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Editor's Choice

Masters of their cuisine

Published: Thursday, July 3, 2014 9:17 a.m. CDT

Food can be more than simple sustenance – it’s a multi-sensory experience, filling you with tastes and aromas that spark nostalgic memories, and helping release the stresses of the day.

Done right, food is as beautiful as it is delicious, full of color and freshness in every meticulous bite. And you need not travel out of your way to find such culinary offerings. Right here in our communities are local culinary destinations boasting fantastic food, as lovely to gaze on, as it is luscious to eat! Here are three of our favorites:

Vie | 4471 Lawn Avenue | Western SpringsNo local list of artisan dining would be complete without Vie. One of the most heralded restaurants in the suburbs, Vie is the creation of acclaimed Chef Paul Virant, who builds his French country menu using as many locally-sourced foods as possible. Begin the experience with luscious blue cheese fritters, served country-style with fresh berries, strawberry-rhubarb jam, pickled fennel, radishes, and arugula. Or perhaps the lox tartine and grilled bread, with goat cheese, watercress, radishes. The tastes of the country style comes alive in Virant’s entrees –wild nettle fettuccini, with roasted mushrooms, sweet onions and goat milk ricotta; or the pan-roasted fluke with white asparagus and toasted polenta.

Not sure what to order? Your entire table can enjoy a tasting menu, of five or eight courses, available by request.

Café Amano | 105 S. York Street | Elmhurst International fare meets with Midwestern hospitality at Elmhurst’s Café Amano. Chef Marco Conte offers an ever-changing menu of new additions with bold flavors and European flair –

Begin with a glass of more than 45 available wines, or choose a custom flight, perfectly paired with your meal. Follow with crostini trio of creamy cheeses and fresh-roasted vegetables, or perhaps a salad of steamed asparagus and artichoke hearts tossed dressed with olives and apple cider vinegar|

Save room for dessert – a melt-in-your-mouth bombe in white or dark chocolate or raspberry; or perhaps a traditional house-made tiramisu.

Nabuki | 18 E. First Street | Hinsdale

Amidst the quaint charm of downtown Hinsdale is a sleek and culinary contemporary destination. If you love sushi, an evening at Nabuki will be a dining experience you won’t soon forget. The flavors are as bold as the colors, a fusion of modern Japanese and Latin cuisine. Everything is meticulously crafted, from the brilliant modern décor to the flavor profile of each perfectly constructed item on the menu. Start with glass of wine from Nabuki’s extensive reserve, and follow with one of many perfectly rolled sushi offerings – intricately layered for a presentation that’s as artful as it is appetizing.  Sit down at the sushi bar for the restaurant’s signature Hamachi Tiradito, made with thin sliced Yellow Tail, jalapeno and cilantro, and served with yuzu soy and lime Or enjoy a Kicker Roll, specialty of Chef Juan Perez, made with super white tuna, spicy crab, jalapeno and avocado and artfully topped with maguro tuna, chili oil and wasabi potato puree. For a more substantial dinner delight, the Wasabi Filet is grilled and served on marinated shitakes with wasabi butter and warm potato salad.

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