By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
The first course was a lovely dish, satisfying but lively--a portobello mushroom cap, sliced across and framed with narrow strips of melting mozzarella cheese, rested on a familiar tomato coulis.
I had expected Cafe Highland Park to be a good place to savor a cup of that old chestnut onion soup, but the bowlful they brought was thickly slicked with oil that had probably leaked out of the floating crouton's cheese cargo. All the flavor of the broth was diluted by fat.
Salads, though, were excellent. The side was a toss of frilly and flat green and red leaves, thoroughly coated in a well-balanced vinaigrette and enriched with buttery crumbles of feta cheese.
The main meal mix of grilled chicken and smoked mozzarella was served over the same greens, with plenty of Roma tomato slices and pitted imported olives. I only wished the bread had been a little better and the butter served in pats, not squirts.
This is the kind of place it would behoove you to become a regular of, anyway: It's a village restaurant, a friendly neighborhood place that wants to know its clientele and most of our fellow diners seemed to know their way around the place and the menu. In a land of luxury, Cafe Highland Park is a surprisingly usable, even practical, kind of restaurant.
Cafe Highland Park, 69 Highland Park Shopping Village (Mockingbird & Preston), 521-7300. Open for lunch Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m; for dinner Monday-Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m.; Friday, 5:30-11 p.m. Open Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Cafe Highland Park:
Phyllo Basket $7.50
Escargots Champignons $6.95
Grill of Salmon $16.95
Portobello Mushroom $5.75
Mozzarella Filet $12.95