Chicago Blu welcomes diners into its family-friendly eatery with live music and hearty bar fare. The menu revs up stomach engines with starters such as spicy southwest rolls stuffed with cheese and chicken and served with tangy ranch or sweet chili sauce ($7). Wrap tonsils around the Southside blu burger—a pretzel bun cradling a half-pound of charbroiled beef topped with bleu cheese and grilled onions ($8.50). Those who put pork on a pedestal can commission a replica of The Thinker made of bacon or can opt for a BBQ rib platter served with coleslaw and fries ($8.50/half rack, $16/whole rack). Entree salads can give grazers their fill of greenery ($9+), and a beer or a glass of wine from the full bar lubes up digestive tracks for the death by brownie dessert ($6).
Post Game Pub & Sedona Grille's upbeat crew slings hearty sandwiches, piping pizzas, and zesty wings from an extensive menu selection. Prevent bellies from roaring at children by savoring a Sedona-stuffed burger, a half-pound patty packed with onions, jalapeños and bacon, and coated with barbecue sauce ($8.95). Specialty pub wings don their breading, dive into in a deep fryer, sear on the grill, and sidle onto plates wearing a bold slathering of honey mustard, barbecue, or hot sauce ($6.95 for eight; $9.95 for 12). Diners can stage their own extreme Wheel of Fortune tournament by spinning a 12-inch pub pizza ($8.50+) and then demanding a trip to Barbados.
At TomKelly's Chophouse and Pub, an emblazoned cloverleaf over the door may grant Irish luck to all who enter, but it’s the menu of Irish-inspired pub fare that leaves eyes (and stomachs) smiling. Emerald Isle dishes of corned beef and cabbage and shepherd's pie join American counterparts including pizzas bedecked with buffalo chicken and po boys topped with prime rib, grilled onions, and mozzarella cheese.
While devouring Irish eats, guests can take in sporting events from 14 plasma TVs or tap their forks to the rhythms of live DJs, who tend to put on better parties than dead DJs.
As summer months wind down and autumn weather creeps in, Odyssey Fun Farm comes alive—and as it's only open from late September to late October, the farm definitely makes the most of its time. A pumpkin patch, a petting zoo, hay rides, and other fall festivities help families start new seasonal traditions as they enjoy the cooler weather. Visitors can also test their senses of direction in the massive corn maze, which stretches over 15 acres and sends participants through hairpin turns and winding roundabouts in a design that spells the farm's name when viewed from an airplane or the shoulders of a very tall person.
Despite the many leisurely activities, there's plenty of adrenaline to be had—corn cannons send bursts of maize hurtling toward faraway targets, pig races pit swine such as Arnold Schwartzenhogger and David Letterham against each other in a dash to the finish, and ziplines let visitors feel the wind in their hair as they speed high above the ground. At sundown on October weekends, Odyssey Fun Farm turns spooky for its Zombie Safari Hayrides. Those who dare climb into a wagon equipped with 20 paintball turrets, which they'll use to slay every zombie that attacks during the pitch-black journey down a winding farm road.
Intimo's menu whisks diners to the Italian countryside with a variety of authentic house-made entrees. More than 300 bottles of distinct wines hibernate in the 58-degree walk-in wine cellar. Director Frank Pecora fosters a relaxed, sophisticated atmosphere with dim lighting and sleek, dark wooden accents. Candles flicker atop tables draped in white linens, casting shadow-puppet adaptations of Godzilla vs. Fork and Knife on the exposed-brick walls.
Diners have sidled up to the bar at Durbin's to sip pints and nosh on homestyle Irish- and Italian-inspired eats for more than 25 years. In addition to corned beef sandwiches and house-made ricotta-stuffed ravioli, the diverse menu features butterflied filet mignon and baby back ribs slathered in a signature sauce. The restaurant offers a catering menu for special events, from business meetings to birthdays to block parties celebrating the cool neighbors who just moved here from California.