Menus at Allgauer's may vary slightly by location, but each Hilton-anchored outpost of American dining serves high-end steaks and seafood. Mid-day appetites can be quelled with lunch offerings such as a starter of baked artichoke bruschetta ($8) and a hearty grilled rib-eye steak sandwich ($13). To dine during dinner, arrive in sundown-style and begin with an appetizing opener such as the mushroom pot pie with sherry wine and walnut blue cheese ($7). Sample the meatiest of meals, the grilled beef tenderloin medallions ($22–$33), or take a bathypelagic trip to fullness with sautéed shrimp and sea scallops ($17–$27). Entrees are served with a choice of the soup du jour or a house salad.
Flavio Renzulli may have just taken the helm at Captain's Quarters Fish and Steak House in 2013, but the restaurant has been close to his heart for nearly his entire life. He began eating there when he was 15, and visited so often over the next 20 years that he became the first person the owner thought of when deciding to sell the restaurant. Flavio considers Captain's "a North Shore institution," and in that spirit kept on the chef, Jose Haro, who started there as a busser more than 30 years ago.
Flavio and Jose have continued the dining traditions that made Captain's so popular: they serve classic surf-and-turf dishes, host private parties, and let patrons sit in chairs. Some of the menu's classics include lobster tail poached in brown butter?which can be paired with a filet mignon?and fried chicken coated with the restaurant's secret recipe batter. The duo has introduced a diverse range of new plates as well, from baby-back ribs to a full dessert menu.
The menu, decor, and homey atmosphere at Muldoon’s all share one thing in common: each is designed to evoke a traditional Irish pub. The tavern, along with its sister watering holes Kerry Piper and Tommy Nevin’s, all salute the Emerald Isle with hearty dishes such as corned beef and shepherd's pie. As Guinness and Smithwick’s flow from the row of spigots behind the bar, friends can cheer on local sports teams on TV or wrack their brains to remember the name of Azerbaijan's currency and most popular potato-chip flavor at weekly trivia nights.
Throughout his life, Bob Chinn has refused to sit still. He began his restaurant career on the streets of Chicago at age 14, delivering orders of Chinese food on foot. From those streets, he built a business, eventually opening family restaurants in Evanston and Wilmette. The challenge wasn't enough though, and Bob began planning a concept restaurant: a first-rate seafood restaurant located in the landlocked confines of Wheeling, Illinois. The Zagat-rated eatery skyrocketed to prominence, acclaim, and success, earning the number one spot on Forbes's list of the top-grossing restaurants in the United States and completing phase one of its plan to make crabmeat our new currency. The menu reads more like a world map than a list of dishes. Alaskan king crab legs, Maine lobster, and Hawaiian ahi tuna represent the disparate domestic choices, appearing alongside exotic possibilities such as Nigerian prawns and stuffed Asian basa. To retain the characteristic flavors of this seafood, the restaurant flies in entire shipments on a daily basis, proudly filling a display board with that day's list of "jet fresh" choices from around the globe. The Reader praised this uncompromising devotion to quality ingredients, calling the fish "exquisitely fresh." To round out the selection, the chefs also stir-fry chicken and grill steaks that have been wet-aged for 3–4 weeks. Faced with a level of demand not seen since the Smithsonian auctioned off Abe Lincoln's rookie card, Bob Chinn's Crab House expanded its dining areas to accommodate more than 700 patrons at a time. The densely packed tables and booths sprawl throughout multiple rooms, which means visitors can experience the hustle and bustle of the main dining room or take in the back porch's tree-lined views.
Tatami Restaurant's chefs whorl fresh fish, colorful veggies, and chewy rice into more than 60 types of sushi for in-house dining adventures and elegant catered meals. Diners graze on a bounty of traditional and fusion-inspired sushi combinations, many of which bear names evoking the city on the lake and its flavorful denizens, including the signature Kansaku roll, which shares its name with Tatami Restaurant's sister restaurant and salutes the eatery with shrimp tempura, freshwater eel, and a ribbon of cream cheese. The 10-piece Lake Shore Drive roll employs outrageous flavor tactics to upstage Chicago’s beach vistas, pulling out all the stops with a combination of yellowtail, cilantro, and spicy mayo. Diners craving a hot, hearty meal can savor traditional Japanese entrees such as chicken yaki soba or tofu katsu with sweet chili.
New artworks routinely appear on The Noodle Cafe's cherry-red walls, but that touch of unanchored whimsy isn't confined to the restaurant's décor. Rather than limit the scope of their cuisine, the chefs draw from cuisines across the world and incorporate those international flavors into the bistro-style comfort foods they forge so readily. This means that refined versions of traditional American foods—such as red wine- and rosemary-marinated pork tenderloin with apple barbecue sauce—appear alongside dishes such as chicken satay, pan-roasted tilapia with caramelized ginger, and sea scallops sautéed in maple syrup and soy sauce. Even the noodles leave room for experimentation, with create-your-own dishes that allow diners to choose from 15 pastas, 10 sauces, and 12 different forks.