A family-owned-and-operated establishment, the idea for Jenny's Steak House sprouted more than 60 years ago in a small pub on Chicago's South Side. These days, chefs still whip up menu items that the family concocted all those years ago, such as potato pancakes, braised lamb shanks, and oxtail soup. The culinary maestros at Jenny's Steak House also grill hand-cut steaks smeared with a special seasoning blend, pair wraps and sandwiches with homemade Idaho potato chips, and blacken, broil, or fry fresh seafood. Meanwhile, the pizza kitchen dispenses pies until 1 a.m., at which time all the uncooked dough and pepperoni turn into a magical pizza carriage. The lounge accommodates guests even later as they relax with martinis, local brews, or wine while enjoying evening entertainment such as live music and karaoke.
Chef Dan McGee employs the culinary experiences he gleaned from working in kitchens situated within domestic borders as well those as far abroad as Paris and Lima. His menu parades such platters as the blackened, bone-in rib eye, which lounges beneath a blanket of red-wine sauce and sports kaleidoscopic sides of roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus ($32). Orders of pecan-crusted trout mingle amid a sheath of brown butter ($24) and plates of salmon employ their chili and lime flavors to pepper taste buds ($24). Pillowy platefuls of gnocchi also rock diners to sleep with a lullaby of asiago cheese and butter-poached lobster ($20), accenting the lingering flavors resulting from an appetizer of duck confit ravioli ($9).
ChicagoBlu’s crack team of chefs conjure press-lauded burgers, sandwiches, and chicken wings to round out their menu of classic pub grub. Meal-prefacing portions of Southside skins ($6.99) load crispy potato skins with bacon and cheese, the greatest meal partnership since tea and pinkies. Wrap fists around the steakhouse cheddar burger ($8.99), which wards off hunger pangs with a patty of flame-grilled beef, steak sauce, and onion rings. Boneless chicken strips ($7.99 for five) take marathon swims in sauces such as Bayou Blaze, barbecue, and teriyaki as mouths patiently await them at the finish line. Finally, postmeal cool-downs begin with ice cream ($1.99) anointed with caramel or chocolate sauce and end with talking oneself down from the taste bud–coddling experience.
EggCetera Cafe's resident chefs wield eggs sourced fresh from local Mussman's Back Acres farm alongside trans-fat-free oils and freshly ground coffee beans to craft a menu of savory American breakfast and lunch dishes. Morning-time munching begins with the lox benedict, a tower of hollandaise-drizzled smoked salmon, capers, and two poached eggs atop an english muffin ($9.95). Breakfast burritos harboring scrambled eggs and chorizo ($6.95) roust late-slumbering appetites to pick up the slack left by late-slumbering milkmen. For lunch, diners can furnish fists with po boy sandwiches ($7.95), which fill the gap between two halves of a french roll with morsels of chopped steak and mozzarella; culinary wizards also conjure a rotating slate of homemade soups.
In a symbiotic partnership, Joe's Italian Villa crafts a menu of craveable pasta and pizza, while 191 South slings drinks. Pizza colors palates with a doughy palette of thick crust (10" for $9; 14" for $17; 18" for $25, plus extra for toppings) or thin crust (10" for $7; 14" for $10; 18" for $17, plus extra for toppings) dotted with colorful toppings. Spare your ocular orbs from lunar collisions with the mezzelune half-moon ravioli ($13), pasta pillows stuffed with portobello mushrooms and smothered in a creamy sun-dried-tomato-infused sauce, or come back down to earth with classic sausage and peppers ($12).
At Mindy’s Ribs, wooden pig cutouts dangle from the ceiling beside hefty hanging lights that illuminate the menu's many meaty, piled-high plates of tender American barbecue. For carryout, delivery, and dine-in seven days a week, skilled grillers slather hearty ribs, brisket, and pork chops with zesty sauces to help them stick to platters, overstocked sandwiches, and carb-spurning wraps. Crispy fried appetizers prep tooth muscles, and a wine and draft-beer menu offers numerous selections for filling an Olympic-size swimming pool. The large dining room can cater banquets for up to 50 and vaunts high ceilings and exposed rafters, ideal for echoing evil laughter.