New ownership unites Asian cuisines
Mongolian beef is one of the signature dishes at Silk Asian Tavern. | Submitted photo
NAME: Silk Asian Tavern
Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean and Japanese dishes
LOCATION: 4 E. Phillip Road, Vernon Hills
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday
(847) 680-1760 or www.silkasiantavern.com
Updated: January 14, 2013 4:47PM
VERNON HILLS — No matter what Asian food you’re craving, Silk Asian Tavern can accommodate.
Lake County natives Cliff Ostrowski and Bo Wungwattana bought Silk Mandarin Restaurant in May and expanded the selections in mid-October – putting a new name on a new menu.
Located on Townline Road between Butterfield Road and Milwaukee Avenue, the tavern seats 160 patrons and its kitchen serves Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Korean and Japanese dishes.
“Why make people search for all these cultural experience when they can get them in one place,” Ostrowski said. “It’s a challenge we’ve accepted.”
Ostrowski spent six years in management at the China Grill, located inside the Hard Rock Hotel on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue.
The restaurant’s corporate management had a sudden disagreement with hotel ownership earlier this year and Ostrowski was asked to help relocate the operation to another state.
Though he was highly valued, Ostrowski loves Chicago and couldn’t leave. He was offered other executive chef positions but couldn’t shake a life-long urge to be a small-business owner.
Instead, he teamed up with Wungwattana, his brother-in-law, and the two convinced other family members to invest in the dream.
Wungwattana was previously the executive chef at Japonais Restaurant in Chicago.
“We wanted to bring that diversity and skill to the suburbs, so people don’t have to trek to Chicago and make it a day when they want quality Asian food,” Ostrowski said. “I live in Grayslake now, and my wife and her brother attended Stevenson High School when they grew up, so Vernon Hills is more like home to us anyway.”
Ostrowski said traffic has steadily increased ever since the name changed in October.
When patrons started returning, they found a renovated interior – a more upscale, urban look. Next year, the restaurant will continue to grow and feature a patio.