Best East Side Restaurant - 2002
It had to happen. Someone had to yank some big-city swank over to the other side of the river. When you're tired of standard fare on the East Side, look for Neruda, named for the Chilean poet Pablo (portrayed in the classic film Il Postino). Enjoy smoked-chicken potstickers in a shiitake-mushroom/tomato relish. Savor the roasted honey-lime-chipotle chicken with wild mushrooms and roasted-corn salsa. Anything ordered in this spacious but intimate eatery is worth the half-hour drive. But for extra incentive (and a touch of Edwardsville flavor), check out the wine raffle: Every time you buy a bottle at Neruda, you drop a self-addressed cork in a raffle bin and wait for the weekly drawing. Winners get a free bottle of the same value or greater. Cheers.