It’s not uncommon for restaurants to be described as “cozy,” “friendly” or, when they are exceptionally both cozy and friendly, even “homey.”
The Pines Supper Club, however, is uncommonly all three.
There is nothing quite like The Pines, located on the northern edge of Streator, hidden away at the end of a short, winding entryway off Route 23. That extends to the delicious favorites scattered across its menu.
The building itself can best be described as homey and comfortable. Diners park amid the eponymous pine trees and enter a supper club of yore with a full-service bar to the left and table seating awaiting in all directions.
The decor has changed some over the years, but not terribly much, and the space exudes the same warm, cozy feel of an era gone by as you’re led through by friendly staff to your table.
As for the food, as one might expect with “supper club” in the establishment’s name, a night at The Pines is meant to be enjoyed with some relaxed leisure.
Food is served in courses, starting with drinks, a bowl of crunchy vegetables, and a sharp, taste bud-tickling cheese spread with crackers, bread and butter. A choice of soup or tomato juice – the Mystery Diner has been told the soup is good, but always opts for the rich-flavored little glass of tomato juice – is next along with a salad.
Appetizers such as onion rings, breaded cauliflower, deep-fried mushrooms, cheese sticks and sweet-corn nuggets ($7.95) also can be added to the front end of the meal, as can an appetizer combo ($11.95) or shrimp cocktail ($14.95).
Then the time has finally come for the main course, all served with a choice of potato.
House specialties and patron favorites include prime rib ($20.95 Queen Cut, $25.95 King Cut) served swimming in its juices; barbecue ribs ($16.95 half slab, $20.95 full slab) slathered in a tangy, in-house sauce; a filet of salmon ($18.95); and the ham steak ($14.95).
Pastas such as spaghetti ($11.95) and ravioli ($14.95) are also available, as are crunchy fried chicken (from $8.95 for a quarter to $11.95 for a half), grilled chicken ($14.95) and chicken Parmesan ($16.95). Seafood on the menu, in addition to the salmon, includes fried perch ($13.95), cod broiled or fried ($16.95), catfish ($15.95) and shrimp ($19.95).
Unbelievably juicy steaks served on a metal plate, however, are likely what most associate with The Pines Supper Club – ranging from a filet at $26.95 to a New York strip ($20.95) and rib-eye ($23.95) in between. There’s also chopped sirloin, and liver and onions at $14.95
The flavor of a steak at The Pines is, like the restaurant itself, quite simply one-of-a-kind.
• The Mystery Diner is an employee at Shaw Media. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: The Pines Supper Club
WHERE: 1555 N. Route 23, Streator
INFORMATION: Facebook at tinyurl.com/jxd6kzhf