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  • Inovasi

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Inovasi Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://inovasi.us
  • Email: john@inovasi.us
  • Phone: (847) 295-1000
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30-1:30
    Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00 - Close
    Closed Sunday
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: John des Rosiers
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Entertainment: We feature live local musicians in our bar area every Wednesday evening from 6:00-9:00pm.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Route 176
  • Public Transit: Metra Rail stop Lake Bluff, 200 ft from the front door
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Inovasi
Casual. Contemporary. American. Chef/Owner John des Rosiers’ vision comes to life at Inovasi with its relaxed setting and world class cuisine located 30 miles north of downtown Chicago in Lake Bluff.

Chef des Rosiers commits to personally searching for the finest quality ingredients by working with local and sustainable farms, including Elawa Farms in neighboring Lake Forest, Illinois. From his very own family recipes like Mom’s Sausage Gravy & Croquettes to the spontaneously put together, hand caught seafood dish Straight Out of the Sea, each full-flavored dish is served in an interesting way with rare and unique ingredients grown specifically for Inovasi.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Diner Reviews
  • "The tables were too crowded. Every time the server went past, he bummed my chair. We could touch elbows with the group behind us. As server is taking another order, his rear end is in our face. We felt crowed on three sides. Service was slow. We decided that we would not be back within 10 minutes. Hoping the food would be so good we would change our mind...it wasn't. I left feeling hungry."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "A menu of interesting flavors matching the sophistication of more-expensive Chicago high-end restaurants but at what both of us thought was a more reasonable price point. Loved the four-course tasting menu averaging two decent-sized dishes per course and got quite full. Overall sound level is on the higher end and the bar area is a bit louder than the dining room. Eating early helped us beat the Friday-night crowd. Definitely coming back -- soon!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "The use of fresh local ingredients is always important in my restaurant selections and Inovasi's chief strives to do just that. Delicious and enjoyable. The only negative is the selection and volume of the background music. A little light low volume classical (instead of the loud brash selection we heard during our recent lunch) would go a long way in earning that priced 5 star rating)."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "on the North Shore. Run, don't walk to get to this place. Scratch that, driving would be quicker! Everything is always wonderful and when it isn't, they make it right."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Generally, a very nice restaurant with an interesting menu that changes seasonally."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "Always a great time - brought friends. They loved it! Food and drinks were great. Noise level was very loud though - hard to hear. Seemed more than normal. But, we had a great time - service was excellent - as always. Thanks!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Love the shrimp taco - avacado sour cream sauce is excellent! The calamari, which we ordered grilled -with the addition of charred radicchio to the dish made it unique. The roasted mushroom dish with the goat cheese was excellent. The Turkish tomato soup was to die for! I'll be back to try the rest of the menu, but I might just order these same dishes again."
    Dined on 3/10/2014
  • "Have been here several times and this time the food just seemed kind of average. Is it slipping a little?"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "We had to get the server to take drink orders, our entrees, to have our plates cleared AND to bring the dessert. JUST THE WORST SERVICE. Embarrassing."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "Had a great meal.....calimari was excellent, tomato salad not quite a flavorful as advertised but good, great sword steak. The fires that came with the Steak & frites were not crispy and although we didn't ask our server brought fresh crispy ones.....the restaurant was pretty nosy when we arrived but got better when a few larger grips left."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Small portions were excellent. Great variety. All fresh and local produced ingredients. We continue to be amazed by the changing menu and will return again soon. Parking around the restaurant is a challenge. Friendly staff from the time we arrived and throughout dinner."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Went with two other couples, everyone enjoyed the meal and the vibe"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "This place never ceases to impress me. Have been here over 20 times and the incredible flavors and ambiance keep me coming back. My husband has the same sentiment - a true gem and has been a sure hit every time we dine. Great small town feel with a high class hip feel and gourmet selections."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I have been to Inovasi at least 10 times and it has always been great. This experience was just okay. Scallops were kind of chewy. Both of our desserts were overcooked. Hopefully just an off night."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "We enjoy dinner here about once a week because we live nearby. The atmosphere is cozy and inviting, and the service is fantastic. You will never go wrong with Inovasi."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Food was fine if you live close by. Was hoping for much more out of the dishes."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Bright and friendly dining room. The staff are very knowledgeable and genuine. Food was a wonderful surprise. The textures and flavors were outstanding. You leave with all five senses satisfied. Lovely plating, delicious aromas, happy customers, surprising food textures featured in a springlike dining area."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "My wife and I have enjoyed Inovasi on a regular basis since it opened. Our experience with the food and service has usually been excellent. It's also gotten even better over time. The menu offers a wonderful variety, and always has some choices which are really unique. If you're looking strictly for quantity, this is likely not your spot. That being said, we've always walked away satisfied with the portions. We highly recommend Inovasi."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "This is a great restaurant with a wonderful ever changing menu. That being said, last night they were not at the peak of their game. We were seated about 30 minutes after our reservation time. They then ran out of Calamari as an appetizer after we ordered, but before we received our order. And the staff seemed to be a little light given the number of patrons. It felt like they were caught off guard by a busier night than they expected. Still a good restaurant with a good staff, but not the experience I have grown to expect from them."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "The restaurant is best for foodies. The menu is limited and does not carry a lot of standard dishes. My son and I loved trying different small plates. We tries the Cheese course, the Chicken liver pate and the Crispy pork. They were outstanding. It is a place for adults to try a lot of different items."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Go there every time we are back in town. Always fresh and interesting food with great and eclectic beverage choices. You can tell they care about the food and service. Love the creativity and the new combinations of flavors. Really enjoy the local products. Only wish is that it wasn't 400 miles away."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "I had a meeting with clients. We were looking for something casual but clean and contemporary. Inovasi was a great find. The atmosphere was great, our food outstanding, and the staff kept quietly in the background until we needed something. Overall a great experience and I'm sure to come here again for lunch or dinner."
