Great Lakes Eateries

ILLINOIS
Convito Cafe & Market, (formerly Convito Italiano), 1515 Sheridan Road, Wilmette, Chicago's North Shore, IL; 847/251-3654 or convitoitaliano.com. Though known for outrageously delicious pastas, this restaurant serves other specialties like chilled cherry-and-beet soup and smoked-trout salad; mouthwatering cuisine, fine wine, and creative picnic essentials. (July-August 2006)

Davis Street Fishmarket, 501 Davis Street, Evanston, Chicago's North Shore, IL; 847/869-3474 or davisstreetfishmarket.com. (July-August 2006)

Milwaukee Ale House, 233 North Water Street, Milwaukee, WI; 414/226-2337 or ale-house.com. Early occupants of this 19th-century brick building once fitted Great Lakes cargo schooners with new sails at the adjacent docks. Coveted tables on the outdoor deck overlook both RiverWalk and the waterway; Serves salads, burgers, and house-made beer in a brick-and-timber waterfront warehouse. (June 2007)

South Gate Café, 655 Forest Ave., Lake Forest, Chicago's North Shore, IL; 847/234-8800 or southgatecafe.com . The English-village atmosphere of Lake Forest entices for lunch at south Gate Café. (July-August 2006)

Tapas Barcelona, 1615 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Chicago's North Shore, IL; 847/866-9900 or tapasbarcelona.com. Try the heaping crab-and-avocado salad. (July-August 2006)

Va Pensiero, 1566 Chicago Ave., Evanston, Chicago's North Shore, IL; 847/475-7779 or va-p.com. Try the tantalizing tiger shrimp with pistachio pesto. (July-August 2006)

MICHIGAN
Village Cheese Shanty, 199 River St., Leland, MI; 231/256-9141 or leelanau.com/cheese. More than 75 imported and domestic cheeses, including everything from aged Cheddar to locally made raclette, tempt tastebuds. Enjoy your favorite (or daring) find between slices of pretzel bread while dipping your toes in Lake Michigan and sipping regional wine. (October 2007)

Pink Pony Bar & Grill, Mackinac Island, MI; 800/241-3341 or chippewahotel.com. Provides excellent food, live entertainment, great views of Lake Huron, and, for the convenience of its sailing clientele, a private dock. (December 2006)

Pumpernickel's Eatery, 202 Butler St., Saugatuck, MI; 269/857-1196 or pumpernickelssaugatuck.com. Good breakfasts and sandwiches. (May-June 2004)

Restaurant Toulouse, 248 Culver Street, Saugatuck, MI; 269/857-1561 or restauranttoulouse.com. Tres French, tres fancy (for this casual town), pricey but very good. (May-June 2004)

The White House Bistro, 149 Griffith St., Saugatuck, MI; 269/857-3240 or whitehousebistro.com. Art, sandwiches, soups, salads, and wines. (May-June 2004)

Wally's Bar & Grill, 128 Hoffman St., Saugatuck, MI; 269/857-5641. Energetic bar, live entertainment, good fried seafood. (May-June 2004)

OHIO
Stillwaters Coffee Café, 140 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, OH; 419/625-6885. (September 2007)

WISCONSIN
Waterfront, 10961 Bayshore Dr., Sister Bay, Door County, WI; 920/854-5491 or jjswaterfront.com. Chic restaurant next door to JJ's La Puerta. (November 2007)

JJ's La Puerta, 10951 N. Bayshore Dr., Sister Bay, Door County, WI; 920/854-4513 or jjswaterfront.com/jjslapuertahome.htm. You can't beat it for tasty Mexican food. (November 2007)

The Whistling Swan Inn & Restaurant, 4192 Main Street, Fish Creek, Door County, WI; 920/868-3442 or whistlingswan.com. (November 2007)

White Gull Inn, 4225 Main Street, Fish Creek, Door County, WI; 888/364-9542 or whitegullinn.com. A fixture in Fish Creek for lodging and fine dining year-round. It's also the only locale for a fish boil between October and May. (November 2007)

Egg Toss Bakery Café, 41 Maypenny Ave., Bayfield, WI; 715/779-5181 or eggtoss-bayfield.com. (September-October 2002)

Kick Coffee, 148 N. 3rd Ave., Sturgeon Bay, WI; 920/746-1122. A bright, downtown Sturgeon Bay institution. (May 2006)

Maggie's, 257 Maypenny Ave., Bayfield, WI; 715/779-5641 or maggies-bayfield.com. Among this pink flamingo-themed restaurant's mainstream burgers, pizzas, and pastas, there's the local delicacy of whitefish livers, cornmeal-coated and sautéed to perfection. (September-October 2002)

Pier Plaza Restaurant, 15 Front Street, Bayfield, WI; 888/243-4191 or bayfrontinnbayfield.net. This locals-packed café at the Bay Front Inn serves an especially good breakfast. (September-October 2002)

Tom's Burned Down Café, Madeline, Apostle Islands, WI; 715/747-6100. Located on the only island with a year-round community; a semi-trailer serves as a bar. (September-October 2002)

Wild Rice Restaurant, 84860 Old San Road, Bayfield, WI; 715/779-9881 or wildricerestaurant.com. Enjoy a truly resplendent dinner "by the water in the woods," as this chic restaurant, which opened in summer '01. (September-October 2002)