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Scottish fare - Balmoral, etc.

Scottish fare - Balmoral, etc.
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  • Scottish fare - Balmoral, etc.

    Post #1 - October 1st, 2011, 2:01 pm
    Post #1 - October 1st, 2011, 2:01 pm Post #1 - October 1st, 2011, 2:01 pm
    Anyone know of a place that serves Scottish fare? (in the greater Chicagoland area?)

    I don't mean a menu with buffalo wings & hamburgers & salads & fried shrimp/chicken that have dorky "Scottish" names; I'm looking for somewhere more authentic.

    Looked at Duke of Perth menu (ho-hum) & several other "pub fare" places which don't seem to offer much more than bangers & mash, fish & chips, & shepherd's pie. Bo--ring. And Tilted Kilt is just Hooters in plaid with about the same menu.

    My nephew has become obsessed with bagpipes (and is taking lessons) and goes 'squee!' at the sight of tartan. His birthday is approaching and, if there is such a place, I'd like to treat him to a (more than less) authentic exdperience.

    Any suggestions?
  • Post #2 - October 1st, 2011, 3:22 pm
    Post #2 - October 1st, 2011, 3:22 pm Post #2 - October 1st, 2011, 3:22 pm
    I'm no expert, but I would take a look at the online menu for The Gage (which I realize is owned by an Irishman, but maybe there's some overlap) and see if there's anything that fills the bill.
  • Post #3 - October 1st, 2011, 8:23 pm
    Post #3 - October 1st, 2011, 8:23 pm Post #3 - October 1st, 2011, 8:23 pm
    I get my fix at the annual Illinois St. Andrew Society Feast of the Haggis -- said to be the longest-running uninterrupted event in the United States (this year is the 166th). The haggis is always great -- and this year's speaker is Charlie Trotter, so a double draw for foodies. http://www.chicago-scots.org/feast-of-the-haggis.html

    Then, there's usually a Burns Night in January and the Highland Games in June, and other than that, lamb and beef keep me going until the next Scottish outing.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #4 - October 1st, 2011, 9:29 pm
    Post #4 - October 1st, 2011, 9:29 pm Post #4 - October 1st, 2011, 9:29 pm
    Cynthia wrote:I get my fix at the annual Illinois St. Andrew Society Feast of the Haggis -- said to be the longest-running uninterrupted event in the United States (this year is the 166th). The haggis is always great -- and this year's speaker is Charlie Trotter, so a double draw for foodies. http://www.chicago-scots.org/feast-of-the-haggis.html

    Then, there's usually a Burns Night in January and the Highland Games in June, and other than that, lamb and beef keep me going until the next Scottish outing.

    The one St. Andrew Society's Feast of the Haggis I attended was indeed fantastic, and the haggis was excellent - I ate all of mine, and then helped myself to my wife's and a couple of our Scottish tablemates' servings :)

    The only downside is that the attire is black tie or Highland dress. However, if you & your nephew are willing to don tuxes (or kilts & sporrans), then you should definitely try to score a couple of tickets.
  • Post #5 - October 1st, 2011, 11:20 pm
    Post #5 - October 1st, 2011, 11:20 pm Post #5 - October 1st, 2011, 11:20 pm
    Khaopaat wrote:The one St. Andrew Society's Feast of the Haggis I attended was indeed fantastic, and the haggis was excellent - I ate all of mine, and then helped myself to my wife's and a couple of our Scottish tablemates' servings :)

    The only downside is that the attire is black tie or Highland dress. However, if you & your nephew are willing to don tuxes (or kilts & sporrans), then you should definitely try to score a couple of tickets.


    When I first attended, a few decades ago, when it was still at the Conrad Hilton, they would make a super-abundance of haggis, and people would actually show up with Tubberware. One would have two or three servings, and then out would come the containers, and the hotel would obligingly fill it. Unfortunately, over time, as the costs went up, one cost-saving measure was to only make as much haggis as was likely to be eaten at the feast. Bummer. But mighty fine haggis -- among the best I've ever eaten.

