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.
Every dish at Fitness Cafe was designed following the guidelines of the American Heart Association and other professional health organizations. With wellness in mind, the chefs pack as much flavor as they do healthful ingredients into their menu with offerings like the vinyasa quinoa bowl, which blends organic quinoa with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil, and housemade balsamic vinaigrette. Hand-friendly sandwiches include The Ironman, which piles slices of sourdough bread high with lean roast beef, topped with red peppers, onions, and blue-cheese crumbles, available on gluten-free bread upon request. Every item on the menu helpfully lists key nutritional information, from calories, to protein, carbohydrate, fat, and fiber content. And, Fitness Cafe boasts decor as organic as the ingredients in its kitchen. Hardwood floors show off wood grains unaltered by stain, intricate stonework climbs the walls, and potted plants act as centerpieces or just great listeners on every table.
Only two dishes—ice cream and baklava—constitute the dessert menu at The Works, yet these also serve to encapsulate the eatery’s perfect balance between American and Greek cuisines. The stateside section of the menu includes grilled half-pound cheeseburgers, fried onion rings, and two Vienna hot dogs sandwiched between French bread slices. The latter creation is “The Works” itself, and the signature dish comes smothered with fixings such as hot peppers, mustard, and relish. On the Greek side, there’s gyros doused in homemade sauce as well as a whole Athenian chicken named for the oversized helmet it’s served in.
The chefs at Muscle Maker Grill put a healthy spin on flavorful dishes inspired by Italian, Asian, American, and southwestern cuisines. The chain was founded in 1995 by Rod Silva, a fitness enthusiast who grew weary of fast-food eateries that bogged customers down with unhealthy morsels and toys sculpted from butter. What began as a smoothie stand has expanded into a successful franchise that slings pastas, burgers, salads, and Tex-Mex–style wraps and proudly displays the calorie content and relationship status of each dish on the menu.
Though completely indoors large wooden planters mark the entrance to the dining area. In this charming space, a digital board displays the daily specials, and guests dine on elegant entrees such as grilled-salmon salad. The dessert menu makes it easy to want to linger, particularly thanks to tempting sweets such as chocolate cake for two that can also legally be eaten by one.