VENUE DETAILS

Forepaugh's

Price:

Cuisine Type:

Serves:

Handicap Accessible:

Yes

Outdoor Seating:

Yes

Handicap Accessible:

Yes

Outdoor Seating:

Yes

REVIEW

'Which one of you is the critic?" asked the polite man as he approached our table. He was the fourth person to introduce himself that evening, confirming my suspicion that everyone at Forepaugh's -- right down to Molly, the house's resident ghost -- was aware of my presence in the restaurant that evening. So much for anonymity. "I just wanted you to know that, as a faithful customer, I was nervous to come back under the new ownership," he explained. "But I had absolutely no reason to be. It's as wonderful as ever."

I'll have to take his word for it. The last time I gave any serious thought to Forepaugh's was ... actually, I can't remember. For me, it has always been one of those restaurants that seemed to barely float on the periphery of my consciousness. You know the type: comforting to know that's it's there, glad it has a following, but not really my kind of place.

Surprise was my reaction to the news that Bruce Taher, he of the campus and corporate food-service giant that bears his name, had purchased Irvine Park's grand old dowager. A special-occasion landmark didn't seem to fit the come-as-you-are M.O. of his other properties, the Wayzata Eatery, Alaska Eatery, Nordeast Eatery and his most recent acquisition, the Timber Lodge Steakhouse chain. Then again, Taher appears to have a knack for rejuvenating underperforming properties.

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