    Of course, I go for the pipe bands and highland dancing, as well. But the haggis is definitely a big draw.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #6 - October 1st, 2011, 11:23 pm
    Post #6 - October 1st, 2011, 11:23 pm Post #6 - October 1st, 2011, 11:23 pm
    Oh -- and since his birthday is approaching, the timing is pretty good -- as the event is November 18 -- so in the neighborhood at least of the birthday.

    http://www.chicago-scots.org/feast-of-the-haggis.html
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #7 - October 3rd, 2011, 1:21 am
    Post #7 - October 3rd, 2011, 1:21 am Post #7 - October 3rd, 2011, 1:21 am
    The only downside is that the attire is black tie or Highland dress. However, if you & your nephew are willing to don tuxes (or kilts & sporrans), then you should definitely try to score a couple of tickets.


    . . . and those tickets start at a cool $150 per person (for the early-bird special). Hoot mon, indeed!
  • Post #8 - October 3rd, 2011, 1:05 pm
    Post #8 - October 3rd, 2011, 1:05 pm Post #8 - October 3rd, 2011, 1:05 pm
    sundevilpeg wrote:
    The only downside is that the attire is black tie or Highland dress. However, if you & your nephew are willing to don tuxes (or kilts & sporrans), then you should definitely try to score a couple of tickets.


    . . . and those tickets start at a cool $150 per person (for the early-bird special). Hoot mon, indeed!


    Hmm. That might explain why it's been a few years singe I attended the event.

    Though for those who are interested, it might be tax deductible, as it supports the Scottish Home, a nursing home for "Scottish gentlefolk."

    Well, then perhaps I'll just wait for one of the many Burns Night dinners in January -- not as flashy, and not as many pipers, but still nice -- and much cheaper.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #9 - October 3rd, 2011, 2:49 pm
    Post #9 - October 3rd, 2011, 2:49 pm Post #9 - October 3rd, 2011, 2:49 pm
    I used to attend every year ... but that was when it was $20 or $30 per person - so you can guess how long it's been ...
  • Post #10 - October 3rd, 2011, 11:40 pm
    Post #10 - October 3rd, 2011, 11:40 pm Post #10 - October 3rd, 2011, 11:40 pm
    nr706 wrote:I used to attend every year ... but that was when it was $20 or $30 per person - so you can guess how long it's been ...


    I think I made it up to $90. Of course, when I think about it, I have often spent well over $150 for dinner -- and that's without the bagpipes. So I guess for a charity fund-raiser, it's not bad. Still don't know if I can swing it this year, but it sounds more reasonable the longer I think about it.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #11 - October 3rd, 2011, 11:50 pm
    Post #11 - October 3rd, 2011, 11:50 pm Post #11 - October 3rd, 2011, 11:50 pm
    tardis wrote:Looked at Duke of Perth menu (ho-hum) & several other "pub fare" places which don't seem to offer much more than bangers & mash, fish & chips, & shepherd's pie.

    What else are you looking for?
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #12 - October 4th, 2011, 7:44 am
    Post #12 - October 4th, 2011, 7:44 am Post #12 - October 4th, 2011, 7:44 am
    I don't think there are any "true" Scottish places that will give you exactly what your looking for. The one place that popped into mind is Owen & Engine, besides the standard shepard's pie and fish and chips, they add bubble and squeek, Yorkshire pudding and "hairy taddie" haddock cakes. Not Scottish perse, but a representation of the general area.
  • Post #13 - October 4th, 2011, 8:12 am
    Post #13 - October 4th, 2011, 8:12 am Post #13 - October 4th, 2011, 8:12 am
    What else are you looking for?


