3 Vines coats thirsty throats with a selection of seasonal wines and fresh, all-natural cuisine. Start by sipping on or dousing eyebrow fires with any of more than 40 by-the-glass-or-flight and more than 100 by-the-bottle wines, including the Maryhill chardonnay (flight $4, glass $8, bottle $30), the Michel Lynch merlot (flight $3, glass $7, bottle $28), or the sparkling Flor prosecco (flight $5, glass $11, bottle $36). Conversational nibblers can nosh their choice of delicious small plates such as the cheese-and-meat slate ($16), an all-star cast of artisan cheeses and meats, or the lamb lollichops ($12), designed for prime plunging into cumberland sauce and placating wolves after doctor visits. An array of soups ($4+) and salads ($8+) complements entrees such as the beef, seafood, and poultry du jour (market price), and a multitude of martinis and cocktails help patrons unwind after a day of playing hopscotch on a highway.
The chefs at Maxwell's Hot Dogs sling dogs, burgers, and polish sausages into buns to create a sprawling menu of enticing options. Inside the eatery, guests lounge around classic checkered tablecloths, gazing at flat-screen TVs broadcasting sports. Meanwhile, an outdoor patio bedecked with lampposts caters to those who want to feel the wind in their fries as they dine on chicken sandwiches, pastas, or salads seated at tables with shade-summoning umbrellas.
Reds and yellows filter through stained-glass windows, playing across the exposed-brick walls and white linens inside Cucina Bella's dining room. The modern bistro's set of robust menus touting custom-built pasta, weekly tapas specials, and sherry-kissed steaks earned the eatery the top spot on McHenry County Magazine's 2010 Best of the Fox list. Wednesdays nights' tapas menu puts a Roman twist on the classic Spanish small plates.
The cooks at Reese’s Restaurant have manned the griddle for more than two decades, firing up hearty diner fare for servers to whisk to the eatery’s homey dining room during lunch and dinner. When whipping up designer skillets and omelets, the grill masters pepper customer-picked meats such as seasoned chicken, bratwurst, or corned-beef hash with one of seven cheeses, and gardens of crisp vegetables, including fresh spinach, mushrooms, and jalapeños. Kids can request that their pancakes be poured into the shapes of their favorite characters, whether they are silhouettes of Mickey Mouse’s head or Captain Ahab’s peg leg. For lunch, diners can silence midday tummy quakes with the thin roast beef and au jus of Big Dippers or heaping tossed salads.
Cartoon flames and pitchforks adorn Dante’s vivid red awning, which crowns a cozy, white-bricked edifice. The kitchen team serves the sinfully delicious eats in checkered paper baskets, conjuring an ambiance of Americana better than Hank Aaron obliterating an apple pie with his bat. Casual fare, such as sizzling single or double burgers alongside juicy cylinders of bratwurst and polish sausage, heats up chilled craws. A chicken sandwich, meanwhile, arrives at tables sheathed in panko-encrusted armor.
Red neon signage smolders above the entrance to Beef Villa, a no-frills eatery where diners can settle into crimson booths and dig into freshly carved gyros, seasoned Italian beef sandwiches, and other succulent offerings. Ever since the original Dundee Avenue location opened in 1970, the eatery has been serving up a menu of "hot and fast" casual fare, from chili infused with Red Hot Chicago pure beef dogs to pure-pork Italian sausage that deliver just the right amount of snap with each bite.