East Dundee? More Like Eats Dundee

As our stomachs grumble and our mouths salivate, these local restaurants in East Dundee don’t disappoint. Take a culinary journey through three dishes that are sure to delight.

Side salad with the Santa Fe Pasta at Diamond Jim’s Gas Grill

Nestled on the banks of the Fox River, just 15 minutes north of Elgin, is the village of East Dundee, a quaint community filled with unique local shops and fun things to do. But it’s East Dundee’s restaurant scene that really sets the village apart. With a population of just over 3,000 people, this little community has an astounding variety and quantity of eateries surrounding its historic depot. Even better, the quality of the food makes this restaurant scene punch far above its weight.

The team at Northwest Quarterly visited three restaurants in East Dundee to conduct extensive research on the fantastic foods and delectable dishes available. Our meticulous notes can be found on the following pages.

Aliano’s Ristorante has been serving classic Italian cuisine since 2017. Its traditional menu features a variety of Italian dishes, including a show-stopping bucatini carbonara.

Diamond Jim’s Gas Grill, located just across the square from Aliano’s, offers a laidback vibe in an early 19th century-style atmosphere. The menu offers classic pub grub as well as pasta dishes like the out-of-this-world Santa Fe Pasta.

Finally, there’s the Anvil Club. For 60 years, this was an exclusive private dining club with a high-end experience. Now open to the public, the Anvil Club hasn’t changed the elevated dining options found inside. Known for mouthwatering dishes like its infamous prime rib, Berkshire porkchops, lamb, lobster and its weekly Friday night fish fry, the Anvil Club also serves up a Chilean sea bass that needs to be tasted to be believed.

Of course, this is just a sampling of what’s in store. We were so stuffed we couldn’t even make it to Mockingbird, Black & Gray Brewing, D.C. Cobb’s, Duke’s Blues n BBQ, or The Distance Social. Bon Appetit!

Aliano’s Ristorante

Location: 310 N. River St. | Reservations: (847) 844-0528, alianosdundee.com

Bucatini Carbonara

Bucatini Carbonara

Fried Egg Noodle
Playfully protruding from the dish are two fried egg noodles that give the pasta both dimension and texture, with a playful bit of crunch in an otherwise creamy and smooth entree.

Green Onion
Looking to give your taste buds even more reason to party? Cut or tear this scallion antenna into pieces and spread it throughout the pasta dish. Then take a bite and savor the flavor.

Truffle Pesto
There’s no reason for this text box to be so large. The words “truffle pesto” are all it should take to send diners running out for a sample of this incredible dish.

Giving form and texture to the creamy sauce, the egg in this dish also offers protein, so the diner has the proper amount of strength to give this dish the fervent worship it so richly deserves.

Shrimp & Bacon
What do Simon and Garfunkle, Hall & Oates, Bogie and Bacall, and Abbott and Costello all have in common? None of them come close to being as great a duo as shrimp and bacon.

Parmesan Cheese
The fact that such a delicious cheese exists is a reason to rejoice. That it can also be found on this already incredible dish is almost too much goodness for mere mortals to comprehend.

Bucatini Noodle
The foundation for this delightful dish is bucatini pasta, a spaghetti-like noodle with a hole down its center to allow the creamy carbonara to get inside and outside the noodle. Best. Invention. Ever.

Cream Sauce
A delicious alchemy where the truffle pesto, bacon, shrimp, egg, asiago cheese and cream emulsify to create a flavor and texture that can only be described as heavenly.

Offering a splash of color, the parsley is best when torn up and distributed through the dish for added flavor. Also, this much green stuff makes the entree technically a salad, so it can be enjoyed guilt-free.

Diamond Jim’s Gas Grill

Location: 325 Meier St. | Reservations: (224) 484-8554, diamondjimsdundee.com

Santa Fe Pasta

Santa Fe Pasta

A generous sprinkling of parsley puts this dish over the delectable top, giving a hint of herbalicious flavor and color to an already amazing combination of pasta, tomatoes, cheese and sauce.

Parmesan Cheese
This type of cheese has been around for almost a thousand years. Also, the time period before parmesan cheese existed was known as the Dark Ages. Coincidence?

Penne Noodle
The humble penne noodle was invented on March 11, 1865, by Giovanni Battista Capurro. You should celebrate this food’s belated birthday with a plate of this amazing Santa Fe pasta.

Garlic Bread
Not only does this dish come with butterly garlicky garlic bread, it also comes with your choice of soup or salad on the side. This means you have both a delightful dinner and a savory lunch the next day.

Santa Fe Sauce
How is it possible for a sauce to be creamy, salty, spicy, savory, rich and buttery all at the same time? We don’t know. This sauce may have magical properties.

It’s been said that knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit and wisdom is knowing not to put one in a fruit salad. You can wisely order this tasty pasta dish with the knowledge that it is delicious.

The Anvil Club

Location: 309 Meier St. | Reservations: (847) 426-7710, theanvilclub.net

Chilean Sea Bass

Chilean Sea Bass

Lemon Butter Sauce
The name of the genius who first combined lemon with butter has been lost to history. Whoever they are, their contribution to the culinary arts makes them eligible for sainthood.

Roasted Asparagus
The veggie for this entree is seasonal, so it changes from time to time. Currently, it’s roasted asparagus, which brings a healthy and satisfying crunch as well as a bit of color to this delightful dish.

Caramelized Onion and Macadamia Nut Crust
Nothing else needs to be added here. Caramelized onion and macadamia nut crusts tend to speak for themselves.

Sea Bass
As a tribute to the humble sea bass, here is a haiku.

We’re sorry, sea bass
That you are delicious
Now get on our plate

Mashed Potatoes
How do you make an already delightfully rich and creamy side dish even more delightfully rich and creamy? Add Brie, of course. It’s the only tried and true way to ramp the delightfully rich and creamy factor up to 11.