Innocuous, I thought, as I took in the oak tables and brown leather booths at Nicksons Eatery. So the reach of Nick Baca’s regional American menu—East Coast sea scallops, Colorado elk burger—took me by surprise. The crab cakes were much like the room—pleasant but hardly novel. The andouille gumbo, however, put my spice meter on alert. Then the Texas tacos sent it reeling. Long-cooked, tender, flavorful brisket with salsa verde may not be timeless, but Nicksons’ version made a deep impression. 30 S. La Grange Rd., La Grange; 708-354-4995.
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