Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wickets Bar and Grill, Schaumburg, IL

Wickets Bar and Grill

Walking into Wickets, you'd be forgiven for thinking it a typical bar and grill. Forgiven, because you'd be wrong. A quick look at the menu shows some unusual choices, a variety of cultures represented. That's not to say you can't get a burger, fries, and beer -- you'd just miss out by not exploring the offerings. The owners are from India, so dishes from their homeland are represented, but there is also Tex-Mex and more.

Even though I saw one of my favorites on the menu, the Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc, I instead opted for the Spy Valley (Marlborough, NZ) Sauvignon Blanc 2011, in order to taste something new. A bit on the sweet side, it was a nice foil to the variety of spices during the meal.

The Firesteed (Willamette Valley, OR) Riesling 2009 was quite a bit drier than expected, but still plenty of spicy fruit flavor, also a great accompaniment to the dishes.

Masi Compofiorin (Veneto) Meritage 2008 was on the dry side for me, but Laima really enjoyed it, and it went well with the heartier plates we had ordered (and not).

Trivento Golden (Chile) Malbec 2009 was typically earthy and dry, as so many Chilean wines are. Love that they reflect where they come from so well!

The surprise of the night was the Heavy Weight Wines (Lodi, CA) Old Vine Zinfandel 2009 – in a word, amazing. Much richer and full-flavored than expected, it was a wine I could have drank all evening. I’ll be on the lookout for this in the local wine store.

Wickets Bar and Grill Appetizers


From the selection of Buffalo, BBQ or Chipotle Honey Glaze options, Laima ordered 4 Regular Wings and 4 Boneless in Buffalo and the Chipotle, in order to sample the variety. Served with Carrots, Celery and Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing, these were a great way to start her meal.

I started with Spinach Samosas, flat and therefore different than the ones I’ve had before. Strongly spiced, stuffed with potatoes and spinach, an optional corn salsa completed each tasty bite.

The Roasted Tomato Soup with Fresh Basil was made with a veggie stock for me, rather than the usual chicken – during the entire meal, options were never a problem, making it easy to sample a wide variety of options. The Grilled Cheese “Croutons” on the side were incredibly tasty as well. It was hard to push this aside for the following dishes.

A Brick Oven Flatbread topped with brie, caramelized red onions, and papaya is a special that wasn’t on the menu, but we were happy to try it for the chef. While tasty, it ended up being a bit sweet – we would have left the papaya off or replaced the brie with a sharper, tangier cheese to create more contrast.

Wickets Bar and Grill Salads


Laima’s Harvest Salad Mixed Greens with Arugula, Roasted Pears, Crumbled Bleu Cheese,
and Candied Walnuts drizzled with a White Balsamic Vinaigrette was enough food for a meal on its own. Great flavor mixture!

A Quinoa Salad that sometimes appears on the specials menu should make the move to a regular menu soon, as it was simple, light, and went with pretty much all the other dishes.

Same sentiment for the Roasted Vegetables – we couldn’t identify every vegetable, but they were perfectly done, from the softer root veggies to the crisp Brussels sprouts. I suggested they replace half the fries that came with the sandwich with this!

Wickets Bar and Grill Entrees


Laima’s Beef Fajitas sautéed with Onion, Red and Green Peppers, were served with Flour Tortillas. The entrée was accompanied by Refried Beans, Rice and a Salad that served double duty as a topping. Super tasty and plenty to take home for a lunch the next day.

Butternut squash ravioli were another off-menu item sent out by the chef. I’ve never seen them served with a white sauce before. While definitely tasty, I still prefer them simpler, with just a bit of oil rather than a sauce.

The Vegetable Sandwich I ordered was a big surprise – it was cold! Herb Grilled Vegetables (Oven Roasted Plum Tomato, Zucchini) with Fresh Mozzarella, Garlic Basil Mayo, really a nicely put together sandwich, didn’t fall apart as I ate it, even though it was layered high, The coldness added a nice contrast to the rest of the meal.

Wickets Bar and Grill Sizzling Brownie


For dessert, we had to check out the Wickets Special Sizzling Brownie – turns out this is a favorite dessert in India! the brownie is served table side in a steaming hot fajita pan. When the House-made Fudge Sauce is poured over, it sizzles and bubbles away, hence the name. Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream made the heat manageable, so we ate pretty much every last bite! With the brownie we received glasses of a ruby port (producer slips my mind), such a great pairing – would have never thought of the brownie and this wine together. A perfect way to end the meal.

Whether you are headed to the mall, to the cinema next door, or even in the general direction of Schaumburg, make sure to make time to stop in. A welcoming atmosphere, great service, food for everyone's taste and diet, along with a winning bar menu make for an amazing experience.

Check out the restaurant on the Wickets Bar and Grill website, by liking on Facebook, and following on Twitter.

Wickets Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

This meal was comped for review purposes - no further compensation was offered or received. A favorable review was not guaranteed and all opinions are my own.

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1 comment:

  1. Definitely not your typical bar experience - great food, wine and atmosphere!