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Some traits are hereditary: hair color, height, even color-blindness. Aguamiel founder Sylvia Xim?enez inherited something else: a passion for Mexican cooking. As a 3rd-generation restauranteur, she got her start when she was just 14 years old, working in the bustling environs of her family's Santa Fe Restaurant. During her years in the industry, she cultivated a sense of culinary adventurousness, finding ways to bring out each dish's inherent complexity. Xim?enez also relied on her precise attention to detail to make sure that every customer left the table counting the days until they could come back. It's these qualities that earned her attention from the ABC7's "Hungry Hound" Steve Dolinsky, and earned her a place on The ? Beat's list of up-and-coming Latin entrepreneurs. It's these qualities that diners experience every time they enter Aguamiel's door.

In order to help fulfill her vision, Xim?enez hired chefs that shared her own passion for authentic (but inventive) Mexican cuisine. The chefs at Aguamiel pack a pretty hefty resume. Executive chef Enrique ?Kike? Gomez spent decades as a teaching chef for Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill, and young-gun sous chef Fernando Manriquez topped the ranks of his culinary school at just 18 years of age. Together, the pair share an understanding of old and new, valuing both scratch-made preparations with traditional ingredients and the exciting possibilities of newer techniques such as molecular gastronomy. This shines through in their dishes; diners might opt for cazuela??roasted chayote, potatoes, and zucchini in pascal sauce. They could also sample ceviche made with ocean-fresh albacore tuna, or seared pork belly paired with mashed sweet potatoes.

No matter the order, dishes from Aguamiel's kitchen pair well with drinks from the well-stocked bar. Not content to simply follow the same old script, Aguamiel's mixologists have crafted a full menu of cocktails that you won't find at the average Mexican restaurant. The Rubia Bonita mingles Patron Silver with bitter orange liqueur, simple syrup, and lime juice before introducing a refreshing combination of fresh strawberries and cilantro leaves. Classicists find refuge, too; the bar also sports an extensive menu of traditional margarita preparations, as well as non-alcoholic agua fresca.

30 S Prospect Ave.
Clarendon Hills,
IL
US

As patio umbrellas shield a row of tables from the summer sun, rows of thick, green trees—or perhaps thousands of patio umbrellas—outline the horizon, looming past the undulating fairways and greens of Coyote Run Golf Course. Here at Wiley's Grill, golfers can rest their weary legs after a hot afternoon on the links or even during the winter, warming up on cups of turkey chili and craft beer next to the indoor fireplace. While enjoying an Angus burger or plate of tangy glazed salmon, patrons can watch TVs broadcasting Chicago sports before honing their skills on the indoor golf simulator.

800 Governors Hwy
Flossmoor,
IL
US

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