Just a quick note to say my wife and I had a great meal at the Vanderbilt in Prospect Heights last night. Our first time, a Friday night, got 2 seats at the bar that just opened up when we walked in @ 8pm.
Friendly bartenders, happy to pour tastes of the various reds we wanted to try. No pressure to move along as we ordered 1 or 2 courses at a time over 90 minutes. (It's a tapas place. Each dish seemed to be inspired by traditional tapas offerings but a lot had interesting twists on the flavors.)
Had 6 different dishes and found 4 to be fantastic, 1 to be fine and 1 to be fine but not for us.
6 dishes of various size, 2 glasses of wine, 1 mixed drink = $60 without tip. We didn't leave stuffed but we didn't leave hungry. (this kind of slow eating is so much more civilized -- you eat less, enjoy each dish more, and save $$)
Dessert? A stop at Blue Marble on the way home -- so I guess you can add $9 to that total above.
Only concern? The menus are laminated -- which tells me that they don't intend to change up the offerings very often, which is a shame because there are some very thoughtful combinations on offer.