocktail program, I had an issue of not mentioning what brands of liquor were used in cocktails that were $11 and $14 each.

    I know people love it and due to it's popularity, we may have hit it on an off night. We went on a Wednesday evening and it was packed. FOR ME, it isn't worth the hassle of being jammed in the entry for well over an hour due to no reservations.
  • Post #86 - May 30th, 2014, 11:53 am
    Post #86 - May 30th, 2014, 11:53 am Post #86 - May 30th, 2014, 11:53 am
    Al Ehrhardt wrote:I wrote about a very positive experience a few years ago. We loved Abigail's, but hadn't returned due to no reservations and very long waits.
    .
    .
    .
    FOR ME, it isn't worth the hassle of being jammed in the entry for well over an hour due to no reservations.

    Abigail's now accepts reservations in advance for seatings up to 6 p.m. I suspect they implemented this policy to accommodate those wishing to dine prior to a concert at Ravinia, and don't want to encounter a wait that might disrupt those plans. Regardless, if you want to try Abigail's without worrying about a wait, that's the way to do so.

    We ate dinner there last month and it was outstanding, with one "WOW DELICIOUS!" dish after another, one of our two best restaurant dinners in Chicagoland so far this year. We had reservations for our table, but we have no reservations about recommending Abigail's! :)
    Last edited by nsxtasy on May 30th, 2014, 3:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #87 - May 30th, 2014, 12:16 pm
    Post #87 - May 30th, 2014, 12:16 pm Post #87 - May 30th, 2014, 12:16 pm
    nsxtasy wrote:We had reservations for our table, but we have no reservations about recommending Abigail's! :)


    Love it! :)

    (Banner quote nominee?)
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #88 - May 30th, 2014, 12:45 pm
    Post #88 - May 30th, 2014, 12:45 pm Post #88 - May 30th, 2014, 12:45 pm
    jpschust wrote:
    it's a bistro- it's loud and cramped and small. That's what a bistro is by its very nature.


    Really?

    Out of curiosity I looked up definitions of bistro on-line -- not just the ubiquitous Wikipedia but several dictionary sites and the consensus seems to be that it's a small place that serves simple food. No mention of being cramped or loud.

    I should point out that small is not the same as cramped. Large restaurants can be cramped also; it's a consequence of the density of tables rather than the size of the restaurant. I recall feeling cramped sitting at a banquette in the Russian Tea Room many years ago.

    As for loud, that depends in large part on whether the restaurant uses soft or hard surfaces in it's decor as well as how cramped it is.

    Finally, the "other" site had an interesting discussion about the terms bistro, brasserie and restaurant. Again no mention of loudness.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/637034
    Where there’s smoke, there may be salmon.
  • Post #89 - June 2nd, 2014, 8:59 am
    Post #89 - June 2nd, 2014, 8:59 am Post #89 - June 2nd, 2014, 8:59 am
    From my experience that is part of the definition. Better? :)
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #90 - June 2nd, 2014, 9:10 am
    Post #90 - June 2nd, 2014, 9:10 am Post #90 - June 2nd, 2014, 9:10 am
    jpschust wrote:From my experience that is part of the definition. Better? :)

    Mine too. That's certainly what I expect when I go to a bistro, whether it's part of a dictionary definition or not. They're relatively loud (compared to non-bistros), small space, tables close together.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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