Through 30 years it’s remained near the top of Chicago dining rankings, placing number one in Zagat rankings four years out of five from 2005 to 2009. And it’s watched other names in north suburban fine dining come (Inovasi, Michael) and go (Trio, Le Francais). Now Carlos and Debbie Nieto have announced that Carlos will close on January 1 and a new concept called Nieto’s will open at a future date. But at least Carlos, which helped make Highland Park a dining destination for the area, will go out with a bang; the list of special events planned is below.
November 1-30 — Special degustation menus revive greatest hits from the restaurant’s 30-year history.
November 1-30 (most nights) — Half-price specials on select bottles of wine throughout the month.
November 1-30 — Parties of six- to-eight, each of whom bring a special bottle of wine, can enjoy a custom-paired menu, designed by Chef Ramiro Velasquez; call ahead with your selections of wine for the perfect food pairing ($100 per person plus tax and gratuity).
November 4 — An International House of Wine and Cheese dinner celebrates the birthdays of their owners Tom Jiaras and Carlos Nieto featuring the wines of Caymus; for reservations, call The International House of Wine & Cheese and ask for Lori 815.678.2500 ($68 per person plus tax and gratuity).
November 7 - Tallgrass guest chefs Bob Burcenski and Tom Alves prepare a special, four-course meal ($65, plus beverages, tax and gratuity).
November 11 - 11.11.11- Eleven course meal with eleven desserts ($111.11 per person plus beverages, tax and gratuity).
November 12 - Gather for a toast-worthy Champagne dinner, the only menu of the night, to honor Carlos’ 30-year run.
November 17 -Silver Oak wine dinner with Tom Jiaras of the International House of Wine & Cheese; reservations are required and can be made through calling the International House of Wine & Cheese at 815.678.2500, ask for Lori; ($68 plus tax and gratuity); wines will also be available for purchase at a special price.
November 24 - Thanksgiving carryout will be offered for a minimum of four ($50 per person). The full-fledged, traditional, whole-turkey dinner comes with soup, cranberries, stuffing, salad, sweet potato gratin, pumpkin soufflé and fall harvest fruit tart. Order a complete dinner or just sides!
November 28 - Guest chef Didier Durand of Cyrano’s Bistro prepares a special, four-course meal ($65, plus beverages, tax and gratuity).
November 30 - The restaurant will host a cooking demonstration with Chef Ramiro Velasquez, followed by a three-course dinner. Guests leave with recipes to take home ($90, includes wines of your choice, plus tax and gratuity).
December 7 - Carlos’ Chef Collaborative Dinner; Carlos’ chefs Ramiro Velasquez, Nabor Vasquez of the Freehling Room at Ravinia Festival and Eduardo Medina of Café Central in Highland Park, IL. (4-course dinner, $65 per person, plus beverages, tax and gratuity).
December Date TBD - Guest chef Gabriel Viti of Gabriel’s Restaurant prepares a special, four-course meal ($65, plus beverages, tax and gratuity).
New Year’s Eve dinner — (degustation menu with choices; excludes beverages, tax and gratuity). The first seating is from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., $120 per person; upstairs seating is from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., $120 per person; final seating is from 9:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and includes a midnight champagne toast, $140 per person The evening will feature live entertainment and a festive atmosphere.