At Francesca’s Fiore, the 10th in the group of Francesca’s restaurants sprawled across Illinois's Chicagoland—as well as four other states—tongues embark on a culinary journey, sampling the cuisines of Rome, Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio. Executive chef and owner Scott Harris opened his first Francesca’s eatery—Mia Francesca—on Clark Street in 1992, to the rave reviews of both critics and patrons praising it for its simple, rustic cooking, unpretentious elegance, and lack of black holes. He later hired award-winning chefs Kevin Ives and Massimo Salatino to help oversee his other restaurants and create the weekly changing menus that are often handwritten. The chefs and their teams may craft starters such as tricolor bruschetta and risotto, or heartier fare such as pizza, rigatoni primavera, sautéed chicken, and roasted salmon.
At Chalk, craft beer reins supreme with more than 25 taps containing primarily local pours such as Revolution, Lagunitas, and Three Floyd's. Besides brews, nearly 25 [bourbons](http://gr.pn/1oS5xEy and Irish whiskeys line the bar, which can satisfy thirsts as patrons watch games on flat-screen TVs or stare blankly at exposed-brick walls. Each libation complements Chalk's faithful take on pub classics, from mac-n-cheese bites to onion rings battered in stout. Then, of course, there are chicken wings, which chefs serve in batches of up to 20 slathered in a choice of more than five sauces, including Jamaican jerk.
Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chests. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids feel more comfortable in the classroom. Afterschool or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students wow college-admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.
Athena Uslander used to be a structural engineer, but today she's a baker. If you asked Athena what the two professions have in common, she'd likely say attention to detail. If you asked her customers at Athena’s Silverland Desserts, however, they'd be too busy chewing a mouthful of cookie, rice treat, or brownie to answer. Since 1983, Athena has helmed the ovens at her bakery in Elmwood Park. Her signature brownie recipe has garnered her some national attention, including an appearance on Oprah and The Today Show. Now, customers nationwide call in or hire a banner plane to put in their orders for the confections that Athena and her staff make from all-natural ingredients—free of trans fats, additives, and preservatives.
At Henry's Duct Cleaning Specialist, Henry Solomon and his team aim to keep households safe by eliminating the dust, mold, and bacteria spores that dwell in heating and cooling ducts. The experts travel throughout Chicagoland and Northern Indiana with specialized equipment systems, performing services that help prevent allergy attacks during furnace season. They can also professionally clean dryer vents to safely get rid of highly flammable lint buildup.
Born in New Orleans in 1977, Shanahan's brings the bayou to Forest Park via spicy seafood dishes and creole classics. Their daily menu features red beans and rice with sausage, chicken and andouille jambalaya, and the King Rex steak platter, with blackened rib eye, fresh crabmeat, and a red pepper?jalape?o hollandaise. Talking about the food, owner Tim Shanahan told the Forest Park Review in 2010, ?It's gourmet, as opposed to Cajun, which is more family-style. They both utilize the same ingredients, Creole is just a higher level of cooking.? Monthly Cajun festivals give chefs a chance to parade essential ingredients such as garlic, shrimps, and oysters, or pay tribute to Shanahan's Irish roots without constructing a St. Paddy?s day float out of corned beef.