Check out a new restaurant guide this summer at the Hinsdale Library

Kimberly Fornek
kfornek@pioneerlocal.com
June 18 4:15 p.m.

Restaurant resources

Mike Oetting’s restaurant guide: http://tinyurl.com/eliteeats

Other websites: yelp.com; Lthforum.com; Zagat.com; Chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/Dining

Instead of a summer reading club, why not try a summer eating program?

“Food is one of my passions,” said Hinsdale adult services librarian Mike Oetting, who led an recent discussion of area restaurants, called Elite Eats.

Oetting compiled a list of restaurants, organized by cuisine in nearby suburbs and Chicago. His sources were his own experience, co-workers, online reviews and input from people who attended his restaurant discussion last year.

“We had a lot of good feedback from the audience,” Oetting said.

Participants shared their opinions about restaurants on the list and suggested others that should be added.

To the 19 restaurants listed under Chinese or Thai cuisine, Steve Arens of Hinsdale suggested Oetting add the Jockey Restaurant in Westmont.

“We have never been disappointed,” Arens said.

The extensive menu at Jockey’s includes bento boxes and children’s meals.

Arens said he and his wife are “kind of foodies.”

“Our daughter is a chef, so we have had to up our game big time,” Arens said.

Oetting and Pat Dispensa of Indian Head Park both recommended Katy’s Dumpling House in Westmont for Chinese.

“It’s an authentic place,” Dispensa said. “They make their own noodles.”

Thipi Thai in La Grange was added to the choices for Thai food, based on the suggestion of someone who attended last year’s discussion.

Dispensa seconded the recommendation.

But Arens warned the food at Thipi That “can be hot,” as in spicy.

Oetting’s favorite Thai place is Mama Thai in Oak Park and his favorite Chinese is Lao Sze Chuan in Downers Grove.

Other categories in the Elite Eats restaurant guide Oetting compiled include Middle Eastern, Mexican, Bohemian, seafood and fried chicken. They range from white tablecloth, upscale restaurants, such as Il Poggiolo, to diners, such as Page’s, both in Hinsdale.

The upscale Mexican restaurant, Bien Trucha in Geneva, got a listing.

“I drove out there just to eat there and it was worth it,” Oetting said.

The list of Cajun restaurants is short, but includes Pappadeux Seafood in Westmont.

“My favorite dish is the crawfish platter with dirty rice,” Dispensa said. “I’ve had it dozens of times.”

Fontano Subs in Hinsdale, “a good spot for classic Italian submarine sandwiches,” is the first of 21 sandwich restaurants recommended.

The margaritas at El Ciné in Hinsdale got rave reviews, as did the buffalo burger at Country House in Clarendon Hills, and the corn fritters at White Fence Farm, which has a carryout location in Downers Grove.

People in the group mentioned which places are cash only or hard to find, and other tips.

About Mécénat, a steak and seafood restaurant in Western Springs, one person said, “It’s affordable at lunch, less so at dinner.”

Another person warned about billing mistakes at another restaurant.

“Make sure you check your receipt,” she said.

Oetting also provided a list of online sources with restaurant reviews. On Yelp.com, for example, a person can search for reviews by cuisine type and location.

“The reviews are done by consumers, so you have to take them with a grain of salt,” Oetting said.

Copies of the restaurant guide are available at the Hinsdale Library, 20 E. Maple St.

Tags:

Restaurant resources

Mike Oetting’s restaurant guide: http://tinyurl.com/eliteeats

Other websites: yelp.com; Lthforum.com; Zagat.com; Chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/Dining

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