Suburban diners have wasted no time discovering the new Green Street Grille in downtown Bensenville. And the early consensus is positive.
Since opening in mid-April, the venue has enjoyed the benefits of a well-stocked bar, a contemporary American menu and a generally attentive wait staff. Many customers already report making more than one visit to the family-friendly venue adorned in blond wood paneling, brick walls and mood-setting strings of Edison bulbs.
Green Street Grille120 W. Green St., Bensenville, (630) 474-1201, greenstreetgrille.com/
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Setting: Casual meeting place for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch
Prices: Entrees: $13.95 to $22.95; from the grill: $20.95 to $36.95; sandwiches: $10.95 to $13.95; desserts: $5.95 to $8.95
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Also: Street parking when the restaurant's tiny lot is full
Beer fans will have a field day sampling the pub's diverse beer selection, an impressive mix of craft beers (Chicago's Burnt City, Goose Island) and major labels. A dozen beers are offered on draft and another 12 come in cans. The bar also stocks some 22 bottled lagers, ales and porters, including beers from Warrenville's Two Brothers, Chicago's Metropolitan and Wauconda's Small Town. Anti-Hero IPA, a delightful brew on tap from Chicago-based Revolution Brewing, pleases with its clear, amber color, medium body and a hint of sweetness.
Oenophiles will find a representative list of reasonably priced wines, available by the glass or bottle. Looking for a traditional cocktail or something created by the bartender? That, too, is an option.
The food side of Green Street Grille's menu covers mostly familiar territory where guests will encounter a number of shareable small plates. Choices range from sausage flatbread and jumbo chicken wings to baked spinach-and-artichoke dip and loaded nachos.
Crispy calamari provided an ample serving for two. This tasty appetizer (with tomato and lemon notes) came with a mild chef-made marinara dipping sauce.
For the main course, I ordered the classic Reuben: corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing all tucked between two slices of seeded rye. For the record, this was probably the best Reuben to cross my lips in years. The ingredients were fresh and flavorful, and the proportions in perfect balance. Freshly made chips (crunchy and still warm) made the perfect accompaniment.
My dining companion's cleverly titled Three Little Pigs sandwich was a pork lover's dream. It came piled with tender, lightly breaded pork tenderloin, ham and bacon. The trio paired up with lettuce, cheddar cheese and a mustard aioli -- all sandwiched in a French roll. The only downside was the limp fries served as a side.
Grilled dishes befitting the venue's name include a 20-ounce rib-eye ($36.95), a twin-cut pork chop, a 14-ounce New York strip, an 8-ounce filet mignon and grilled salmon ($20.95).
Other entrees to keep in mind included the ale-battered fish (Alaskan cod) and chips and the herb-roasted salmon with caramelized cauliflower and citrus watercress salad.
Also available was an infrequently seen German specialty: Berlin-style veal calves liver prepared with caramelized onions, crispy onion strings, bacon and roasted apples.
Portions lean toward the substantial, so it's understandable that many diners at Green Street Grille find themselves boxing leftovers (including me). Guided by a full stomach, dessert -- Key lime pie, nine-layer chocolate cake extreme or New York-style cheesecake -- did not seem advisable at the time.
The place tends to get louder and louder as the evening progresses, and the harried wait staff isn't always there to refresh water glasses or remove no-longer-needed plates. However, the 200-seat Green Street Grille presents itself as a casual refuge where its customers can break bread with relatives or friends.
• Restaurant reviews are based on one anonymous visit. The Daily Herald does not publish reviews of restaurants it cannot recommend.