Alex's Washington Gardens
Alex's Washington Gardens

Alex's Washington Gardens

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.alexswashingtongardens.com/
  • Phone: 8474320309
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Italian, Pizzeria
  • Executive Chef: Jose Briseno
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wine
  • Catering: Our entire restaurant and bar are available for private lunch or afternoon gatherings as we open at 5 PM for regular business. For off-site catering, we can provide food only, or servers and bartenders as you wish. Call Jim, the owner, at 847-980-1954 to discuss party and catering options.

Getting there

  • Public Transit: Metra North Line is two blocks away.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street parking with valet parking Tuesday through Saturday. Complimentary Valet Parking Tuesday through Thursday.
A word from Alex's Washington Gardens
Made from scratch, family recipe Italian cuisine in Highwood since 1932, and at it's current location since 1982. Serving a selection of Fresh Seafood delivered daily including our very popular Prince Edward Island Steamed Mussels. Also, we offer some of the best thin crisp crust pizza, which was the first pizza served on the North Shore at Scornavacco's since 1944. All the classics are here, homemade pastas, hand carved and pounded out chicken and veal parmigiana, limone, piccata, and of course lasagnas, meatballs, and of course homemade desserts.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Alex's Washington Gardens reviews from OpenTable diners
79 reviews since June 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (51)fit for foodies (26)good for groups (17)kid-friendly (14)vibrant bar scene (9)hot spot (9)special occasion (7)romantic (3)notable wine list (2)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Best pizza around
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    AWG has one of the best thin crust pizzas in the NorthShore. This last time we had sausage, basil, pepperoni, and mushroom... Absolutely delightful. And don't forget Jim's Favorite salad and some great calamari to go with it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful family friendly spot
    Sunny
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Loved Alex's Washington Gardens in Highwood. Great food - family friendly - and warm caring staff. Food was very well made; could tell homemade and not reheated stuff like at some Italian Restaurants. Highly recommend folks go and try it out. We will be back - and location (steps away) from the HIghwood Pumpkin Festival (which is annual ) made it ever more attractive and cozy!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Gracia
    Thebob
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Our service was fabulous. The food was great. We always enjoy our dining experience. We love the friendliness of all the wait staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice, but...
    foodie
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    .made a reservation for 5 & was dragged by the front window..cramped. Had to call a waitress over to place a drink order. Made a mistake with our order but promptly fixed. Food was very good. Had to hunt down waitress for check.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The only place to eat in Highwood
    HollywoodVIP
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    If you've not eaten here, you must! The food is fresh and delicious, adhering to the original recipes of the family that opened it! The bar tenders are expert-- every drink is generous. The staff is always welcoming, professional and charming. It truly is the neighborhood gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Alex's Washngton Gardens
    Lesley
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Staff very friendly. Restaurant decorated old school...very comfortable and reminiscent of eating at Italian restaurants of my childhood. I ordered the salmon with capers, and that was delicious accompanied with a side of angel hair pasta with their tomato cream sauce which was also delicious. My husband had the spaghetti with meat sauce, which he thoroughly enjoyed. The meal came with soup or salad...we both ordered the salad. One of my pet peeves is a salad that is just thrown on a plate... brown leaves and all...and the lettuce core (it was iceberg lettuce). For me, the salad and the bread set the stage for the quality of the meal to come...so the salad was disappointing, bread was good though, as the meal. Next time for pizza!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another Great Dinner
    joejul1530
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    My wife and I have been going to Washington Gardens for years. It is one of our favorite restaurants in Highwood. We always are greeted warmly by the owner and out table was waiting for us. Their Steak Al Forno was excellent and the salmon was amazing. Great service. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food
    triangleartVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We have been going to this restaurant for many years. Have not been dissapointed in the food and the service/
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • GREAT SERVICE
    chowhoudchickVIP
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    We had wonderful service from top to bottom. The food was awesome. We will definitely be back!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Kelly's Back!
    SlainteVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    After a five year absence, Kelly has rejoined Beth and the rest of the amazing staff at AWG serving the most flavorful steak in Highwood. If you haven't dined at this wonderful Italian restaurant, do yourself a favor and make a reservation. Great food, friendly service, and generous libations! What else could you want?!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Relaxing evening
    Loverome2
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Food was delicious, service was excellent. We were not rushed but allowed to sit and talk and enjoy the evening.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love Washington Gardens
    bsull
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We love Washington Gardens. Food is outstanding 2 members of my family love the frog legs. Ambience is outstanding and we always request the fun table. Beth has always been our waitress and she is outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • triangleartVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    as always, the place was jumping..we were taken care of very nicely
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • too crowded
    Like2eatitalianVIP
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    They added 2 extra tables and we felt like we were sitting on top of the table next to us.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • crabsisters3
    Crabsisters3
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Another great experience at Washington Gardens. I appreciated how they honored the reservation on time and the service was "spot on." We didn't feel rushed and the servers timing was excellent. Can't wait to go hack!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • All is well
    Murph
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Everything is good but a little pricey. Food is good and service is fine. We were seated exactly at the time of our reservtion.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Italian Dishes
    tunkie
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Enjoyed the sauce on the Chicken Marsala topped with mushrooms.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The host is welcoming
    jerry
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    When you enter the host / owner makes you feel very welcome. We waited a little longer for a table the host felt would be better for the three of us. He was right. The food was great at a reasonable price . We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food and Service
    GroovyTravellerVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Steal a la Willie was outstanding. Other 3 meals were great. Everyone enjoyed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pass this place up
    EducatedpalateVIP
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Pizza has cardboard crust. Mussels were tough and overlooked shrimp de Jonge were buried in mounds of oily burnt breadcrumbs and shrimp were also overlooked. They need a new chef or a new owner. Probably the worst food in Highwood
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Always great! Salmon Oreganata was terric. Pizza always yummy. Great pour for drinks. The chocolate cake was amazing. Kelly was a very attentive server. Thank you
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Washington Gardens came highly recommended for a romantic setting for a first date restaurant. I had a reservation specifically asking for a quiet table away from the bar. Upon arrival I reminded the hostess that I wanted a quiet table. While we were seated away from the bar, we were not seated at one of the more secluded tables. At times the noise level was so loud that my date and I couldn't hear each other.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • triangleartVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    As always. It was fun! We met many people that we knew. Food, as always, was outstanding Service was great. They have the best waitstaff around. The two of us love to go there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good surprise
    citykidVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    i had no expectations, and therefore was very happily surprised with the great menu, good food, and good service. of italian restaurants i would rate the food as 9 out of 10. very good wait staff, and good service. for dessert, do not skip the cannoli; maybe the best ever, and the waitress said home made. i would go back.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • uninspired
    jwtms
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    After a decent starter of tender but under-seasoned calamari everything went downhill. My Caprese salad, although a nice size, was layered with unripened, flavorless tomatoes and supermarket mozzarella. My husband ordered the Salmon teriyaki at the urging of the waitress (I was suggesting something that resembled Italian flavors but she said it was a bestseller and amazing). The salmon was cooked through (should have been cooked a little less) and the teriyaki sauce was...not something that should be served at an Italian restaurant. The side of rice, in addition to being cold, was something that tasted like what would come out of a cafeteria. It wasn't worth trying dessert. Too bad Alex's chooses not to use higher quality ingredients.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 54 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 27, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance3.9
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 264 reviews are from the Alex's Washington Gardens reviews archive.
  • Love this place
    Jamie1
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Alex's Washington Gardens was such a great place to enjoy a really tasty meal! So glad my sister picked it out for us to enjoy good food and good talk!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Neighborhood staple
    BE715
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    Great italian cuisine. Best bar pour on the North Shore!
