Subway: Yellow to Skokie(847) 677-3463 shallotsbistro.com42.008539 -87.761678 7016 Carpenter Rd (between Lunt and Touhy Aves) Skokie, North Suburbs
Lunch (Mon–Thu), dinner (Sun–Thu, Sat after sundown; closed Fri)Average main course: $35
The waitstaff and diners schmooze like one big happy family at this kosher, clubby French bistro. The melt-in-your-mouth steaks rival many pricier downtown steakhouses (the bordelaise, in a red-wine reduction topped with crispy onions, was our favorite). Standouts include hearty seasonal stews and the special Black Hat dessert, a molten Belgian chocolate cake with sorbet that somehow tastes fresh and new in the sea of chocolate lava cakes served all over town.