CAMPARI RISTORANTE...formerly known as Bacci's Trattoria - Campari is now under new dedicated and passionate owners: amazing Chef Gabe & personable Jay! They have brought back fantastic food and incredible ambiance!
Their pasta is fresh.
Their menu is simple and flavorful.
Every table, of course, has fresh homemade pesto and olive oil waiting for the comp bread you receive before your meal. :)
This is one of historic Waukegan's revitalized downtown restaurants and it cannot be missed as Waukegan has been lacking an Italian restaurant to call home far too long so please GO! GO! GO!
The restaurant is VERY warm and cozy with a bar and plenty of seats (tall stools with cushions and full armrests!). The kitchen can be seen from inside the restaurant which adds to its sweet charm. Watching Gabe create his masterpieces makes the cuisine taste even better! :) What a sight! It's so romantic and dimly lit which I absolutely love. Being inside Campari brings me back to small restaurants I've enjoyed in Italy where the food melts in your mouth and every one of your senses are stimulated. That stimulation keeps you coming back for more and more because it feels/tastes so good.
The servers are fun & knowledgeable of wines and dish ingredients. This is not your average Italian joint by any means. :)
Favorite Dish: I have sampled several items on their menu thus far:
1. Angel hair pasta with carbonara sauce = A+++++ $12.00 (this pasta sauce is to die for and they make it without the traditional peas-thankfully!) MY ULTIMATE FAVORITE DISH! I highly recommend adding scallops or shrimp for $12 or $11.
2. Bruscetta comes with four toasts and a ton on top = A+ $7.95
3. Tilapia w/roasted zucchini and risotto = B+ (I'm not a real fish lover but it was quite full of flavor and fresh) $23.00
4. Tiramisu = A One of the best I've had since traveling to Italy! Fresh, rich and quite creamy. $7.00
5. Fantastic Chocolate Martinis for only $9.00 each! A
6. Angel hair pasta with alfredo sauce and added sea scallops = B+ $25.00
7. Calamari appetizer = A $9.00
8. Pistachio gelato = A ~$6.00
9. Angela hair w/white clam sauce (white vongole) = A+ $18.00 (this is the best white clam sauce I've had in the area, so garlicy-the clams are plentiful and fresh!) NOTE: they have taken this off the menu but it may be available if the ingredients are on hand, just ask...you'll never know until you ask. :)
10. Hit-the-spot margaritas = A+
11. Lemon shrimp appetizer = A $9.00 (The shrimp are huge, the lemon is not overbearing.)
12. Italian cream cake = A+ $6.00
13. London broil = AAA+++ $24.95 (I have never had this dish before until now and there are no words for how tender the beef is, being more of a seafood person, it takes top notch prepared meat to get my vote-this is EXCELLENT!)
HOURS: Monday - Friday both lunch and dinner. Saturdays dinner only. CLOSED Sundays. Exact times are on their website.
Bistro 17...it's not a French Bistro, that's for sure!
And you know what, that's not a bad thing. :) It's an American-style bistro with excellent burgers!
This restaurant is very clean, modern and swanky.
It can get very loud but that only adds to the atmosphere on a Saturday night, people are there for wine and a good time.
The staff was very attentive.
I think this restaurant is still trying to find itself and it should have no problem doing so if the theatre continues to bring in acts.
Favorite Dish: I ordered the BBQ bacon cheddar burger (under $10, I believe) and it came with your choice of french fries or homemade chips and coleslaw. The burger was made to order, very large and on uniquely large bun w/all the usual toppings. I chose the homemade chips that were refreshing and light compared to your usual thick and heavy fry. The coleslaw was not that flavorful and I was happy they gave a small amount so there was limited guilt in wasting it.
They do not have chocolate liquor for chocolate martinis much to my sadness but they did make me a Bailey Martini and it was great. :)
UPDATE: AS OF 12/31/07, THE RESTAURANT IS CLOSING FOR GOOD. I'M DEVASTATED.
My favorite neighborhood "fine dining" joint!
I love Madison Avenue! For everything it represents, i.e., old Waukegan...the place to go for good solid food, good solid service. It is our fine dining and I couldn't love it more. White table cloths, fabulous bread loaf before every meal and simple salad to start you off is exactly what a night out in Waukegan is all about.
Now, it's not Gibson's Steakhouse by any stretch of the imagination and quite honestly, I've never had a steak there. :) But Waukegan isn't Chicago by any stretch of the imagination either so, it is what it is.
We always get a table with a view of Lake Michigan and you know what, go there now, while the view is still available b/c once Waukegan cleans up that lakefront, there's no guarantee a huge highrise won't ruin the one thing Madison Avenue overlooks!
Favorite Dish: Hands down the two BEST dishes on their menu are....#1 Shrimp de Jonghe and #2 Chicken Kiev! Now, my husband may reverse that order but nonetheless, they know what they're doing with these items. The kievs are always bursting with butter and flavor and cooked to perfection. The Shrimp de Jonghe is ALWAYS the right amount of butter and garlic.
Some other menu must-eats are:
1. Baked French Onion Soup
2. Twice Baked Potato
*Their chocolate martinis are on the small side compared to other establishments but I still enjoy them. :)
Open Mic Night on Thursdays.
Monday through Friday · 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Monday through Thursday · 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Friday and Saturday · 4:00 p.m. 11:00 p.m.
Sunday · 2:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Extended Hours on Request
Take-out Available, and we've done this several times!
How can their best dish be a Taco Caesar Salad Wrap?
