Prairie Grass Café

4.6
1648 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Chef Sarah Stegner joins husband Rohit Nambiar & fellow chef George Bumbaris in creating this casual Northbrook restaurant, boasting a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. Wood-top tables without tablecloths give the main dining room a contemporary feel while seating is also available in the bar area. A menu, changing monthly, features contemporary American fare featuring seasonal ingredients. For dessert, Chef Stegner's mother bakes delicious pies.
What 1648 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JA
Chicago
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best brunch in the area. Always delicious. Never rushed out. Coffee never gets cold.

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OT
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very good quality of food and service. We were seated in a booth as requested.

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MH
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant, great service, great quality. Food came out very quick, cooked well, and was always made sure we were doing okay!

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MT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our favorite upscale restaurant on the Northshore and Jose', our waiter, is the VERY BEST!!!

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HC
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Always good food, good service, good value.
Too noisy.

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G
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Service was great and the food was delivered unrushed so we had time to talk. ND they had Rare Cask Macallan

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HC
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

My first time here after the Orchid show for lunch. I consider this place to be excellent and of the old school type of restaurant. Seemed to be a lot of middle aged folks and a lot of business types. Food was excellent ( I had the double burger which was huge, I could only eat half). Salads all looked superb with a variety of selections available. Since this was Valentine's Day they had a terrific warm cherry pie (a la mode). A nice upscale eatery without a lot of pomp. I'll be back although it is a long drive from Naperville.

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TZ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A lovely evening which included delicious food and great service.

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C
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We live on the north side of Chicago. We always go to Prairie Grass when we go to the Botanic Garden or are in the Northbrook area.

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JH
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Hidden Gem in Northbrook! Prarie Grass Cafe is consistently good!

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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

I mostly cook at home so going out to dinner is usually reserved for a special occasion and I generally have pretty high expectations. I had been looking forward to trying Prairie Grass and was excited to splurge and treat my mother for her birthday. I was under the impression that this was a special high quality “foodie” type of restaurant, but the care and attention to detail was not there.

For example...
-13 dollar glass of Pinot noir was served in a tiny dessert wine glass. With a vast enough and high quality/expensive wine selection you’d think they’d serve a red wine in an appropriate glass.

-3 of 4 meals were barely warm. (2 burger entrees and skirt steak were tepid at best)

Luckily my mom’s Mussacca was piping hot and really delicious. The bread and crime brûlée dessert was also good, but I rather spend 200 bucks on groceries and make a more delicious and memorable meal.

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EH
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, warm and welcoming and fabulous food. Happy to return again and again!

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M
Chicago
48 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Seated in the back room which had much less ambience. Salad was just fair. No creativity. Hamburger with no bun was on an attractive plate with broiled tomato and two potato wedges and was quite good but no bargain. For our total bill, we could have and have had better dinners

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J
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent, fresh entrees. Friendly service. Lively atmosphere. Highly recommend.

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WB
Chicago
75 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of the best places for lunch on the North Shore, no question about it. Come for the food. There is always an excellent soup of the day, often a marvelous creamy vegetable, but even chicken rice soup gets an upgrade here. Parmesan-crusted tilapia with Caesar salad is excellent, pastas are lively, salads come in a nice variety. There is always a great pie and we always share a slice. Service is warm and attentive, but not intrusive, and the welcome at the front door is likewise warm. Right at 12 the business crowd streams in, and it can get a little loud. So we aim for lunch at 11.30 or 1 when things are quieter. This restaurant serves consistently good food, brunch, lunch, or dinner, with a lot of inventive touches but nothing too far from the comfort zone. From experience we can say that the experience at Prairie Grass is just as impressive for a group of 20 as it is for a table for 2.

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JK
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Prairie Grass is one of the best restaurants in Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

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D
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was good, but menu is limited, particularly on salads. Wanted to substitute fruit and nuts on a green salad for cucumbers and tomatoes but was refused.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday. They gave guest lively dessert.

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WB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Looking for consistent quality and service in a dining experience? It seems Prairie Grass Cafe has this figured out. This was my second trip to Prairie Grass and it did not disappoint. First our server was on point, timing and demeanor were all spot on. Warm delicious bread brought to the table along with outstanding drinks. I had the Cesar salad and will get it again. Good size and perfectly balanced dressing. I also went for the burger. It was a little expensive at $18 but when I consider it was perhaps the best burger I have ever eaten it was probably worth it. The bleu cheese was great as was the perfectly cooked ground sirloin. You can order it with or without the bun. My friend had the ahi tuna and gave me a sample. It was also perfectly cooked (rare) and beautifully presented. My wife and my friends wife wanted to share their entrees and the server had them split the meals before bringing them out. Again spot on. My first visit I had the skirt steak and it was amazing. Well seasoned and perfectly grilled made it a treat for me and I believe anyone who likes this cut of meat should give it a try. I highly recommend this restaurant.

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J
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and wonderful service...all around very good dinner and evening.

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SH
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love coming to Prairie Grass professionally and personally since their food is always fabulous - as is their service and atmosphere.

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RZ
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 5

The food and bread was excellent! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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S
Chicago
59 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our go to place! Always welcoming...great service...quality food. 👏🏻🙌🏻

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T
Chicago
55 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are enthusiastic regulars at Prairie Grass Cafe.

