Named after a famous player of the traditional uilleann pipes, The Kerry Piper honors the tastes and history of the Emerald Isle by serving authentic Irish eats in a pub steeped in classic decor. Natural sunlight illuminates the earthen walls and richly stained wood that fills the dining room, where live performers play music throughout the week. Meanwhile, the aromas of freshly cooked shepherd’s pie, fish 'n' chips, and corned beef fill the air, transporting patrons across the Atlantic along with big-screen LCD TVs just like the ones that filled Ireland’s ancient castles.
It's rare to witness even a second of silence at Maxum Bar & Grill, where the air is forever filled with the clinking of beer mugs, the clatter of pool balls, and the chatter of friends. Twenty television screens speckle the walls, sending the buzz of sports games out across the 5,000-square-foot space. On weekend nights, the lively joint echoes with the strain of live rock-band performances and DJ sets.
The atmosphere is equally boisterous in the kitchen, where juicy steaks crackle on the grills and huge pots bubble with housemade soup. Chef Kurt Guzowski and his chefs bustle about folding housemade sauces, tender meats, and fresh seafood into burgers, wraps, and other pub favorites. They shower plump chicken wings in a choice of seven different sauces, including tangy teriyaki and savory garlic. They also prepare the catch of the day according to customer specifications, grilling, sautéing, or enraging fresh fish filets until sizzling hot.
Mark's On 66 straddles the border of two distinct culinary philosophies, sating rumbling stomachs with a menu of timeless Tex-Mex standards while entertaining eyes and ears with sports-bar-style dartboards, TVs, and games. Overstuffed burritos and steamy fajitas intermingle with American-inspired burgers molded from quality beef and steak. Complimentary WiFi and matches on the in-house Wii add to an ambiance often tinged with upbeat notes and perfectly in-pitch meal orders sung by live musicians.
Casa De Montecristo stocks its ample humidors and regal environs with row after row of tasty smoking tobacco. A La Sirena Trident summons piquancy from the depths of the broadleaf ($9.95), while an E.P. Carrillo Elite hits only the most select flavor notes ($11.95). Casa De Montecristo also boasts a free VIP membership lounge, which can be accessed by calling ahead. The spacious smoking cavern teems with plush amenities such as leather chairs and private humidified lockers. Kick back in the bar and tune in to a flat-screen television, or recline in the theater room for a movie, game, or cigar-smoking tutorial led by Groucho Marx.
No matter where you sit, there’s a good chance you’ll be in full view of the game at Harry's Sports Bar—that's because the Countryside pub encircles bar-goers with more than 10 plasma and LCD screens, three oversize projection screens, and 30 or so standard TVs. As the sound system roars with cheers and jeers during Blackhawks games and UFC matchups, guests drink ice-cold drafts and top-shelf liquor while noshing on thin-crust pizzas, sandwiches, and other menu offerings. On the off chance there’s no game to watch, Harry’s provides live entertainment of its own, thanks to three pool tables, beer pong, and trivia nights.
Hillgrove Wine Cellars and Bistro combines tastings of fine, international wines and craft brews with equally well-crafted appetizers. Danny Parrott curates the medley of food and drinks, relying on his sensitive palate developed over years in the restaurant industry to lead him to the finest flavors. His stock of wine bottles and beers blend with the seasons and are chosen based on his particular leanings. His menu, however, remains anchored in specific flavors meant to offset the dryness of a fine white or the rich tannins of a red.