My wife and I moved here some 6 months ago and we actually were pretty happy having this choice of restaurants in Naperville. After trying most of them we found that none of them seemed to have an educated cook who is willing to just cook good non-fancy normal food. I could imagine e.g. Spagetti with a light fresh Pesto (and no, we do not need an overload of meat or seafood in there) or some nice steak with fresh potatoes or so (and again, no heavy sauce or double-baked potato). Most of the menus are somewhat identical with either the same pseudo-fancy 'ethnic' food or basic cheap american chain stuff. Besides, the food tastes the same everywhere because everything is overloaded with spices or sauces and its tough to taste the actual fresh ingredient, if at all... None of the food seems to be made from scratch or on the premises. Moreover, the restaurants seem to offer the identical menu and the low-level service by some college kids. The only variation between the restaurants seems to be the chosen 'theme' (which obviously is not related to the owners background but the choice of a marketing guy). And, is there any restaurant out there with a natural person owning the place and being responsible for it? We found Hugo's or Francesca's somehow good, but its not our ideal location to go out weekly... At most of the other restaurants - due to the heavy overload of ingeredients, cream, etc. - we were not able to identify one of the actual content.
The ideal restaurant does not need to have upscale setup, just the food should be freshly prepared by an ambitioned - best case - educated cook and seasoned to taste with fresh and light ingredients. So, if you have any recommendation which comes close to the opposite of my - potentially somewhat drastical negative depiction - please help finding a nice charming owner-run restaurant in the vicinity of Naperville or around where we finally can again have our weekly dine out.... :-) Thanks!