OK, they claim to be Lake County's Favorite Mexican Restaurant and I'll say this, they're my favorite in all of Lake County! :)
Willie is always there and always attentive to your requests/needs. The staff is extremely friendly. I lost an earring at the restaurant, one that I purchased in Venice, Italy many years ago and it meant a lot to me and they scoured the restaurant for this little thing and actually found it a day later and returned it to me. :)
The atmosphere is festive on Saturdays and you can enjoy the mariachisand other various singers that, naturally, come to your table. ;)
Favorite Dish: Here's their entire menu online.
Their tacos are awesome, their guac is awesome and fresh, their taco salads are huge and the ground meat is extremely flavorful and of course, my favorite is the taco caesar salad wrap (w/chicken), to die for! The grilled chicken soooo good.
Every meal is served with endless salsa and hot/fresh tortilla chips and you can easily fill up on these.
There are no chocolate martinis here but their homemade margaritas are absolutely fantastic and a must, two of them always have me feeling good! ;)
Monday— Thursday, 11:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
A cool & clean bar!
Green Town Tavern, formerly known as Hussey's on the Bridge is a two level bar that has balconies upstairs for a breath of fresh air and a smoke as the upstairs is smoke-free.
The staff was attentive and friendly. The food was served promptly and you can tell they have it together, especially on a busy Friday night.
A welcomed addition to Waukegan's up and coming downtown area. :)
Favorite Dish: Their caesar salad is awesome! The dressing is some of the best I've had in a long time and the portion is large. Their Friday Fish Fry is NOT all-you-can-eat and that's OK b/c the cod is not worth it. I will not order it again b/c I'm quite particular in my breaded fish. ;)
I believe this place is better off with traditional bar food that is mostly on their menu: burgers, beefs, bombers, patti melts, brats, lots of sandwiches w/plenty of toppings, chili, crinkle fries, spagetti, shrimp bisque, etc.
My friends ordered a variety of the above bar basics and were happy with everything. I was the only odd man out with an unsatisfactory experience with the cod. What can I say? Their french fries are good though. ;)
They have Tacos Tuesday on Wednesday and rumor has it... they're pretty good.
They serve breakfast on Saturday and Sundays, see their website for specific hours.
Had probably the driest burger that I've ever had. They don't ask you how you want it cooked, so I guess dry must be the standard. Staff was entirely rude. Never go to this restaurant if you plan on making it to a show at the Genesee, as no matter how much time you leave, the slow staff will never get even the simplest order ready in enough time. Manager yelled at us when we complained that on a slow night, it took over 40 minutes to receive pasta because they had to cook it up fresh. I figured they had a trained Italian chef back there making fresh dough for it, but it came out looking and tasting like Chef Boyardee. After being yelled at and harassed, they went ahead and added a $10 tip for themselves without my consent or authorization. My credit company is now investigating them. They're a bunch of thieves.
Favorite Dish: None. The burger was dry, the chicken fingers were soggy, and the "fresh" pasta that took over 40 minutes to receive, tasted like Chef Boyardee.
Dogs, Brats, Burgers and Frito Pies!
It's great to get a snack and walk to the end of the pier and on a clear day you can see the Chicago skyline, yes, the skyline 50 miles south.
Favorite Dish: The best items are the frito pies (fritos, cheese & chili) and hot dogs! You load all your hot dog toppings on yourself and can be as generous or stingy as you desire. :)
They're closed in the winter, usually open from May to October. There's ample parking and lots of geese & other birds in the area for the kiddies to watch.
Incredible sauce and excellent crust. They also sell their pizzas frozen for take home which you can't beat! :) Very simple, quality-induced experience.
Favorite Dish: Sausage pizza all the way! The sauce is unique and flavorful. This is the only pizza place I'll eat sausage on, it's that good.
They also sell Italian Bomber sandwiches that are worth a try.
They finally accept visa. :) OH and they deliver!
We just got back from vacation and found this restaurant to be absolutely wonderful. The food was the best Mexican we've ever had, the waitress had a wonderful personality and was very helpful, and the prices were quite reasonable. My husband never before really liked Mexican food, so he went along grudgingly. He's now a convert! Everything is cooked from scratch (no opened cans here!) and fresh, made to order. The salsa, guacamole, tortillas, etc. are all 'homemade' and excellent.
There were many options for me personally, being a vegetarian. The hardest thing is to choose from all the varied entrees on the menu. The meat eater will have many more options, of course.
The restaurant was also spotlessly clean.
In general, on a 1 to 5 scale, I'd rate this place a 10-star! It's really that great!
Favorite Dish: I've only been there once as it's out of my home area. I had the chile relleno and it was wonderful.
PIES! This place has some of the best pies anywhere, and they're a chain! I know, hard to believe. Anyway, I like their peanut butter pie and French Silk, but everything here is good. They have other foods too, which are kind of Denny's-style. ;)
Favorite Dish: peanut butter pie
Not a restaurant at all, but a dish.... this area used to have a large concentration of eastern European immigrants (many Slovenes), and a lot still remain. You may have to search around, but find a bakery in Waukegan that makes potica (pronounced puh-tee-za)... it's like a coffee cake, but so much better!
It's kind of a truck-stop cafe, or so it is advertised, but the inside is basically a family-style restaurant. Anyway, I went here for breakfast and the food was excellent (albeit loaded in calories and fat and such), and their coffee was one of the best cups I've had.
Favorite Dish: breakfast skillet
For most people in Waukegan, I'm sure this nearly fast food place is of little consequence, but I think they have the best fried chicken anywhere. I live in KFC's hometown now, and I STILL can't stand their food. No, Brown's is definitely the best. Hehe... although, meal I just described above is incredibly greasy and not good for you. It's ok... it tastes great!
Favorite Dish: fried chicken legs, fried mushrooms, biscuits, and cole slaw