    I was wondering the same thing. I saw Tony Bourdain once eating deep fried Mars bars and pizza in a Glasgow chip shop on TV. I guess that's authentic in a way. But high end Scottish food is more about the use of locally sourced ingredients like venison and salmon rather than especially unique dishes (other than haggis).
  • Post #14 - October 4th, 2011, 8:28 am
    Post #14 - October 4th, 2011, 8:28 am Post #14 - October 4th, 2011, 8:28 am
    For what it's worth, I love Duke of Perth, and think that the OP and his nephew probably would enjoy it a great deal. I think you'd really be hard-pressed to find a Scottish-oriented (as opposed to Irish) pub with more character in the Chicagoland area.
  • Post #15 - October 4th, 2011, 10:24 am
    Post #15 - October 4th, 2011, 10:24 am Post #15 - October 4th, 2011, 10:24 am
    rickster wrote:
    What else are you looking for?


    I was wondering the same thing. I saw Tony Bourdain once eating deep fried Mars bars and pizza in a Glasgow chip shop on TV. I guess that's authentic in a way. But high end Scottish food is more about the use of locally sourced ingredients like venison and salmon rather than especially unique dishes (other than haggis).

    I agree. I spent 2 months in Scotland, staying with relatives. In all that time I never saw any of them go to a Scottish or Brititsh restaurant. When they ate out, they would invariably go Chinese, Thai, Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, and such as that. At home they would eat a lot lamb, beef, and salmon. The home cooking was very good, but also very monotonous. The one time I sought out a real British restaurant, the food and service were both horrible, and it was very over-priced.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #16 - October 5th, 2011, 8:06 pm
    Post #16 - October 5th, 2011, 8:06 pm Post #16 - October 5th, 2011, 8:06 pm
    Since there isn't a good Scottish restaurant in town, you could consider ordering from thescottishgrocer.com. Lots of great options there.
  • Post #17 - August 7th, 2018, 8:57 am
    Post #17 - August 7th, 2018, 8:57 am Post #17 - August 7th, 2018, 8:57 am
    If you're willing to schlep out west....
    Colin Smith, 61, is bringing a taste of Scotland to Campton Hills with the opening of his first restaurant in the United States, Balmoral.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct ... story.html
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #18 - February 24th, 2019, 9:07 am
    Post #18 - February 24th, 2019, 9:07 am Post #18 - February 24th, 2019, 9:07 am
    I did indeed shlep out west (after a morning trip to Merrilville, no less) for a friend's retirement party. Fantastic service, really good food.

    The appetizers were more distinctly Scots than the mains with a haggis (with drambuie cream sauce), smoked haddock dip, Scotch egg, etc., but the menu is quite large with several different steaks (Sue had the filet with stilton, but was very tempted by the mushroom rib eye). I had a rabbit pie which was extremely tasty with a very flaky crust (top only, it was a pot pie) and savory filling. Several fish dishes, a number of interesting-sounding poultry (pheasant was my #2 choice).

    Big whiskey list, moderate beer list (with several ciders, yay), small by-the-glass wine list. It's steakhouse pricing, with entrees in the $22-38 range a la carte.

    If you're going to be out by the Fox river and want a special occasion meal, you really can't go wrong here.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #19 - February 24th, 2019, 7:42 pm
    Post #19 - February 24th, 2019, 7:42 pm Post #19 - February 24th, 2019, 7:42 pm
    Info:
    Balmoral Restaurant
    40W099 Illinois Route 64
    Campton Hills, IL 60175
    (331) 901-5224
    (331) 901-5225
    info@balmoralrestaurant.com
    http://www.balmoralrestaurant.com
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #20 - October 7th, 2019, 8:49 am
    Post #20 - October 7th, 2019, 8:49 am Post #20 - October 7th, 2019, 8:49 am
    I did not quote anybody

    I went there with a group the last Sunday in September. It was under an hour from a northwest suburb. Hidden around the right side of the counter where you walk in were foldover business cards giving a 20% discount for the entire party if anybody is over 65 or active/retired military. Hint: if you have 6 people going with no discount qualification, you could add me as your guest and still save money..... LOL

    Balmoral Restaurant
    (331) 901-5224 (phone number added later)
    40W099 IL-64
    Campton Hills, IL 60175
    http://www.balmoralrestaurant.com/

    The appetizers and Desserts were mostly, in my limited experience, unique and outstanding, and many were the best I have ever had.

