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Restaurants & Bars

Springfield, IL - Fine Dining & Wine Scene

Bill Hunt | May 9, 200706:07 PM     10

I’ve been doing my reading and research on restaurants in the Springfield, IL Area and, though many of the replies are related to articles from ‘04 - 05, there are a few that are more recent. One, noted that D’Arcy’s Pint has moved. It looks like the fine-dining scene was, Maldaner’s, Indigo, Augie’s, Red Coach Inn, Magic Kitchen Thai, Gallagher’s, Saputo’s and Café Brio. Has this changed much recently? The reason that I am asking is that my wife is being recruited for a position in Springfield.

I’m a ‘hound in Phoenix, who spends much time in fine-dining establishments, around the globe. While PHX is not NYC, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New Orleans (pre-Katrina), Paris or London, it has a lot to offer - just got a new James Beard Award winner yesterday. If we were to relocate to Springfield, what would be in store for us?

I’ve looked at all of the on-line menus, that I can find. I’ve poured over ever PDF wine list available. It looks like there are some hot spots, but, from the research, not that many. Now, a lot of my research was probably limited by the differences in geographical references, between anything in the Midwest/East, and the West. Phoenix is 500+ sq. miles, and growing hourly. The Metro-Area incorporates a dozen smaller city-entities, that I know. I realize that Springfield is much smaller (120,000 vs 4.5M in the Winter), but I’m sure that some of the towns, that I would consider immediately accessible and next-door, are not in my search criteria, because of my lack of geographical knowledge of the area.

Since my wife is a great cook (could be a chef, if she wasn’t so good at other things) and we have no children, I’m most interested in fine-dining, since the “family” oriented spots would probably be just a diversion, when we do not cook in.

What I am looking for is an overview of the fine-dining scene in Springfield, and its environs, plus recs. for wine lists, that are notable, and wine shops, that are well-stocked. Also, as I have a 6K btl. cellar, that would be moved, what are the laws, charges, general feelings, about BYO[Wine]? Here, in PHX, there are a lot of laws, that generally preclude much. Also, I’d rather support the restauranteur and buy off their list, unless it’s a special occasion.

I have many more questions, but none that are food/wine oriented. I’ll have to locate some fora to post those to.

Thanks,
Phoenix ‘hound, Hunt

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