A romantic spot right under a train station? I know, it’s hard to believe. But even though Chef’s Station sits directly under the Davis Metra stop (and just a few blocks away from Tapas Barcelona), noise isn’t a problem at this Evanston eatery. The atmosphere is classy but casual. The low-lighting makes for a romantic meal, but the Levi’s jean pockets holding flatware and pieces of copper plumbing serving as light fixtures keep it light-hearted and whimsical. While the restaurant’s menu may be upscale, the owner, Peter Mills, wants his guests to feel comfortable, so many of his decorations are off-the-beaten-path. Many of these quirky pieces of décor are actually inside jokes. For example, several racks of numerous unusual ties hang on one wall. Originally, the owner wanted his staff to wear these ties, but when they turned them down, he decided to hang them up instead. Blue leather director’s chairs, textured blue walls, and wood paneling create a unique dining experience that you won’t soon forget.
The menu at Chef’s Station is a wide variety of fine dining dishes with inventive twists. Lying outside of Chicago’s jurisdiction, some foodies may be glad to know that they can order a delicious pan-seared foie gras, currently being served with caramelized bananas and port reduction. (Foie gras is banned from being served in Chicago city limits.) The Minnesota pork tenderloin with black barley is absolutely delicious with a great presentation. The menu changes monthly, and diners can visit often and still find something new to try. People have been known to drive in from just about everywhere for the one dish that never leaves the menu: meatloaf with roasted beef bordelaise, paired with confit onion mashed potatoes and topped with crispy onions. And if you can’t decide what you want, you can opt for the seven-course tasting menu, a great deal at $50—on Monday nights, only $40. Each course fills you up to just the right point, but the taste leaves you wanting more.
Chef’s Station ($$$$): 915 Davis St (Evanston); 847-570-9821
Sun, Tues – Thurs: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (reservations required)
Street parking available; pay lot; Fri – Sat valet
Public Trans: Bus # 205, 208 or Purple Line train (Davis) or Metra train (Davis)