493 Roger Williams Avenue, Highland Park; 847-849-1009
Even an urban snob like me, who normally ventures to Highland Park only for bar mitzvahs and Ravinia, has to admit that Abigail’s beats most of what we’ve got in the city. The polished operation is the vision of Michael Paulsen, the savvy chef/owner, who sensed that his neighbors wanted more than roast chicken and steamed veggies—and promptly gave it to them. Fennel-crusted scallops with caramelized cauliflower, duck confit with honey-onion marmalade, and beef short ribs with sweet-potato gnocchi are all lively and well executed. Look around the warm-toned room at people laughing, kids celebrating birthdays, and foodies celebrating food, and you know that Paulsen was right.
TIP: I loved the sticky toffee pudding cake—and I usually hate pudding cake.
PLUS: Read the review »
PRICE KEY: ¢ $10 to $19 $ $20 to $29 $$ $30 to $39 $$$ $40 to $49 $$$$ $50-plus
[Cost per person for dinner, excluding wine, tax, or tip]