Salad Daze Part 3

So, I’ve been dieting. What else is new? But no plain cottage cheese and pineapple for me!

I’ve revisited many new restaurants (and a few old favorites) to find the one great salad that I am craving. And they are out there, my friends.

Chicago

Bar Toma 
Their namesake salad is the perfect counterpoint to a wood-fire baked pizza. Radicchio and arugula provide the base; then hard-boiled egg, fennel, capers, celery, carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and Toma cheese are piled on top with a lemony vinaigrette. 110 E. Pearson St., 312-266-3110

Boarding House
Their Kale Caesar Salad, with a red wine-poached egg, white anchovies and Pecorino cheese, is lovely… and healthy-ish! 720 N. Wells St., 312-280-0720

RPM Italian
They took an antipasto plate and made it into Giuliana’s Italian Salad, featuring crisp greens, fresh and pickled veggies, salami and cheese with piquant vinaigrette. 52 W. Illinois St., 312-222-1888

Deerfield

Bobby’s Deerfield
I’m partial to their Chicken Salad, with juicy chunks of pulled, roasted chicken marinated with yogurt and tossed with cucumbers, carrots, peas and fresh dill. 695 Deerfield Rd., 847-607-9104

Evanston

Found Kitchen and Social House
Their Baby Carrot and Beet Salad with house-made yogurt cheese and baby greens makes me remember what I used to like about beets salads. Thank you for not putting goat cheese and walnuts in it. 1631 Chicago Ave., 847-868-8945

Highland Park

Nieto’s
I am really digging their Lobster Cobb with hard-boiled egg, tomato, avocado, Roquefort cheese and Dijon mustard vinaigrette. 429 Temple Ave., 847-432-0770

Lake Forest

Market House on the Square
This salad tastes just like summer—scallop ceviche with heirloom tomatoes, fresh corn, red peppers, red onions, cilantro, tortilla strips and grilled lime. 655 Forest Ave., 847-234-8800

Northbrook

Prairie Grass Café
Vegetarian heaven—Chopped Greek salad with romaine, red and green peppers, cucumbers, red onion, red wine-herb vinaigrette and baked feta cheese with spicy banana peppers. 601 Skokie Blvd., 847-205-4433

Zodiac Restaurant at Neiman-Marcus  
When my mom’s in town, we always stop here: Grilled Lemon Shrimp with hearts of romaine, quinoa, feta cheese, grilled asparagus, toasted almonds and citrus vinaigrette. 5000 Northbrook Ct., 847-509-6750

Skokie

Libertad  
A classic with a twist, their Peras salad is delish: Asian pears, Cabrales cheese, candied pecans, arugula and balsamic vinaigrette. 7931 Lincoln Ave., 847-674-8100

Wheeling

Saranello’s
Try the Wood-Roasted Salmon salad with red and yellow beets and green beans on a bed of mesclun. Ask for the mustard vinaigrette. 601 N. Milwaukee Ave., 847-777-6878

Wilmette

Nick’s Bar & Grill 
Their “Nics-oise” salad is filled with all sorts of stuff I love: blackened ahi tuna, pickled onions. avocado, eggs, potatoes, green beans… it’s like they know me. 1168 Wilmette Ave., 847-251-3262Nick’s Bar & Grill

Winnetka

Avli Estiatorio
I love their Lentil Salad with Baby Spinach, and I always order it with their lush grilled salmon on top, which I cut into little pieces and parse out amongst the lentils. Food of the (Greek) gods! 566 Chestnut St., 847-446-9300

Trifecta Grill
Sure, it’s a Caesar Salad, but here it’s called a “Romaine Bundle,” because they tuck the leaves through a perfect hole in a huge Texas toast crouton. Great presentation! 501 Chestnut St., 847-441-1700

 

Photo: Italian Chopped Salad with Crispy Chickpeas from The Noodle Small Plates & Market