Waterleaf Restaurant Brings Modern Casualness To Fine Dining
Celebrating its second anniversary, Waterleaf restaurant (425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137; telephone 630-942-6881), is a dream come to fruition for College of DuPage. "What we've been able to do, in two short years, is to establish Waterleaf as a stellar example of modern fine dining," says Jean-Pierre Leroux, general manager. "It is truly a wonderful restaurant. I am proud it has become not only a favored dining spot for food lovers in our area, but also an example of how excellent a restaurant can be when given proper attention and a focus on detail throughout."
Waterleaf is the brainchild of COD President Dr. Robert L. Breuder and Leroux, the longtime owner-operator of the celebrated Barrington Country Bistro in Barrington, Ill. While some may question why a community college would build such a modern restaurant, the answer is apparent for those who know Dr. Breuder and College of DuPage. "We wanted to set the stage for our students, their parents, guests and the community," Dr. Breuder said. "Having a professionally run, modern restaurant on campus is a bold statement. We want Waterleaf to reflect today's fine dining style, which is more casual and relaxed in tone, but still high in quality. We are serious about our academic programs and strive to convey that in every aspect of our campus life."
Waterleaf's mission is to be an inspiration to the culinary students in the College's growing Culinary and Hospitality Management program. Unlike other culinary schools, however, Waterleaf is run by professional chefs with opportunities for student engagement. The Waterleaf team includes Executive Chef Nadia Tilkian, whose professional experience includes stints at Barrington Country Bistro and the highly regarded Maijean, which she owned in Clarendon Hills. Leroux's r�sum� includes a stellar career in some of the finest restaurants and hotels in Europe and the United States.
"We are committed to offering our guests the most hospitable and delicious dining adventure possible," Leroux emphasizes. "Waterleaf continues to evolve. Not willing to rest on our laurels, we are mindful of the need to set even higher standards while remaining in step with the desires of our guests." Since its opening in 2011, Waterleaf has received a three-star review by Crain's Chicago Business and a Readers' Choice Award for Best Restaurant for Dinner from Glancer Magazine. Waterleaf also is recognized for its stellar wine list, receiving Wine Spectator's coveted Award of Excellence for 2012 and 2013. This award, given annually to restaurants in the United States and 65 countries worldwide, acknowledges that Waterleaf's wine program is consistent with its dining concept, style and price point. Waterleaf is also a recipient of the Diner's Choice Awards for Best Ambience, Best Overall, Best Service, Fit for Foodies and Special Occasion on OpenTable.com, where it maintains a 4.8/5.0 rating.
Waterleaf restaurant is located at 425 Fawell Boulevard in Glen Ellyn, Ill. The 120-seat restaurant, led by General Manager Jean-Pierre Leroux and Executive Chef Nadia Tilkian, is a hidden gem, nestled on the campus of College of DuPage.
Waterleaf serves lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday. It is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Lunch hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday; dinner hours are 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Brunch is served on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Call 630-942-6881 for information or reservations or visit: www.waterleafrestaurant.com.
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Cindy Kurman / Lee Barrie