Owner Gregg Majewski doesn’t call Jerseys a sports bar—he prefers to think of it as a “sports restaurant.” A fleet of 35 high-definition flat screens and two 6'x10' screens project in-the-moment sports action, and etched glass murals depict all manners of contests from track and field to basketball to Greco-Roman thumb wrestling. The lengthy menu of signature sandwiches, pizzas, and entrees is what differentiates Majewski's eatery from a simple bar with a cable connection.
Three types of potato skins cover spuds with bacon, pico de gallo, and house sauces, and 11 types of sauce douse wings in innovative flavors such as Coca-Cola and spiced honey chipotle. On specialty pizzas, grilled chicken, homemade sausage, and stir-fried veggies cover specialty pizzas paired with creamy tomato and southwestern sauces. Families wash down suppers with fountain sodas, while adults nurse house wine and beer from independent breweries such as Two Brothers and Three Floyds. Diners can also peruse the menu of catered fare ideal for parties, business meetings, or training before the Olympics of competitive eating.
The epicurean alchemists at India House, winner of Chicago magazine's Best Indian Buffet designation, draw inspiration from the cuisine of Bombay and Delhi as well as Indian street fare and homestyle tandoori cooking. The menu's more than 250 items please vegetarian and meat-eating palates alike with curries, kebabs, and grilled saris that utilize the flavors of fresh cilantro, chilies, and coconut. A reviewer for the Chicago Tribune praises the restaurant’s “incredibly tender tandoori chicken,” and Chicago magazine says that the fiery "Hyderabadi-style mahi-mahi … is a must." Midday lunchers can dig into a buffet whose myriad options beget multiple trips and consultation with a pack of tarot cards before deciding which delicious curries should be ladled over naan and rice.
Since he came to the U.S. three decades ago, chef-owner Vittorio DiBenedetto has opened a few restaurants, but the Trattoria remains dear to him. Intimate even though it stretches across three dining rooms, the restaurant’s layout mirrors the chefs' commitment to friendly togetherness. That feeling of camaraderie extends to the circular cherrywood-and-granite bar, where pours of 40 different wines loosen up tongues in need of free-wheeling conversation or a reminder of what grapes taste like. Crisply contrasting black accents stripe the light yellow interior, where guests await house favorites including giant scallops and gorgonzola-topped steak.
Beneath the glow of 12 high-definition plasma televisions, riotous sports fans toast to their teams by clinking glasses and smushing burgers together at First Place Sports Bar & Grill. Between sips of cold beer and bites of handheld eats including sandwiches, nachos, and ribs, bar-goers throw wild shots at three dart boards and play 52-ball pickup around the pool table. Numerous video games, such as 2010 Golden Tee Live, Silver Strike, and Big Buck Hunter, jingle in anticipation of a feeding of quarters, while a jukebox offers a custom soundtrack to sporting revelry.
Metropolis Bar & Grill's eclectic menu garnishes grins with a cosmopolitan hodgepodge of burgers, pizzas, Tex-Mex fare, and barbecue. Toppings such as pepperoni and giardiniera smother saucy pizza crusts, and a Veggie Lovers pizza nourishes gastro-gardens with produce such as red peppers, onions, garlic, and tomatoes ($17.95). The root-beer barbecue pulled-pork sandwich simmers its pork tenderloin stuffing in root beer and barbecue sauce before nestling it under a blanket of provolone ($7.95). Rebels imbibe in the Troublemaker, a juicy beef patty piled with bacon, cheddar, and a fried egg, lurking inside a salty pretzel bun ($8.95). An extensive list of other burger options include those infused with blue cheese, Tex-Mex spice, and Samuel Adams brew.