As people walk past the spacious outdoor patio into Hodsons Bar & Grill, they might spy diners devouring sushi rolls, brick-oven pizza, and steaks beneath white canvas umbrellas or sipping brews around the fire pit on gray wicker patio sofas with sleek white cushions. Inside, diners perch on leather chairs and slide into booths beneath an abstract glass chandelier that resembles a flaming sun. The private dining room seats guests beside a floor-to-ceiling wine rack built into the wall, and the glass doors, marked by the face imprints of those who weren’t invited in, can be shut for total privacy.
The upscale, contemporary decor reflects Hodsons’ upscale, contemporary American dishes, such as portobello-and-fig pizza, baked dungeness-crab dip, and Asian nachos with mango, avocado, and chilled chicken. Burgers hoist Colorado Angus beef and buffalo, handcut fillets of Scottish salmon await the grill’s flame licks, and three-cheese macaroni teems with chunks of Maine lobster and applewood bacon.
Signature drinks—including blueberry basil-tinis with Little Black Dress vodka and muddled basil and blueberries—and the food pair better than Elvis and sequins. Servers also pour glasses of wine and tap brews such as Left Hand Sawtooth ale and Angry Orchard cider.
When most people think of Chicago-style pizza, they probably imagine a dense, deep-dish pie weighed down by an inches-thick layer of cheese. But the chefs at Nicolo's Pizza point to a different definition offered up by famed Chicago film critic Roger Ebert. In an interview with Vanity Fair , Ebert estimated that as much as 85 percent of Chicago's pizza is built upon a thin crust, and that what really sets the city's pies apart is the homemade sauces and crusts cooked up by Chicago's abundant Italian population.
That's exactly the type of Chicago-style pizza that Nicolo's has been dishing up for more than 30 years, using recipes born generations ago in Italy. Each thin or hand-rolled crust is made fresh every day, topped with a choice of sauce such as traditional red, alfredo, or garlicky extra virgin olive oil, then baked in an authentic stone-bottom oven. Patrons can choose their own ingredients––which range from artichoke hearts to green chilies––or choose one of the shop's specialties such as Buffalo Pie, a ranch-based pizza topped with chicken, celery, carrots, and mozzarella, or the Besto Pesto with Chicken, featuring chicken, black olives, artichoke hearts, and provolone cheese with a pesto sauce. Beyond the pizza pan, chefs painstakingly assemble layers of fresh noodles, ricotta, and sauce into classic meaty or vegetarian lasagna and slather chicken wings in a variety of sauces, including pomegranate chipotle and thai peanut.
Symmetry Therapeutic Massage Spa sprang from the dream of two friends and fellow massage therapists who sought to demonstrate that massage could be used to better physical health. They started small, with a one-room office behind a Pilates studio. Soon, however, they found themselves juggling more appointments than they could handle. Just two years later, they moved into a sprawling new sports-partnered studio, creating a new source of relief for athletes whose massages previously consisted of lying in the middle of the turf during a game.
Today, Symmetry's founding pair leads 30 other licensed therapists, each with her own unique background and specialty. These practitioners treat clients with more than a dozen massage modalities, including neuromuscular massage, which relies on static pressure to relieve area-specific pain, and Thai Yoga. Services such as soothing steam therapy and invigorating dry body-brushing augment the offerings.
During the studio's semi-private workshops, including couples' workshops, the therapists teach clients how to perform their massage techniques at home. This allows clients to connect with their partners during couples massages whenever they have some private time at home or a long wait in a grocery-store line together.
Drawing from a supply of imported Greek ingredients and familiar Old-World recipes, Bucci's Greek & Italian Specialties' chefs forge a menu of homey Mediterranean cuisine that calls to mind visions of the old world’s tastiest traditions. Homemade tzatziki sauce crowns gyros stuffed with roasted beef and lamb or baked chicken, and the spanakopita's carefully assembled layers of spinach, feta, and phyllo pastry bake to a perfectly golden brown. These ingredients even influence the Italian specialties, creating pizzas with distinctive toppings of spinach, black olives, and feta or gyro meat, tomatoes, and onions. However, entrees such as the spicy sausage ravioli and the baked ziti maintain their hearty Italian roots by following the time-honored recipes first published in the Aeneid's appendices.
A trim of decorative vines circles the dining area, alluding to the trellises of Greek and Italian vineyards, and adding a verdant splash of color to the cherry-red walls and their framed artwork. A faux-stone archway separates the front and back halves of the room, and nearby potted plants add even more greenery to the space.
At Lollipop Park Children's Indoor Amusement Park kids ricocheting around the bounce house don't have to set foot on solid ground until they're good and ready. That's because the indoor amusement park doesn't impose a time limit?on rides or the length of birthday parties. Kids ages 10 and younger are free to stay on the miniature Ferris wheel for dozens of ascents or whirl around the carousel until they figure out which horse is the fastest. Of course, these are just two of the rides in the park's collection. Spinning teacups, a tiny train, and suspended swings all thrill their riders, and entry wristbands entitle everyone to unlimited go-rounds.
For more than 30 years, Lollipop Park Children's Indoor Amusement Park has served as a beacon of relaxed fun, and its longstanding commitment to young smiles is evident in the thousands of grateful letters on display from children's charities that have received contributions from the park. A snack bar divvies up? pizza and drinks for lunch breaks, while a lollipop stand harkens back to the golden age of carnivals.
At Belleza Spa and Salon, Melanie Menendez's dedication to skincare comes from the heart. For years, she suffered from adult acne due to an undiagnosed dairy allergy. When she learns about her clients' skincare needs, her reaction is "I know how you feel. I will fix you and help you achieve your goals." Her psychology degree is then put to use as she reads each client's personality to determine what they want out of the treatment: whether a social, interactive experience or a peaceful retreat.
To gain an understanding of their holistic skin health, Melanie checks in with clients about what they're eating, the products they use at home, and whether they use shortening as sunscreen. From there, she customizes blends of organic Sanitas skincare products, a line created in Boulder, Colorado, that uses ingredients such as healing vitamin C to create lustrous complexions. While she performs the facials, clients can enjoy soothing spa or pop music and the quirky, inviting decor?some rooms include photos of Audrey Hepburn and polka-dot details, and others are covered with zebra print or bright colors.