LOOKS LIKE THE third time was indeed the charm for Valor, a Mediterranean-American bistro in downtown Glencoe. Co-owners Rick Raschillo and Steven Santiccioli previously opened and closed the rustic Italian Cibo Trattoria—I still dream of their Italian poutine—and District Sports Bar in the same Vernon Avenue location.
It’s always surprised me that Glencoe, a bustling North Shore suburb by any standards, seems to have trouble supporting multiple fine-dining restaurants, especially with nearby Writers Theatre packing them in on the regular and Ravinia just up the road. Guildhall has made a go of it, but another comfortable restaurant with reliable food and service should be able to thrive.
Valor opened in 2017 and I think finally zeroed in on the right formula to survive in this neighborhood. There was a changing of the guard in September, and the classically trained Stefan Markov—who previously cooked in the kitchens of North Shore stalwarts Restaurant Michael and Abigail’s before coming to Valor—took over as executive chef.
The room, with its dark-wood main bar (yes, there’s still a TV in the equation... sigh... but that seems to be the rule rather than the exception these days), long communal bar table and cozy banquette seating, all under the warm glow of the concentric circular chandeliers, envelops the diner in a pleasing way. Grab a signature cocktail—perhaps the refreshing and boozy Bourbon Grapefruit Smash ($14) or the spicy, smoky Asian Mezcal Margarita ($14)—and get down to business.