Newly Opened | February 2020

Appears in the February 2020 issue.

Seoul Taco

Restaurants inspired by Mexican street tacos have been a huge hit, offering big flavors and satisfying heat for just a couple of bucks a pop. Seoul Taco, now open in downtown Naperville,  fuses classic Korean barbecue with the traditional street taco—think tacos stuffed with thinly sliced and marinated bulgogi steak topped with Korean salad mix, green onion, crushed sesame seeds, lime, and its secret sauce. 

206 S. Washington St., Naperville

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

Lamb shank pot pie

Opening this month, Lazy Dog offers a broad menu that includes rotating seasonal fare and inventive eats like wild boar chili and a peanut butter and jelly burger. Join the beer club while you’re there, and—when the weather warms—eat on the dog-friendly patio, where Fido can enjoy food from the Lazy Dog dog club.  

436 Route 59, Naperville

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant

No one should have trouble finding a wine to pair with any item on the menu at Cooper’s Hawk, which recently opened a new location in Downers Grove. The list of wines—made at its own winery with grapes sourced from California, Washington, and Oregon—is varied and interesting. And so is the food; you can’t go wrong with a candied bacon and cheese trio at a wine joint. 

R1801 Butterfield Rd., Downers Grove

Naperville Ale Fest Winter Edition

All the Ale

By Kathy Aabram

Brew lovers can get excited (perhaps enough to pry them out of their suburban dens) about two lager-centric events this month.

Naperville Craft Beer Week

February 21–29

Craft beer connoisseurs, mark your calendar for the first annual Naperville Craft Beer Week. Have you wondered if cupcakes and beer go together? Or wished for a flight of beers to pair with your meal? Are you a home brewer looking to gain insight from a brewmaster? For one week, participating Naperville restaurants will offer a number of specials, tastings, food pairings, and classes all centered on craft beer. Check the website for details.

Naperville Ale Fest 

February 29

Take what you learn from Naperville Craft Beer Week and put it to good use at Illinois’s largest outdoor winter beer fest. The annual Naperville Ale Fest Winter Edition features hard cider, food trucks, fire pits, and over 150 craft beers. Come taste beers that are only available in the winter, such as stouts, porters, barrel-aged brews, and double IPAs. Dress for the chill—long johns are a superb idea. Noon to 4 p.m. $55. Frontier Park, 3380 Cedar Glade Dr.

Valentine Venues

By Kathy Aabram

Charcuterie board at Atwater’s Restaurant

Blame writers like Shakespeare for making Valentine’s Day the multibillion-dollar commercial extravaganza it is today. While the holiday had its roots in some rather dark and un-woke Roman fertility rituals, it was the The Bard who sweetened it up in his work and helped popularize it. In the Middle Ages, people were giving each other handmade cards. Today, however, Hallmark has relieved people of that DIY burden.

Love it, hate it, or tolerate it, this year the pressure is on because VDay falls on a Friday. So plan early if you want to eat at one of Naperville magazine’s top picks for romantic dinners.

Atwater’s Restaurant

Located in the luxurious Herrington Inn, Atwater’s offers fresh regional cuisine and an outstanding wine list. The panoramic view of the courtyard and the Fox River makes a perfect backdrop for an intimate dinner. Dishes include succulent steaks, chops, duck, fish, braised pork ribs, lobster tail, and rack of lamb. After dinner make your way to one of the individually appointed hotel rooms, slip into a cozy bathrobe, and enjoy the fireplace.

Ginkgo restaurant

Lisle’s Morton Arboretum provides a serene setting for an evening with your love. An elegant five-course meal—each course paired with wine—includes housemade gnocchi, braised short ribs, and tiramisu. Live guitar music, handmade flower arrangements, and unlimited prints from the photo booth round out the evening. Omnivore and vegetarian menus are available.

Indian Harvest

It’s impossible to resist the exotic scents of alluring spices and smoldering tandoori ovens walking into Indian Harvest. These are sensations reminiscent of a great date: gentle wafts of perfume and waves of anticipation. The food and service at Indian Harvest deliver on all the expectations, with flavorful harvest dinners, curry dishes, seafood, and full bar service.

Mon Ami Gabi

Romance is in the air at this upscale French bistro, featuring sophisticated, dark wood tones, red velvet curtains and a traditional multicolored mosaic tile floor. Food options include fresh seafood, crepes, steak, and traditional French preparations like steak tartare, chicken paillard and trout amandine, as well as vegan dishes. If Friday night doesn’t work, purchase tickets for the Champagne and sparkling wine class on Saturday, February 15.


If you and your love enjoy unusual libations and eclectic food, head to downtown Geneva’s Niche—the lighting is soft, the energy convivial, and the service impeccable. Niche is home to an impressive collection of beers, wines, and over 400 whiskeys. Begin with the homemade sausage board or rabbit rillette agnolotti and end with cotton candy or a liquor-ladened milkshake.