Jennifer Eisen readily admits that Northbrook is a dining-out desert, but she’s hoping to change that. Maybe as of now, in fact, with last night's opening of her House 406 (1143 ½ Church St., Northbrook, 847-714-0200). She wants her new place to become “that downtown, date-night fun place to go”—dark walls, leather booths, a quiet vibe, and a menu with plenty of steaks and wines. “We just want simple food done really well," she says.
Eisen grew up in Northbrook and previously served as the longtime assistant to Stephanie Izard, but left Izard’s service in April to focus on opening her own place with chef/co-owner/boyfriend Eloin Amador (Gioco, Mantuano’s).
She took the name from the single area code for the state of Montana, where her family has a vacation house, and worked with Amador to conceive of a meat-heavy farm-to-table menu. Think prime New York strip steak with maple-red wine sauce and broccolini. But Eisen knows her audience, and plenty of attention is paid to fresh fish, veggie friendly, and gluten-free choices as well.
The drink menu focuses on craft cocktails—they even make their own maraschino cherries and grenadine—and also includes a diverse wine list. “It’s small, but there’s something to please everybody,” Eisen says.
And for dessert? One of the two options is a chocolate semifreddo with a Puppy Chow crust—yes, the Chex snack mix coated with chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. “It’s a lot less strange than it sounds,” she says. It sounds pretty tasty to us.