    Dined on 1/21/2014
  • "Wonderful lunch. Great food, service and atmosphere. Excellent cheese tray. Fantastic salads. Great wine. Thanks for a great time!"
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "We went with another couple to inovasi on a recent Saturday evening and had a great time. One thing that we liked was that sharing food was easy and encouraged. This makes for an engaging experience. Every food choice was delicious. Our server was excellent."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "My 3rd visit and most disappointing. The menu selection was limited, even more so for vegetarians and the prices are Chicago high. The waiter was unhelpful and actually quite rude. When my friend asked how the fish was prepared, he told her to look at the menu. ( the menu said nothing about it being baked, broiled, grilled) Also, we were there for my husband's birthday and they didn't even bring him a complimentary slice of anything, which I thought was weird since when I made the reservation they specifically asked if it was a special occasion. Don't ask if you don't care."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Love this place! Food always interesting and delicious, reasonable prices, great service, wonderful ambience, totally unpretentious and equally as good as any downtown restaurant. What more could you ask for. And the icing on the cake - plenty of street parking and it is FREE!!"
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "We had a most disappointing dining experience on NY Eve. We won't be back."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Inovasi chef John DeRosiers changes the menu with the seasons and with what locally sourced ingredients are available. Dishes are available from small plates to larger entrees, all of them delicious. The staff is friendly and extremely knowledgeable, with information on how the dishes are prepared to suggested beverages. Although we dressed up for the occasion, the place is informal-chic. Inovasi has specials some nights and always has interesting menu items in the restaurant and in the bar. A real treat anytime you go."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "Bar tender did not give us a wine list except for the ones by the glass only. Would have ordered a bottle, but did not see the list until we were seated. Service in the restaurant was outstanding."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "Great food and desserts! Green tea cake was fabulous and the brown butter/walnut ice cream too!"
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "Have had wonderful meals at Inovasi; not this time on 12/21/13. In freezing rain, arrived at 4:59 to a locked door, got in, told hostess "It smells great in here," and she seemed to snarl at me! Seated at nice table, but had to ask server about tasting menu, and paired wines. 1. Brussels sprouts: not bad, but not in the mood for this large portion; good pairing 2. Pork belly w. Sepia and bok choy: weak dish; huge amount of bok choy; sepia overcooked; poor pairing 3. Short ribs over fingerling potatoes: worst dish of the night; unseasoned, and potatoes were still hard inside. Cilantro? Fair pairing 4. Skillet cookie with vanilla ice cream: OK, but framboise as a pairing? Expensive for what I got; took much home to fix/repurpose."
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "Inovasi does a nice job with an interesting and balanced menu. Shows much variety with truly fresh and quality ingredients."
    Dined on 12/18/2013
  • "The server michael was high class and the best...!"
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "Excellent food, super presentations. Staff very professional"
    Dined on 12/7/2013
  • "it is nice for those who have pride in their community and can invite friends from the city and the far reaches of Lake Forest and share the quality and ambience of Inovasi with them. Thanks to John and his Team Rick"
    Dined on 12/3/2013
  • "We are from the Gulf Coast of Alabama visiting the area for my son's graduation from boot camp. I wanted a nice place to take him for a graduation dinner and I found this gem on line. When we got there I requested fast service so we could return my son back to the Naval Station. They did a wonderful job and we did not feel rushed. The food was unique and wonderful. Service was excellent. I highly recommend this up-scale restaurant!"
    Dined on 11/27/2013
  • "I love this restaurant. The food is always excellent and staff very friendly. Inovasi provides a relaxed dining experience. Love that the menu is always changing."
    Dined on 11/20/2013
  • "We dine here often and always enjoy the variety of dishes on the menu. The Grilled Cape Cod Pollack is a favorite, and the Straight Out of the Sea never disappoints. Whether you eat at the beautiful new bar, a high top or a table in the dining room, the service is attentive and the experience is pleasant. Why drive to the city when you can enjoy great food in Lake Bluff?"
    Dined on 11/16/2013
  • "We had a relaxed business dinner recently at Inovasi, and mostly enjoyed our experience. The food was good and interesting, although not as special as I had hoped. The shrimp taco appetizer was quite tasty, very flavorful, and the chicken wings were also well done. My salmon stew was a bit bland, but still enjoyable, and both of my dinner guests had the fresh fish of the day, which they appeared to enjoy. The beer choices were excellent, quite a variety and all good. It was quiet enough to talk, but still lively, so that was appreciated."
    Dined on 11/7/2013
  • "We were in and out in 45 minutes- no time to relax, have a drink and enjoy. I don't think the wait staff intentionally rushed us, but the food was prepared rather fast. Had to flag down a different waiter to get some wine with dinner (wasn't offered by our own). The food was very good."
    Dined on 11/9/2013