A few months ago, Mario and I were invited to a tasting event at BlackFinn American Grille in Mt. Prospect. Unfortunately, due to my work schedule, I couldn't make the event, but the people at BlackFinn were nice enough to set up a dinner reservation for us on an alternate date so that we could check out one of their newest locations.
I must admit that I don't typically frequent Mt. Prospect. It's one of those suburbs that you really need to have a specific reason to travel to, as it's a little too far out of the city for just a quick jaunt (it's also a bit too suburban for my tastes). However, despite my 'burbs snobbery, I have to say that we had a really fun night of food and discount store shopping (there is an immaculate TJ Maxx in the same shopping center as BlackFinn - it's 10x better than any of the city locations!).
We arrived for our 7:00pm Friday reservation and were immediately seated, despite the huge line of people waiting for tables. Score one for BlackFinn, as one of my major restaurant pet peeves is when they make you wait even when you have a reservation. The place was consistently packed the entire evening with families and couples of all ages, but despite the extremely busy night, our servers were all very friendly and totally on top of their game.
Crispy Calamari: deep-fried calamari and jalapeño slices with marinara sauce. Mario and I are both calamari fiends and we love to try out new versions. While there wasn't anything special about the calamari itself (it was the typical battered crispy calamari rings), we both really liked the addition of the jalapeño slices, as it added a nice kick to a fairly standard dish.
Blackened Brie: Brie round with ciabatta toast, sliced apples, and apricot cranberry chutney. Our waiter mentioned this is one of their most popular dishes - I now totally understand why. It was *fantastic*! The blackening seasonings added just the right amount of heat and the Brie was perfectly warm and creamy on the inside. I devoured this dish... really, Mario should consider himself lucky that he got any at all! ;-) This was definitely a standout dish for me - the Blackened Brie alone would give me enough incentive to swing by again.
Ahi Tuna Sandwich & Truffle Fries: sushi grade tuna, wasabi mayo, lettuce & tomato on a ciabatta roll. I found this sandwich to be slightly tricky due to the overwhelming amount of ciabatta (I love ciabatta rolls, but the roll greatly overpowered the taste of the tuna). I ended up taking taking off the top part of the roll and ate as an open-faced sandwich, which was perfect. I didn't have super high expectations of the tuna (seeing as it isn't a seafood/sushi restaurant) and was actually quite impressed with both the quality and the preparation.
Ultimate Bacon Cheddar & Truffle Fries: medium-rare burger with double bacon, double cheddar, fried onion strings, lettuce, tomato, and onion. I didn't try the burger (the onions were a little too plentiful for this onion-hating gal!), but Mario assured me it was quite delicious. He was especially fond of the piles of crispy onions (traitor!).
BlackFinn has a decent selection of both bottled and draft beers. Mario and I were happy they had both Heineken and Honey Crisp Crispin, as they paired perfectly with our meals.
We were planning to get dessert and both had our eye on the BlackFinn Hot Chocolate (fallen chocolate and peanut butter soufflé with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and caramel drizzle), but after two appetizers, our entrées, and three beers, we were both completely stuffed and just could not handle another bite. Boo!
Overall, I think BlackFinn Mt. Prospect is a good choice if you are out in the Randhurst Village area. The food is prepared well, the restaurant is spotless and has a nice Chicago-themed decor, and the prices are decent. I wouldn't make a special trip out there just to go to BlackFinn, as there are far too many fantastic restaurants in the city, but with the combination of the shopping opportunities, it's definitely worth a trek out to the 'burbs. I just need to figure out a way to stock up on that awesome Blackened Brie the next time I'm out there. ;-)
Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal to facilitate this post. Review and all opinions are my own.