There's a lot of wide open space out here, and little that's good to eat, but that is changing. Wife and I ate at STONEFIRE in Yorkville last night, and it was delightful. The outside looks like it's going to be one of those dark, clubby masculine places--(which are great, don't get me wrong) but inside, it was all bright and friendly. The main dining room had a roaring fireplace, and the banquettes were comfortable to my well-upholstered behind. The service was friendly and efficient, and I was surprised to hear a special of $2.50 well cocktails. (I didn't order one, but I saw another table that did, and it wasn't a skimpy drink, I assure you).
The menu has a nice variety, but not so much variety as to raise a red flag. Comfort foods like fried chicken, pot roast and meatloaf all looked like they got a nice twist, and the 1/2 pound burger menu offered many ways to customize your sandwich. There were also a number of "southern" items that looked good.
You're given a separate appetizer menu with about ten items-My wife had the potato skins, which were very good, if a bit pricy, and I had saganaki. Stonefire uses Fontinella instead of Kelafoutiri or Kasseri, so the Saganaki is a bit sweeter and creamier. The crunchy fried bits were pure heaven, and they serve pita wedges to sop up all the leftover brandy. Fabulous!
We ordered steaks, my wife had the 10oz Filet and I had the 14oz strip. They were grilled perfectly, and had that top steakhouse flavor that normally cost a lot lot more. The plates came with garlicky veggies, toasty fried onions, and a great little stuffed chilli garnish that packed a nice heat punch. The only letdown were the potatoes-wife had he upcharge twice baked which was so-so, and I had the garlic mashers which were ordinary at best. Next time I'll go for the steak fries or a baker.
I had a glass of the $5.00 house CabSauv with my steak and it was a generous pour, and went well with the meal.
We didn't have dessert, but we saw plenty of them coming out of the kitchen. They are huge and look delicious. There was a hunk of chocolate cake the size of a small SUV that aught our eye, and a house special cheesecake tower with strawberries that is flamed tableside. There was also a huge bread pudding. The desserts are pricey, but I think they are meant to be shared. That didn't stop the 4-top next to us from each ordering (and finishing) 4 of these giant confections.
You had your choice of soup or salad-we had the salad and the homemade dressings-ranch and bleu cheese were great. Even the warm crusty bread with whipped butter was exemplary. There are also a bunch of what they call "kickers" that you can add to your entrees--steak skewers, shrimps, portabello caps and more.
This is a family-friendly place-casual enough for a leisurely meal, and spiffy enough for a date.
For those of us who live out in the sticks, Stonefire is a welcome addition, and might just even give Naperville a run for the money.
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