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David Lissner
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Inovasi: New on the North Shore


Lake Bluff's new Inovasi serves mid-sized portions, meant for sharing.

Lake Bluff's new Inovasi serves mid-sized portions, meant for sharing.

Peacock Cabernet

California winemaker Craig Becker pours his limited-production wines — including the 2007 High Flyer Viognier, 2006 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon and 2005 Peacock Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon — from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, June 10–11 at the brand-new Inovasi in Lake Bluff.

Chef John John des Rosiers (ex-Bank Lane Bistro) has just launched this first solo effort, a casual, New American restaurant specializing in mid-sized plates priced in the $10 to $15 range. The ever-changing menu relies on fresh, locally grown and often organic produce.

Expect such items as slow-roasted pork-shoulder lasagna with tomatoes, buffalo ricotta cheese and farm fresh basil and lime-tequila creme fraiche; dry-aged New York strip steak with spring asparagus, “Civil War” grits and spicy citrus sauce, roasted duck breast with red Inca quinoa, Chinese cabbage, Thai duck reduction, spring peas and crispy leeks; and Gunthorp Farms suckling pig with organic Carolina gold rice, pistachios and green onions.

“We debone the whole pig, marinate the meat with herbs and spices and the skin and cook it for two days before letting it rest, slicing it and sauteing it,” says des Rosiers. “It’s crispy on the outside and soft and juicy on the inside.”

Des Rosiers’ hand-picked wine list concentrates on boutique vintages, and spirits include such libations as a locally made limoncello.

Housed in a 90-year-old building, Inovasi seats 25 in its Jerusalem limestone-accented bar and 80 in the main dining room. It boasts a glassed-in kitchen and an outdoor patio seating 50. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Mondays through Saturdays.