Mystery Diner: Making a bold (and delicious) statement in Algonquin - Bold American Fare
  • 8 South Main Street, Algonquin, IL 60102
  • (847) 658 5600

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Northwest Herald, 9/11/17

It’s always a thrill when a new restaurant opens that truly offers something unique – especially when it doesn’t require a 45-mile drive to the city. Add delicious food and attentive service, and we comfortably can start using words like sensational to describe Bold American Fare in Algonquin. From its historic Main Street location, comfortable interior and “bold” array of creative menu items, McHenry County has a new gem for gourmands to relish.

As if to say “Here I am!” the bright red building starts the diners’ transition from suburban blasé to dining adventure. Formerly housing Martinis on Main, the building, inside and out, speaks for itself, said Bold American Fare owner Greg Geigel. Geigel, who previously owned Martinis on Main, sanded down the floors, painted a few walls “and that’s about it,” he said.
Why change the character of something that works? And it does work. What Geigle and executive chef Mat Lucas did change, however, is the menu. Think steaks and comfort foods gone wild. The source of Lucas’ inspiration came from his mother, taking some of her old recipes, making them his own and creating the restaurant’s unique signature dishes.

The small 50-seat eatery just celebrated its three-month anniversary and appears to be hitting its stride. The narrow space presents as a casual pub with a lively and welcoming vibe – exactly the setting Geigle was trying to create. The bar takes up almost one whole side of the restaurant, and it’s easy to imagine it’s been sitting in that same spot serving guests and travelers for a hundred years. Current offerings include a competent list of wines and cocktails with the usual array of beer, local craft included.

I must confess I have a love-hate relationship with restaurants that have menus where everything looks good. Needless to say, you will love to hate the menu at Bold American Fare, which lists an accumulation of dishes that all sound pretty darn good (even ones you typically may not think you’d enjoy). As a child I easily would take a pass on pasta in a can, but the Adult Spaghetti-Os entré – pasta in a sweet and tangy tomato sauce with wagyu beef meatballs ($14) – is one of the whimsical menu items. It draws you in, if for no other reason than to experience how the chef has replicated a familiar taste.

Maybe I’m just old, but I still don’t understand the appeal of restaurants and bars that are so loud easy communication is prevented. On a recent visit to Bold American Fare with my wife, that was not an issue. We were greeted and seated promptly, and, even at capacity, which I assume is often, the noise level was muted enough to converse at a typical speaking level. This always is appreciated on that rare night out without the kiddos and perfect for date night or getting together with friends.

As if to say “Here I am!” the bright red building starts the diners’ transition from suburban blasé to dining adventure. Formerly housing Martinis on Main, the building, inside and out, speaks for itself, said Bold American Fare owner Greg Geigel. Geigel, who previously owned Martinis on Main, sanded down the floors, painted a few walls “and that’s about it,” he said.

Why change the character of something that works? And it does work. What Geigle and executive chef Mat Lucas did change, however, is the menu. Think steaks and comfort foods gone wild. The source of Lucas’ inspiration came from his mother, taking some of her old recipes, making them his own and creating the restaurant’s unique signature dishes.

The small 50-seat eatery just celebrated its three-month anniversary and appears to be hitting its stride. The narrow space presents as a casual pub with a lively and welcoming vibe – exactly the setting Geigle was trying to create. The bar takes up almost one whole side of the restaurant, and it’s easy to imagine it’s been sitting in that same spot serving guests and travelers for a hundred years. Current offerings include a competent list of wines and cocktails with the usual array of beer, local craft included.

I must confess I have a love-hate relationship with restaurants that have menus where everything looks good. Needless to say, you will love to hate the menu at Bold American Fare, which lists an accumulation of dishes that all sound pretty darn good (even ones you typically may not think you’d enjoy). As a child I easily would take a pass on pasta in a can, but the Adult Spaghetti-Os entré – pasta in a sweet and tangy tomato sauce with wagyu beef meatballs ($14) – is one of the whimsical menu items. It draws you in, if for no other reason than to experience how the chef has replicated a familiar taste.

Maybe I’m just old, but I still don’t understand the appeal of restaurants and bars that are so loud easy communication is prevented. On a recent visit to Bold American Fare with my wife, that was not an issue. We were greeted and seated promptly, and, even at capacity, which I assume is often, the noise level was muted enough to converse at a typical speaking level. This always is appreciated on that rare night out without the kiddos and perfect for date night or getting together with friends.

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