Nostalgia on menu at Four West


Eats: dining reviews, Table Talk

April 10, 2003|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The renovations -- on both the eatery and its eats -- are complete at Four West, and its old incarnation as the Polo Grill is officially history. But -- as both the Four West space and the menu attest -- nostalgia is going strong.

Owner Rob Freeman says his goal was to lighten up the room and make it more contemporary, and make the place appeal to the formal dining faction as well as the more casual khaki-clad crowd. The decor has changed -- from the horse-country look and a predominant forest green to a more citified charcoal and linen. The bar space has expanded, but Freeman points out that the same table positions as before are in the dining room.

The menu sports the same new-but-familiar theme. Freeman says the old menu offered entrees priced at $26 and up, and he wanted to broaden that range. Now entree prices start at $17 for vegetarian lasagna and go to $47 for the old Polo signature dish, fried lobster tail. Freeman has also extended choices for the more casual eater to include such appetizers as slow-roasted St. Louis ribs ($9) and crab, fontina and artichoke fondue ($12).

Four West is open from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for breakfast and 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for lunch Monday through Saturday. Dinner hours are 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, brunch is from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The address: 4 W. University Blvd., inside the Colonnade.

To a `T'

Theresa Lafond was a whiz with addresses. For 11 years, she worked as a mail clerk at the Stevenson Village post office. But most of her regular addressees never knew what else she was a whiz at -- until she opened her dream-come-true restaurant next door. Now, they're reminded that Lafond's quite a chef -- in the morning when they drop by for coffee and maybe one of her homemade muffin tops, sticky buns or frittata; at noon when they grab a soup, salad, crab cake or sandwich; and in the afternoon, when they can pick up their choice of five pre-prepared entrees like lamb chops, rotisserie chicken or poached salmon to go. One of the big faves is the roast beef on a baguette with horseradish cheddar, tomato, mixed greens and pesto mayonnaise ($6.95).

You'll find Coffee With T at 10423 Stevenson Road. Its hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Hot stuff

Things are gettin' a little spicy down Hampden way, thanks to Hometown Girl's newly "heated" soda fountain. Owner Mary Pat Andrea invited Mick Kipp -- the man behind the locally produced Whiskey Island Pirate Shop line of hot sauces and condiments -- to expand the fountain into a lunch counter. So, Kipp and Andrea have come up with a unique menu. On one side, it offers classics like those at the Woman's Industrial Exchange. On the other, you'll find Kipp's destined-to-become classics, which have that extra wallop. The menu offers a handful of salads and sandwiches, with prices ranging between $4 and $6.

You'll find "Cap'n" Kipp operating the counter from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. He says he'll expand business hours to Saturday in May. Hometown Girl is at 1001 W. 36th St., on the corner of 36th Street and Roland Avenue.

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