Excellent menu and highly professional service.

We were entertaining an out-of-town associate. I asked Prairie Grass, in making our Open Table reservation we had two specific requests. A table in the back dining room + we needed to be out the door at 7 PM promptly.

Our server greeted us: "I know you need to be out the door at 7 PM." That was reassuring and the server saw to it that we achieved our goal.

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W
Chicago
17 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food Good service

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Q
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was so nice to go into a restaurant and hear the conversation! Nicely done

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Y
Chicago
34 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Menu was interesting and the food was very good. Had a great waiter. Would definitely go back

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AF
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The fish was excellent. The place initially had small screaming children, which seemed odd for a Saturday night. They were replaced by adults who were as loud as the children were. My one complaint is that I asked for a quiet table when I made the reservation. No one seemed to notice the request or cared. They seemed more interested in balancing out the tables and business for the Waitstaff.

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OT
Chicago
143 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Prairie Grass Café is always outstanding. The appetizer flatbreads are highly recommended.
Prosciutto fig blue cheese combination - excellent.
Soups are great, creamy or broth based. Salads- flavorful. Fish is higher quality preparation than
many places. Any fish preparation is outstanding. Duck is good choice. Seasonal vegetables - wonderful. Anything with honey is
good. Sweet potatoes - well prepared. Goat cheese adds to many dishes. Desserts - flavorful. Using great quality fresh produce, high quality meat and fish and applying good cooking techniques raises the vibration of the food. Some say, if you cook with love, the vibration is even higher. I would say there is something special going on here. Quality is outstanding. Also, suspect that food is also infused with love of cooking. We always have terrific meals here. Any food here is well prepared. It is worth the drive from the city. This restaurant is a real gem.

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v
Chicago
71 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 2

The restaurant needs a makeover and so does the menu. The food is tasty but overpriced. There needs to be more variety for vegans and those with allergies. Where this restaurant was once thriving with a waiting list the new population is old people and kids. No longer the trendy crowd. The busboy put the lid of the ewer in the glass. Gross. I now have everyone’s germs. I won’t return since the food is overpriced for what you get and they can’t accommodate allergies well. There are better restaurants in the area that I could have gone to but could not get a last minutes reservation.

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d
Chicago
35 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Special pricing on Wednesday night makes it a good time to try, but make a rez!

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b
Chicago
122 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The creativity of Chef Sarah Stegner is, as always, excellent. The preparation never fails to satisfy and we have our favorites, but always seem to find new and exciting dishes to tempt us into trying (and succeeding) to excel. One of the special openers was braised lentils, which I found very tasty, and followed up with their ancho skirt steak, perfectly done to order and both tender and flavorful. My wife and a friend opted for the tilapia which they pronounced perfect in addition to a side order of brussels sprouts, also excellent. Dessert was crème Brulee and the warm chocolate cookie with vanilla ice cream, both shared among the three of us. The only glitch was, due to occasion of New Year's Eve, service was a bit slower than we expected, but that was not a major negative.

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JL
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food! Attentive servers! Beautiful space!

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SG
Chicago
15 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and Service were fantastic. Can’t wait to go back.

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MF
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never disappoints.
It is a drive but worth it.
Food and service terrific

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WB
Chicago
76 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Consistently good food and a nice variety of generous sandwiches at lunch. Soups are always excellent, especially cream soups (squash, mushroom). Very good salads, with a variety of options for adding protein. Generous portions, but plates don't seem massive. If you are really hungry, order one of the pastas; lighter fare, such as the egg salad sandwich, is easy to find. The menu is not extensive but has balanced offerings in several categories. Pies are very good and always our choice for dessert. What we find here is a warm welcome, friendly and prompt service, and a lot of satisfied customers. For frequent visitors, there is always a daily special. Brunch is especially good here--lemon ricotta pancakes with raspberry glaze sensational.

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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Good food. Duck was great! Not sure about the blackened rice, though.

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ED
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

My wife and I have dined many times at Prairie Grass and agree that standards have slipped over the years. We took our two sons and daughters-in-law for a post Christmas dinner and it was such a mixed bag. The service was prompt and friendly but not always accurate (they did not seem to know which guests ordered which food, for example.) The restaurant was loud, even though it was half empty. (All the surfaces are hard and sound reflects everywhere.) Most importantly, the food was a mixed bag. The special salmon entree was excellent but the special brussel sprouts appetizer was excessively oily, overcooked, and almost inedible. The steak was fine but the fish (in the fish and chips) was more bread than fish and, again, very oily. With entrees costing $20-$40, one expects better.

We have had similar mixed experiences in our last few visits. We remember when Prairie Grass just opened (a rather long time ago). It was a breath of fresh air in a North Shore that had excellent French restaurants and steak houses but no contemporary American restaurants to rival those downtown. It is still a good option but there are now many better choices on the North Shore.

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XX
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Noise level slightly too loud. Food was good. They are very respectful and accommodating of allergies (dairy and gluten). I can only go there on a limited basis as they are very expensive. Would love to see vegan options.

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EM
1 review
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was outstanding. Service was a bit slow to start, but then was fine after that. Truly enjoyed our dinner experience. Highly recommend.

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