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • As good as ever
    Munchkin514VIP
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    This restaurant has been a Highwood staple forever, and the food and service have been immune to trends and fads. The food is what I would expect at an excellent Italian's cook's home and the welcome is equal.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never disappoints
    ClaireroseVIP
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    An oldie and goodie in town. We love the no nonsense Italian eatery with friendly service close to home. Portions are huge so leftovers were enjoyed by kids later that night. We will return soon
    Special Features:
    late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Alex's Late Seating
    tolucabirdVIP
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Even though we had a reservation, we had to wait 15 minutes for a reservation. We were uncomfortable in a booth about half the size of a normal booth.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 3 out of 4
    GroovyTravellerVIP
    Dined on 5/25/2014
    Three dinners were great. Lasagna was overcooked. Veal marsala and bbq salmon were very enjoyable.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner for two
    RunnerREH
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    We were warmly greeted but a bit early so off to their bar we went. Their their drink pours were very generous and the atmosphere was fun. The menu had plenty of tasty choices. My wife enjoyed a type of chicken fettuccine alfredo dish that was prepared with cranberries and nice tasty bits of basil. Quite tasty. I enjoyed a tortellini dish that was stiffed with cheese and veal and covered by a rich earthy mushroom sauce. Both dishes were served with a house salad and you had the choice of many dressings. To finish we split a piece of a fresh strawberry pie on a nutty gram cracker crust. A wonderful recommendation from our waitress. It was a great night out an a very good dining experience. Nice place for good conversation and food.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delizioso!
    SlainteVIP
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    My wife and I dined on a Friday evening with our daughter. One of the many reasons I enjoyed our evening at Washington Gardens is how accommodating the kitchen is. The way my daughter orders in restaurants would make Meg Ryan's character in "When Harry Met Sally" proud. But to our delightful server, Beth, it was all no worries. All entrees were wonderfully prepared and my wife, who isn't a fan of red meat, savored a morsel of my steak il forno.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • oh what a night
    tigerVIP
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    another great experience... just good stuff! the staff does a great job!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It started out okay then....
    EateatVIP
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    2 people ordered the eggplant parmigian and the eggplant could not be chewed...very rubbery. The waitress took it off the check with no questions but they should really take that dish off the menu. A few other people wrote the same review. My kids pasta was good and the fried calamari was also good. the waitress so nice.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Italian Steakhouse
    SlainteVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    AWG NOT only serves delicious libations, pasta, pizza, and seafood, but now with the recent addition of Willie's "My Favorite Inn" NY strip steak il forno, this north shore landmark serves very flavorful, juicy, tender steak. The toughest part of dining here is deciding which entree to order.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great pizza
    Thebob
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We love their thin pizza. The rest of the food is good too. Love that you can get 1/2 orders of pasta
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tired over priced will not return
    GoldieVIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    We were looking forward to Classic Italian. Instead we were left waiting 30 minutes for a table. The wait space was cramped-but led us assume a great meal.Once seated the booth was quite worn leaving us to contend with springs that made it uncomfortable! The bread was poor-the cheese was reminiscent of the large tub from costco. We ordered two of the specials-which is scary in retrospect because they were poor-not even Olive Garden quality. The eggplant was tough and difficult to cut as well as chew. The fish was tasty but not worth the price. The service was good however and once seated very quick, pleasant and efficient. We were disappointed and will not return in the near future-too many other good Italian restaurants in the area.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dinner at WG
    Norm
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Once again another great meal ata reasonable price. They always make a nice full drink. Wasit staff is wonderful and make for a great visit.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First Time Delight
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    Alex's Washington Gardens was a wonderful first time experience, from the teamwork of the wait staff to the the comlimentary appetizer, and finally to the excellent meal. My family moved to the area several months ago and we always noticed how busy the restaurant appeared as we drove by in our car. We finally decided to give it a try and we are very glad we did. The reservation process through Open Table was very efficient. Although the restaurant was packed, we only waited a few minutes for the table to be cleared. I was impressed on how all the employees teamed together efficiently in an effort to make for a pleasant dining experience. The pizza was excellent, as was my wife's dish (delectable italian fish dish?). We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate