In the stretch between the Yorktown and Oakbrook Center malls, it can be difficult for a restaurant to stand out from the glut of options. But that is not a problem for the classy D.O.C. Wine Bar, an offshoot of the Lincoln Park bar and restaurant of the same name. With its extensive wine collection and a dark, swanky atmosphere, the Lombard eatery brings a little city flair to the 'burbs.
The name D.O.C. is both a distinction for Italian wines and an abbreviation for Dunlays on Clark, the parent restaurant of the original wine bar. Both wine snobs and casual winos can coexist here. Connoisseurs will enjoy the large selection of wines by the bottle, half-bottle and glass, while newbies might enjoy trying a flight of three earthy reds or Italian whites. Attentive servers can help those who are lost or intimidated by the wine list. On the downside, the narrow space can get a little cramped and noisy during peak hours. Tables in the back don't offer guests a lot of wiggle room.
Visitors looking to get the full D.O.C. experience can expect to drop a little cash. Most glasses of wine range from $8 to $17. On their own the food items are reasonably priced, but it's hard not to want to try a little of everything. To accompany that first glass of wine, the menu tempts you to order up a butcher's plate full of various meats, cheeses and/or bruschetta ($14 for four items and $24 for eight). Appetizers like the chorizo-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon and the Italian cheese fondue offer other enticing pairing options for your beverage. With each visit from your server, you can expect to add to your bill.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Jim Collins