If you are looking for a date night spot this weekend you need to make the trip to Glencoe, Illinois and try Valor, a gorgeous spot in the downtown area. I was invited to try Valor several months ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. The exterior is classy yet unassuming but when you first walk in you are awestruck by the fabulous rustic decor and the incredible fireplace filled with romantic candles. There is a great little bar that is outfitted with all the makings for a perfect cocktail of which I enjoyed quite a few. The service was attentive and the menu was the perfect size and offered something for everyone. Let me walk you through what we enjoyed.
The Bourbon Grapefruit Smash was my starter. This cocktail was perfection, made with Woodford Reserve, Velvet Falernum (a spiced citrus like sweet syrup used in a lot of Caribbean drinks) & Fresh Grapefruit. Super light and refreshing and just the right amount alcohol to relax you.
Tuna Tartare from the Starter Menu. Avocado Jalapeno Guacamole, Crushed Tempura, Sesame Sambal (an Indonesian Chili Paste) and Cilantro. The textures of this dish were right up my alley. Each layer was a delight of fresh ingredients and perfectly seasoned accents. Some of the best Tuna Tartare I have had anywhere.
Popcorn Cauliflower, Rice Flour Tempura, Scallions, Pickled Onions, Sesame Seeds, Sriracha Aioli. Even if you are not a Cauliflower fan you are going to go crazy over this dish. It is my goal to try to make this at home because I was so impressed with the crispness of the cauliflower. This is like Buffalo Chicken Poppers on crack.
Tomato Bisque and Grilled Cheese Rounds on Brioche I was certain when this was brought to the table that it would be your typical attempt at this dish with soggy bread and no flavor to the soup. Boy was I wrong. The presentation was on point and the little discs of grilled cheese were perfectly crispy on the outside and filled with creamy cheese on the inside. PERFECTION!
Sticky Asian Short Ribs, Sweet and Spicy Sauce, Peanuts, Cilantro, Fresnos, Scallions. These were messy to eat but oh so worth it. Just the right amount of spice and the peanuts gave it this delightful crunch.
Black Bass, Beer Tossed Collard Greens, Apple Beet Salad, Toasted Walnuts.I can cont on one hand the amount of times I have ordered cooked fish at a restaurant, this dish was hard to pass up when I saw it on the menu because it sounded so unique. It was perfectly prepared and I appreciated the thoughtful accompaniments.
Spicy Szechuan Green Beans, Roasted Peanuts, Garlic. This dish was solid, I liked the flavors and I am glad I tried them. The beans had just enough bite to them and it was a nice light dish.
House Made Fettuccini, Carbonara, Bacon, Organic Raw Egg Yolk. I am going to just say one thing about this dish. If I had to choose one dish to be the last meal I ever ate, this would probably be it. That’s all I have to say. Order this or you will be sorry.
L’Ami Jean “Rice Pudding”, Salted Caramel, Orange Zest Pistachios, Cinnamon. This is a play on a famous Rice Pudding dish from a restaurant in France. When it came to the table I thought “what’s the big deal about rice pudding?” Trust me, it’s a big deal.
Chocolate Bomb, Hazelnut Praline, Almond Biscuit. So when I took my first bite of this dish I think I did one of those weird things you see on tv when something is good and closed my eyes, swayed and moaned a little. Weird I know, but it’s that good. The layers and textures in this were on point for my tastes. Delicious shortbread like cookie, a layer that tastes like the Ferrero Rocher candy and thick, creamy chocolate goodness. I may have fainted a little.
This was unexpectedly one of the best meals I have had in my life. I love that Mr. Tipsy and I can go for an easy date night and not have to deal with a lot of downtown hassles. I think there is something for every taste and the prices were reasonable. Valor is also serving lunch now, they have a great wine list and they offer a unique Sunday Family Dinner option that I need to check out really soon. if you aren’t near Glencoe I would go as far as to say it is worth a trip to the North Shore JUST to eat here. The downtown area it is situated in is great for walking around and window shopping too, perfect for before or after Ravinia or just a warm Summer night out when you don’t feel like cooking.
Until next time, Happy Eating!
To find out more about Valor Glencoe CLICK HERE
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For another date night idea check out what I had to say about KIMSKI CHICAGO