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.
When Eshticken Pizza co-owner Dalia went on a low-carb diet, she found herself craving pizza, so the team started experimenting. After years of tweaking—and enlisting the help of pizza maker and former Egyptian actor Mohamed Aly—the crust was ready. Eshticken Pizza opened in January 2012, and it has been dishing up carb-free crust along with regular-flour pizzas ever since. Its unique recipe has caught the eye of Chicago Magazine as well as the Daily Herald, which hailed the carb-free crust as "a pleasant surprise and what really sets the place apart."
Cooks hand toss each pizza crust and calzone, then toss them inside a brick oven to bake. Using fresh, high-quality ingredients, they top each baked pie according to the diner’s preferences. The staff also hand ties their dough to make garlic knots, slow simmers fat-free lentil soup, and tosses orecchiette pasta with creamy tomato-pesto sauce. For dessert, they use a family recipe passed down over the years to create Mama Haam's rice pudding.
The obvious place to start on the Sir Nick's Pizza menu would be with Sir Nick's Specialty pizza, which is heaped with 10 toppings including sausage, bacon, olives, and mushrooms. Eight other specialty pies include the Popeye?with spinach and ricotta, of course?and there's also a diverse selection of grinders and hot and cold sandwiches. Customers can opt for entrees such as stuffed shells or jumbo shrimp, or live out the title of their favorite Rolling Stones album by clutching barbecued ribs in their sticky fingers.
For more than 25 years, Capri Ristorante's "Mama" and family have piled plates high with authentic Italian cuisine crafted from fresh ingredients, house-made recipes, and meat and seafood that are never frozen. Diners can rev up their human food processors with a cold appetizer of arugula insalata, bedecked with balsamic vinegar and parmigiano reggiano, or stretch their jaws like fanged elastic around a warm starter of lightly breaded calamari fritti. A lineup of hearty entrees await their turn at bat, showcasing such star players as the vodka-sauce-soaked eight-finger cavatelli or the pollo calabrisella, a slow-roasted chicken supported by a fan following of screaming sautéed peppers and fainting roasted potatoes. Sweet teeth can indulge in an assortment of delectable desserts, including tiramisu, carrot cake, and lemon sorbet, as each guest sips red or white house wine carefully selected from Capri’s stock to color coordinate with patrons’ socks.
Following in the footsteps of their father, the three Coli brothers aim to capture the flavors and traditions of classic Chicago cuisine with their slate of hearty comfort fare. Backed by a team of chefs, they forge Georgio's Chicago Pizzeria and Pub’s trademark deep-dish pizzas from a more than 60-year-old recipe, kept hidden to preserve its authenticity and hand-model-caliber hands. The hefty pies, along with their crispy thin-crust cohorts, were declared the best pizza in McHenry County by readers of the Northwest Herald, and helped the eatery garner a slot on Pizza Today magazine’s list of the Hot 100 Independent pizzerias in 2011. The brothers complement their acclaimed creations with a roster of pasta and sandwiches, dished up amid a sleek, upscale sports-bar atmosphere. Both locations are decked out in flat-screen TVs and reclaimed exposed brick.. The comfortable environs regularly play host to fundraisers and events, such as dinners that pair the Coli brothers’ prize-winning pizzas with a lineup of craft beers on tap.