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CLOSED Last visit July, 2009
As far as I know, Chicago no longer has a Hungarian restaurant after Paprikash closed their doors on their restaurant on Diversey & Laramie and headed out to the Northwest suburb of Arlington Heights. The owner of Epicurean is the former owner of Paprikash (sold it in 2004) and the food and menu are almost identical.
On the weekends they have live music, this Friday night they had a strolling duo with a guitar and violin, my mother in law, who is part Hungarian, just loved them. They stopped by our table and asked for requests and they played a chardash for her, she said she would have come just for the music!
Favorite Dish: The food is excellent with generous size portions, from the appetizers through the dessert. Start out the meal with langos, a fried bread that is puffy and coated with garlic, be careful not to fill up on this bread as it is addictive. One order is enough for 4 people. You can also order some cheese to use as a spread on the complimentary bread they bring to the table.
For an entree I almost always get Chicken Paprikash, chicken in a creamy paprika sauce, served with a generous portion of homemade spatzle. It's virtually the same here as it was at Paprikash-delicious! My husband usually gets the Wiener Schnitzel, served with potatoes but tonight he tried Mosoni Style Pork, pork chops topped with ham, sautéed mushrooms and smoked cheese with square egg noodles and caramelized, shredded white cabbage. It was good but not as good as the Schnitzel.
For dessert, I've had the chestnut puree, a Hungarian speciality, and it is very good but tonight I had the walnut crepes, filled with walnut cream, raisins and topped with chocolate sauce. My husband enjoys the crepes with jam.
On our most recent visit in July 2009 we enjoyed the evening buffet offered Wednesday-Friday for $11.95 per person, they had all of my favorites-8-10 meat dishes, spatzle, 2 soup choices, a few vegetables, a salad bar and 2 dessert choices, crepes with jam and cake. They also have a buffet during the week for lunch Monday-Saturday for $7.95 and for Sunday brunch for $11.95. Or you can still order a la carte.
They currently do not have a liquor license but you can bring your own wine, corkage fee is $7.50. Beer is still listed on their website, but they do not serve it currently.
Updated Mar 3, 2013
Address: 4431 Roosevelt Road
NOTE: This restaurant is no longer in business.
Many major cities in the United States have a book that is sold by a number of different fund raising organizations called "The Entertainment Book". In this book are usually a number of Buy 1 Get 1 offers on different fast food and pizza places. They also have a section at the beginning of the book with some really good deals ($10 to $25) off some off the beaten path restaurants. On a Saturday in July, 2009 we happened to be looking for a restaurant near the Elmhurst area where we were earlier in the day and saw the Epicurean listed in Hillside which is really just about a 10 minute ride from where we were. So off we went.
Before we sat down the hostess asked us if we had ever been here before. Since we hadn't she proceeded to tell us about the buffet which is offered at all times. After our drink order was taken we were served some warm fried break with garlic on top. You can see a picture of this on the other Epicurean restaurant review from VT member DABS. Sue commented that this was very similar to a bread her mom use to make at home called Slabia(?) which was deep fried but without the garlic. As we perused the menu, we ordered the cheese appetizer called Korozott which we (especially me the cheese lover) enjoyed.
Onto the main course, Sue had the Belszinszelet Budapest which is a steak filet. It was served on a wooden plate and can be seen in Picture #2. I had the more traditional Pork Goulash or Sertesportkolt which can be seen in Picture #3.
Picture #4 shows some of the interior of the restaurant and #5 is a mannequin in the restaurant. The owner took great pride in this coat and showed me how it is worn in the winter (what the picture shows) and then if you reverse it, it is worn at other times when the weather is cool.
Favorite Dish: Since it was our first time in the restaurant I really won't list a favorite, but instead will list the dessert that Sue and I shared. We had the Somloi Galuska which is a sponge cake with raisins and soaked in rum and chocolate. Very good!!
Updated Apr 26, 2011
Address: 4431 West Roosevelt Road Hillside, Illinois
Phone: 708 449 1000