At iChef Chinese Cuisine, the chefs don't believe their patrons should be limited to the same Chinese food American suburbanites have been eating for decades. That doesn't mean you can't find familiar favorites like crab rangoon, lo mein, kung pao beef, and chop suey there. Rather, it means that in addition to American-style Chinese food, the restaurant also offers authentically prepared Chinese selections. That menu features traditional dishes where meat, seafood, and veggies alike have starring roles: for example, spicy beef mingles among tripe, fish fillets come with ample servings of chinese broccoli or baby bok choy, and heaps of noodles compose Sichuan?style soups with a kick.
The integration of American and Chinese tastes extends to weekday lunch, too, when entrees are served with soup, rice, and fireworks suitable for July Fourth and Chinese New Year. Weekends, however, host dim sum service with a more traditional flair. The bilingual menu at iChef Chinese Cuisine attempts to satisfy nearly every craving, so vegetarians shouldn't expect to feel left out. The authentic menu offers tofu dishes, spicy saut?ed vegetables, and filling mushroom-centered entrees. Meanwhile, the "Unique Vegetarian" section of the Americanized menu supplements the usual sauced veggies with imitation meat made with soybean, wheat, and rice protein.
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.
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.
The epicurean alchemists at India House, winner of Chicago magazine's Best Indian Buffet designation, draw inspiration from many places: the cuisine of Bombay and Delhi, Indian street fare, and homestyle tandoori cooking. The menu's more than 250 items please vegetarian and meat-eating palates alike with curries and kebabs that use 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 the fiery "Hyderabadi-style mahi-mahi ? is a must." Midday lunchers can dig into a buffet whose myriad options make it difficult to decide which delicious curries should be ladled over naan and rice.
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.
Jaded Thai?s chefs personalize every order that leaves the kitchen. The pan-fried noodles, six types of curry, and stir-fried entrees can emerge with the diner's choice of tofu, meat, or seafood, as well as spice level ranging from mild to intensely hot. The heat stems from the fiery Thai chilies, which add piquant flavors to the menu items' aromatic doses of ginger, basil, or housemade peanut sauce.