The stars were out in Geneva this week, dining on crab-topped filet and butternut squash soup at Atwater's Restaurant at the Herrington Inn and Spa – and loving it.
The crowd of 15 included actors Dennis Quaid, Zac Efron, Clancy Brown, Kim Dickens and Heather Graham, as well as director Ramin Bahrani about 8 p.m. Tuesday.
"Dennis Quaid said on the way out, 'Everything was outstanding. I will be back,' " Herrington marketing director Jennifer Piazza said. "Zac Efron called directly to buy gift certificates for his posse, which is really nice for us."
Piazza said it was a "wrap party" as they had just finished filming a movie in DeKalb.
The movie is untitled," Piazza said. "It was supposed to be called 'Highlander' but they retracted that and don't have a title right now. Part of it was shot in DeKalb, where they finished."
In addition to crab-topped filet mignon and the seasonal soup, the celebrities also feasted on Alaskan halibut and black tiger prawn. Eight ordered desserts: pumpkin crème brûlée, chocolate flourless truffle mousse cake and key lime cheesecake, she said.
"We do get a lot of celebrities because it's a very fine dining establishment that is elegant yet unpretentious," Piazza said. "And they have the ability to enjoy dinner without being recognized or with unnecessary attention drawn. One of the main reasons is the food is excellent and the service was phenomenal. Dennis Quaid said how fabulous it was."
Still, the stars ate at a large table in Atwater's intimate dining room, out where everyone could see them, she said.
"They were definitely talk of the place," Piazza said. "Guests gave them a hand and stood for them in the lobby."
Though the restaurant typically closes at 10 p.m. on weeknights, it stayed open until 10:45 p.m. to accommodate their celebrity guests, she said.
"And the tip was more than generous," Piazza said.
From Geneva Patch.com:
Extremely reliable Patch sources confirm that a bevy of Hollywood stars were at Geneva's four-diamond Atwater's restaurant celebrating the completion of shooting in the DeKalb and Sycamore area of a movie that has yet to be titled—or at least as far as we could find in a quick Internet search.
Dennis Quaid, Heather Graham, Zac Efron, Kim Dickson and others from the movie shoot in DeKalb celebrated their wrap party at Atwater's in The Herrington Inn and Spa
"The group of 15 thoroughly enjoyed themselves and had a hard time leaving," said Herrington Inn Manager Paul Ruby.
As Quaid was leaving, he actually exclaimed, "I will be back!"
Ruby confirmed the reservations were made by the film's award-winning director, Ramin Bahrani, who Roger Ebert calls "the director of the decade."
Ruby said Bahrani might have heard of Atwater's because a former Atwater's employee was working on the set.
"They needed a place to have a celebration, and they selected us," Ruby said. "And that’s pretty cool."
The party arrived about 8:30 p.m. and enjoyed dinner for about four hours. Ruby said a group of five women from Springfield were in town staying at Pheasant Run, and they came by to say thanks for the great meal.
"Sitting next to all the movie stars was icing on the cake," Ruby said. "They couldn't believe it."