Highly Recommended **** How many times have I driven up Waukegan Road, from Dundee to Lake Cook Road? How many times have UI had a meeting at Max and Benny’s in the Brookside Shopping Center in Northbrook? Over the years, probably 3 dozen trips into the center (with Nickel City being a favorite site for the grandkids) and never really noticed what The Pavilion/Petergof signage at the back of the center was. I now know! It is the best of Eastern European dining along with a catering facility that opens monthly on one Friday as a night club in the burbs. Sounds like a lot to be in a simple shopping plaza overlooking Route 94 on the way to Milwaukee, but the other night, we dined in the marvelous dining room of Pavilion, and had a wonderful experience.
Greeted by the manager, Amy, we started off our experience with a cocktail. They have a great selection of wines to choose from and they do not skimp on the portion, a carafe is brought to the table with your glass so you get all of your beverage. Of course, being a Russian establishment, the Vodka drinks are plentiful. They may be the North Shore’s version of “Russian Tea Room”, but how many of you are aware that you can enjoy a similar experience in Northbrook, without all the fuss of driving downtown and parking in a garage. Try it- you will love the experience.
We did not do the Vodka, rye and pickles as I have had that experience before. Amy had made some pre-selections for us: starters- Mushroom Flatbread (Portobello mushroom and spinach topped with goat cheese). NOTE: I am not a mushroom lover, but this was a very tasty treat and I enjoyed each bite. We also enjoyed the Savoury Meat Crepes (homemade butter crepes stuffed with chicken and topped with a creamy mushroom sauce). I found myself dipping my bread into the sauce and enjoying this as well. I had become a “mushroom eater”!
We also enjoyed a marvelous salad- The Pavilion Signature Shrimp Salad: Mesclun mix, dried cranberries, pineapple chunks, diced mango and caramelized almonds, tossed in a light vinaigrette dressing. Topped then with your choice of Coconut or Tempura shrimp. These were the tenderest and juiciest of shrimp we have had- this is a must. Easily shared by two.
For our entrees Chicken Kabob (they also have pork, lula (beef and pork), Filet mignon. Our chicken was very juicy. In fact, Jane and I were both glad that we had some left overs to enjoy as an afternoon treat on Sunday (along with the salad, we were both in heaven, once again). The other entree was Beef Stroganoff (lean sirloin beef, sautéed and simmered in sour cream, mushrooms,beef stock and onions, topped with grated parmesan cheese. This is served over mashed potatoes (engaging and very tasty). It is also available over a bed of noodles, the way my Bubbie (Russian grandmother) used to prepare it. This dish brought me back to my youth and our Sunday family dinners.For desert, a special Spartak with dates and berries. Fit for a King!
As I watched others being served, I was able to witness some of the items that we did not partake of:
Beet Salad, Chopped Salad, a wonderful looking Bacon Cheeseburger, a dreamy skirt steak sandwich, a Chilean Sea Bass and a Lobster ravioli. Lots of chops and steaks were being served (the double lamb chop, cooked to order was sumptuous looking- oh well, maybe next time!). They also have a splendid Ukrainian Borscht- wow!
As the time went by Jane and I thought about all the friends that we have who would truly enjoy this experience. Not just at dinner, but they are open for and have a luncheon menu as well( starting at under $10) They also have an area that is utilized for games such as Bridge, Mah Johng and Canasta, so you can enjoy an afternoon with your freinds out of the house, and have no clean-up.
The Pavilion has been the “little secret” to the Russian Community, but it is now time for the entire city and suburbs to know that there is a great mix of Eastern European, French and American dining available right in your back yard. The Petergof division is a wonderful banquet room for that special event in your life and on aomw Fridays nights, serves as a night club, with entertainment and dancing along with the fine dining experience of The Pavilion.
The Pavilion is located at 577 Waukegan Road in the Brookside Plaza. This is where the entrance/exit to 94 is just north of Dundee Road (there is a stoplight at the entrance). The phone number to make reservations or get more information is 847-715-9440 ( Petergof is 847-715-9445)- online visit www.pavilionchicago.com