Treadwell’s Travels – Davanti Enoteca – Western Springs, IL


Wanting to try a place that I have not tried before, became the inspiration for trying Davanti Enoteca, an Italian Restaurant, located in Western Springs, Illinois.

Walking in, right away I liked the energy and look of comfort of the dining room and bar. Seeing that my favorite position at the bar (I always choose a seat at the bar closest to the far end) was available, I immediately felt this was the place to be. A single bartender for the bar and the large bar area seating, made me wonder how the service would be?

The bartender was very efficient, and she seemed always in motion, although spread way to thin to offer Fabulous service, had she been capable of doing so. In fact, her personality seemed as though she wasn’t capable of offering Fabulous, personalized service, even if I had been the only person in the restaurant. After perusing the wine list and ordering my first glass, she returned serving the smallest pour of wine I have ever seen in my entire life of dining out.

I’m assuming she is beyond efficient at saving money for the company, since she obviously could squeeze more glasses of wine out of one bottle, than I ever thought possible. The wine list was good, pricey, especially for the pour, although enjoyable. I began with a Cheese and Meat Board that matched the continuing theme, pricy and scarce, especially the cheese offerings. I have never seen 3 pieces of cheese cut so small for a cheese board? On the other hand, the amount of Prosciutto was far more than adequate. The selections were all good, just not enough for the price, especially for the pricier “large” cheese board, as opposed to the lower priced one.  Maybe I should have requested less meat, and more cheese?

The Burrata was very good although not Fabulous. The Cauliflower Steak, was grilled to perfection, flavorful, and Fabulous. However, the Brussel Sprouts, topped with an over-easy egg, gave the Cauliflower some stiff completion for best dish.

A salad of Peas And Fava Beans was an excellent addition to a Fabulous Fare. One redeeming gesture from the barmaid, was a complimentary glass of Lemonchello at the end of the meal, although it appeared to be a homemade imitation that was a waste of calories.

Davanti Enoteca is a place I would like to return, since the food was Fabulous. Although there is a pause of concern regarding the service.

Guess What I Found?


Harry And Eddies, Hinsdale, Illinois – (Part One)


I recently found a Fabulous new restaurant in Hinsdale, IL.  Harry and Eddie’s is a restaurant that wants to compete with it’s neighbor just a couple of doors down and it has done a Fabulous job for just 2 days open. I enjoy eating at the bar to evaluate a restaurant and tonight was no exception. Sitting at the bar you can hear things you would be oblivious to, rather than at a comfy table. Dressed in blue, the bar seats were comfortable, however I think too many bar stools crowded the overall bar experience. The stools were literally crammed together. When dining out, it’s always about the experience, as Fabulous service will bring me back faster than Fabulous food. I can easily find Fabulous food, even at home, although finding Fabulous service is more of a challenge.

With two bartenders and less than 6 people at the bar, during my 2 hour epicurean adventure I thought the service would be flawless. Unfortunately the service was lacking, and should have been worked out at their soft opening during the previous Saturday. The gentleman bartender said (the bar) was ‘his baby’, that he was in charge, and had created the (somewhat limited) craft cocktail menu. The bartender (bar manager-?) had a ready smile, and personality to match the Champaign he served, bubbly and sparkling.

My only concern to Fabulous, was his lack of attention to every detail. No glass should ever be empty, and offers of more food when the appetizer plates were empty is a must for Fabulous. Even when he removed the finished plates, no suggestions of something more were tendered. Empty plates and empty glasses should always be acknowledged with suggestions of corrections. Four appetizers and a main dish were served with beautiful attention to detail and generous in portions. Although when complete, not even a suggestion of dessert. The food was Fabulous in every way. The look, the portion, the attention to detail – all were Fabulous.

The Zucchini Bites were crispy and lightly tempura fried to perfection, appearing to be fresh cut, rather than frozen. The Tomato, Basil and Cheese was Fabulous. Large, thick cuts of heirloom tomatoes were tasty, crisp, and fresh with summer flavor. The Avocado Toast, the best I have ever had. A large portion on freshly toasted bread and creamy avocado topped with peppery arugula. The contrast of flavors and textures created a Fabulous appetizer. In fact someone had actually asked me what the dish was, later when I was leaving. I told them it was the best and they should try it, and assured them they would not be disappointed. The final of the four was a creamy blend of Cheese and Honey served in a pot with a spoon to generously slather on the warm crusty bread, along with the honey and comb provided to compliment the dish.

The main dish was there nightly special of Shrimp and Grits. Being a southern boy, I have had my share of grits. The best of memory was the grits served many decades ago at the Regency Hyatt House on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, until I tried the chefs creation for his nightly offering. The grits were decadently delicious, creamy to perfection and seasoned to Fabulous. The shrimp were cooked tenderly, accompanied by Andouille sausage bites giving an additional hint of spice.

The general manager asked how the Shrimp and Grits were as the chef wanted to know, since it was the first of the nightly special served. I told him it was a much different Shrimp and Grits, however I also replied that the dish was Fabulous, and asked the GM to please give the chef my accolades. The general manager was nice although automated. It did give me a feeling that there was concern for my experience. The food experience was Fabulous and I hope the service catches up to the food. Although not overpriced for portions and quality, it was not economy fare. I will try it again and would be willing order the same selection again, although I do want to try some of the other offerings, while hoping the service has been polished to perfection.

Starting a culinary tour soon, so look for a review, that might be from your neighborhood.

John Treadwell  772-453-4137