Monday, August 29, 2011

the cellar at the stained glass

the stained glass bistro has a reputable standing in the dining scene in evanston as a fancy dining restaurant. however, the cellar at the stained glass, an offshoot of the sister restaurant offers more affordable tapas-style dining. i also read that both restaurants share the same kitchen so my guess is you can expect the same quality of culinary expertise from chef victor hernandez at the cellar.



one friday evening after work, christina and i planned for a sleepover at her coach house since her bf's away on a conference. dinner at the cellar was all part of our weekend hangout plan and she wanted to share with me one of her go-to spots to dine in evanston. in fact, the reason why i wanted to try the food there ia because she's been raving about her favorite dishes.




the decor is simple but cozy in a petite space. fitting to its name, there are some wine barrels as you enter the restaurant and wine racks lining the left wall. the bar is sitting at the back right corner of the room.



a glance at their menu and i wanted to order it all. there were cuisines from different regions of the world and they all sounded delicious but with some will power (and the realizationwe were both on a budget.. hehe), we decided to keep it to three dishes to share.




a hint of europe :: ceasar salad | romaine lettuce . garlic croutons . creamy ceasar dressing . anchovy ($3.50)



yes i know.. of all salads to get..

but i have to say that simple made right isn't easy. i love ceaser salad when it's tossed in homemade dressing. the crisp freshness of the romaine lettuce and the crunchy garlicky croutons, tossed with the creamy, flavorful dressing weaved with shavings of fresh parmesan cheese. a tad over generous with the cheese and a lil too much dressing actually made me crave for a lil more of the romaine lettuce. the dressing is yummy and i could taste the great quality of the ingredients. i love the touch of the extra slices of anchovy which is optional that give that extra salty brininess.  lovely.

all american :: micro burgers | black angus sirloin . brioche bun . lettuce . onion . tomato . shoe string fries . truffle mayo ($3.50 each)





this is the simplest most basic burger sliders but dang it's great. at first glance, i thought that these sophisticated sliders might be dry but when i bit into it, i was mistaken. the meat was really juicy (done medium) which was all absorbed by the soft toasted brioche. i, for one, usually take the onion out but they were sliced thinly enough that it didn't leave a lingering onion bite at the end. the truffle mayo was on the lighter side and i wished there was more of that earthy flavor. you have the option to add applewood smoked bacon and cheese for additional 50 cents each but i say you don't even need it. burgers like these that are seasoned and cooked right with fresh ingredients don't need additional stuff on it.


some of the shoe string fries were not crispy enough but they were seasoned well! it always seems that whenever i order fries with christina it ends up being lackluster. :( burger awesome, fries just alright.

worldwide :: ale-steamed mussels | ginger . shiitake mushroom . grilled garlic toasts ($10.50)



me. a mussels lover. is it any surprise that i had to order these?

and i loved, loved this mussels dish which were bathing in a flavorful broth with an undertone of asian flavors. the addition of brocollini and the fresh oysters mushroom with the mussels would make such great toppings atop the buttery and crispy garlic toasts. or you know just dip those toasts in the broth. well on top of that,  i also took spoonfuls of the broth once we finished the mussels - so good! think i literally drank it all like soup till there was no more. haha. in terms of freshness, there were maybe one or two morsels that were still shut tight but overall fresh mussels :)

i really liked the food at the cellar at the stained glass. the most pleasant surprise for me is probably the micro burgers cos i didn't expect myself to enjoy it as much as i did and without bacon at that! haha. easy going atmosphere and friendly service with not too expensive of a price tag.

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others


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