Giyora Malka and Shlomo Cohen, Hummus Elite's dual owners, share the same passion and vision for food. From an early age, Malka cultivated a love of French and Moroccan cuisine in his small Israeli village. He graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York, then set out to broaden his skills in such restaurants as Sushi Samba Park. Eventually, he met Shlomo, a business veteran with dreams of restaurant ownership. Their meeting ignited not only a close friendship, but also the creation of Hummus Elite.
The kosher restaurant focuses its menu on authentic and healthy dishes that are low in both cholesterol and calories, drawing on organic seasonal produce and eggs whenever possible. Servings of hummus are made several times a day, simultaneously keeping side dishes fresh for diners and replacing servings lost to snacking ghosts.
The chefs at Levant Grille fire up a Mediterranean menu of dishes marinated in Middle Eastern spices and designed to be enjoyed as a group. Hot and cold appetizers welcome shared snacking on smoked eggplant in the babaganoush ($7.95), the rice-stuffed grape leaves ($6.95), or the minced-lamb kofte meatballs ($8.95). The Joeje kebab skewers tender chicken breast marinated in Persian spices onto a chorus line of chopped morsels, alternating between tomato, pepper, and onion that high kick over open flames and inspire diners to greet them with a shower of roses ($17.95). A charcoal flame kisses lamb chops on both cheeks and arranges a marriage with bulgur pilaf for the pirzola entree ($22.95), and food artists brush salmon with olive oil, sprinkling fresh herbs over fillets and adding ambiance with a cheerful vegetable medley ($19.95). Cooks dial ovens to lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., arranging shoestring potato fries alongside crispy falafel sandwiches doused with tabouli ($9.95) and Mediterranean burgers buried beneath layers of crumbled feta cheese, caramelized onions, and yogurt sauce ($10.95).
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Known for Canadian baby-back ribs, The Bicycle Club boasts lunch and dinner menus packed with seafood, steaks, and salads, as well as a Sunday brunch buffet. From the starter list, shrimp-avocado rolls dive into soy-sesame pools ($10.95–$11.95), while crispy tortilla chips scoop up spinach-artichoke dip ($7.95–$8.95). Main courses include a half barbequed chicken, half Canadian baby-back rib combo ($19.95), grilled New York strip steak ($18.95–$22.95), and pan-seared Ahi tuna salad, a mix of baby greens, mangos, and avocado tossed with cilantro-ginger vinaigrette ($16.95–$19.95). While a growling lunch-hour belly keeps office burglars from stealing post-it notes, it’s actually crying out for a certified, Angus-beef burger on a toasted brioche bun ($8.95), a handmade crab-cake sandwich dressed with tartar sauce ($10.95), or a vegetarian-friendly portobello sandwich layered with baby greens, tomato, roasted peppers, mozzarella, and herb mayo ($8.95). An extensive wine and beer list lets diners order a glass of Italian pinot grigio ($7–$9) or share a bottle of California merlot ($28) alongside a sweet finisher, such as the seven-layer chocolate cake ($6.95) or refreshing fruit sorbet ($4.95).
When Schlotzsky's opened in 1971, the chefs didn't need to build a giant menu to satisfy all their customers; they only needed one sandwich. Now dubbed the Original, it was and is a stack of deli meat, cheeses, and black olives between sourdough bread. Those layered flavors worked so well that they spawned dozens of Schlotzsky's franchises across 35 states and four other countries. Since the eatery's single sandwich-fueled launch, chefs have added a few more items to the menu every so often to create full, diverse selections of sandwiches, salads, and pizzas. But no matter which dish they're hand-making, they always use the same premium deli meats and cheeses so that every sandwich can gain its own band of devotees, like a rock band or a profoundly charismatic comptroller. In addition to supporting taste bud satisfaction with their delectable deli food, Schlotzsky's supports the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by raising funds.
A great wine thrives in the company of great food. Grand Cru Wine Bar stands upon this union as a joint venture between Englewood Wine Merchants and Food For Thought Catered Events. These entertainment moguls joined forces to create a menu of American-bistro-style small plates complemented by a list of more than 150 wines from around the world. Bites of sesame-crusted tuna or tomato and mozzarella salad accompany wines from far afield, such as a French bordeaux and an Argentinean malbec, and a host of Californian varietals imported from the United States’ humble backwater region, the West Coast.
The selection of shareable plates and wines is paired with swanky décor, characterized by soft lighting and flickering candles that dance upon sleek, high tabletops.