At Room 39, the dinner menu doesn't start with appetizers. Instead, the top of the carte features a short profile of a local farmer, followed by a list of all the small family farms that provided ingredients for the night's dishes. This choice signals the commitment of chefs and co-owners Ted Habiger and Andy Sloan to making local, sustainable food a part of fine dining. At both of the restaurant’s locations, they construct elegant New American dishes, such as blueberry-goat-cheese pancakes at breakfast and housemade pappardelle with bolognese at lunch. They're also no slouches with seafood—their spicy sautéed shrimp was named one of the best restaurant dishes of 2007 by Food & Wine magazine. Behind the bar, craft beers flow from local breweries such as Boulevard, Free State, and Tallgrass, as well as classic cocktails from local negroni wells.
In Steve Kerner's earliest food memories, he's peering over a plate of lox as his father, Marv, noshes and chatters with his childhood buddies in the midst of a bustling Chicago deli. This, Steve believes, is when the seed was planted that would grow into his own eatery, Marv's Delicatessen, so named in homage to his father. Here, they don't cut corners. Hearty sandwiches are stacked with hot pastrami, fresh-roasted turkey, and brisket made from a family recipe. The soups are made in house as are the signature Marvelous Gourmet Donuts. And, as a nod to Steve's roots, a selection of Chicago-style dogs and burgers are on the menu, promising Windy City taste without needing to put a Michael Jordan logo on the bun.
Earthy aromas from fresh-brewed beverages greet guests at the door of Le Peep, hinting at the espresso-based creations that await inside?Colombian house coffee, specialty blends, or the flavor of the day. Beyond coffee, the staff also sweetens cups with fruit smoothies. These handcrafted drinks accompany a menu of breakfast and lunch fare dominated by omelets and sandwiches. Whipped eggs arrive studded with fresh veggies or chorizo sausage, and half-pound burgers come layered with Cajun bacon, weighing down tables so that they don't have to be anchored in place by linens made of iron.
The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001.
Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.
Created by two mothers who believe in the importance of family table-time, Social Suppers allows visitors to prepare their own meals from inside its facilities' pristine kitchens or choose from healthy, premade meals to take home. During open-kitchen sessions, visitors can pick from a roster of hormone-free proteins and healthy ingredients to prep dishes without the hassles of shopping, cleaning, or scaling a neighbor's rooftop garden. Additionally, menus of premade items include entrees such as the cranberry roast, which pairs a sauce-drenched roast with mashed potatoes, or the honey flaked chicken, a light, bake-ready poultry dish drizzled in sweet honey dijon and gilded in a cornflake shell. Helpful nutrition guides beneath entrees indicate whether dishes are low-carb, kid-friendly, or contain common allergens, and helpful recipes and prep times let cooks know how long their comestibles will take to tan into a glistening glow.
Avenues Bistro's chefs modernize traditional European bistro fare by creatively incorporating Latin flavors, helping earn KC Magazine's award for Restaurant Innovator of the Year in 2009. In addition to frying orders of Belgian-style pommes frites and braising beef short ribs in marsala and veal stock, the chefs also marinate pork tenderloin in chimichurri for guests to enjoy in a newly renovated dining room. This interplay between Old- and New-World flavors extends to the wine list, which features bottles from domestic, international, and trans-dimensional producers, and won the restaurant Wine Enthusiast Magazine's Award of Unique Distinction in 2007.