    We had a preset banquet menu with 4 choices each for appetizer, entree and dessert, plus soup or salad. At my table of 6 we coordinated and offered tastes so we each got a sample of all but one of the desserts.

    Pictures to follow, since I'm having wild mouse problems: an accidental click and the next letter typed wipes out 5 minutes of typing. Apologies in advance, some photos were not till the dish was partly consumed. Also, if I can dig them up, I went with a similar group in August for afternoon tea. I think more of those pictures were out of focus, contributing to why I did not post back then (it wasn't a real meal, anyway)..
    Last edited by diversedancer on October 11th, 2019, 6:08 am, edited 4 times in total.
    --Carey aka underdog
  • Post #21 - October 7th, 2019, 9:11 am
    Post #21 - October 7th, 2019, 9:11 am Post #21 - October 7th, 2019, 9:11 am
    menu.jpg Our custom printed menu


    0-china.JPG served on real china


    1-bread.JPG Bread bowl
    Interesting and tasty assortment of breads.

    1-butter.JPG Butter served in style


    2-chickenlivermousse.JPG Chicken Liver Mousse
    Taste of heaven. Almost worth going just for this. So light and subtle.

    2-haggisdrambuie.JPG Haggis Drambrambui
    It was american haggis, not scottish haggis, meaning mild, not aromatic (or so I am told) and lacking authentic ingredients which cannot be sold for human or animal consumption in this country. It was nice, better than the canned I had 2 years ago, but....

    2-scotchegg.JPG Scotch Egg
    I only got a small taste, but it was very good

    2-shrimpmeloncheese.JPG Shrimp Watermelon & Goat's cheese
    only tasted the cheese, which was good.

    3-salad.JPG Salad
    (salad appeared to be just mesclun greens) I could drink a whole glass of the dressing, kind of a balsamic vinaigrette

    3-greenpeahamsoup.JPG Green pea with ham soup
    best I've ever had
    --Carey aka underdog
  • Post #22 - October 7th, 2019, 9:44 am
    Post #22 - October 7th, 2019, 9:44 am Post #22 - October 7th, 2019, 9:44 am
    4-beefwellington.JPG Beef Wellington
    Didn't really get a big enough taste, but seemed good, though nothing unique to my experience.

    4-campsieglennchicken.JPG Campsie Glen Chicken
    moist and tender, but no different than many fine restaurants.

    4-lambshank.JPG lamb shank
    My apologies, but I thought this could have been sitting on a steam tble at old country buffet for 3-4 hours. It was huge and fall apart tender, though.

    4-steamedsalmon.JPG Steamed Salmon
    was moist and tender, but not special, IMHO, and I prefer grilled, broiled or even fried (without breading)

    5-sides.jpg Green Beans, honey glazed carrots, breaded potato croquettes, mashed potatoes
    Sides came on a common plate for 3 people.

    6-breadbutterpudddding.JPG Bread and Butter pudding
    Another 'best in class'.

    6-crofterscheeseplate.JPG Crofters Cheese Plate
    I probably would have ordered the toffee pudding if I was alone, but somebody else had taken that, and the idea of a savory dessert appealed, and I am glad I did. Plus I got a whole lot more, especially because few samples were taken by others.

    6-islaystrawberrymerinngue.JPG Islay Strawberry Merengue
    photo from another table

    6-toffeepudding.JPG Sticky Toffee Pudding
    Tasty and different.

    7-coffee.JPG Coffee
    --Carey aka underdog
  • Post #23 - October 7th, 2019, 4:48 pm
    Post #23 - October 7th, 2019, 4:48 pm Post #23 - October 7th, 2019, 4:48 pm
    I thought I posted about them early this year. Definitely a nice place.
    (edit) Thanks for the thread merge.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang

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