Nestled within the confines of a historic building, Century Grille exudes grandeur with its menu, or the crab-stuffed portobello, which conceals on-the-lam flaked crab and its red-pepper sidekick inside a provolone-topped mushroom cap ($16). Meat seekers can unleash freshly sharpened steak knives or scimitars on the Century’s selection of steaks, including the 8-ounce sirloin ($11) or the 6-ounce filet ($14), while nascent nibblers can choose from a bevy of kid-centric classics, including macaroni 'n' cheese and hamburgers. Soak in the charm of the Century’s mahogany woodwork, refinished marble, and bar top crafted from thousands of pennies between sups from the extensive wine selection, which boasts more than 26 available sippables donning their most dinner-appropriate red-and-white frocks.
Wildwood Smokehouse & Saloon boasts carnivorous eats filled with Southern charm and topped with a hearty dollop of house barbecue sauce. Lunching stomachs can saddle up with a noontime menu of specialties, including the carolina pork wrap, with coleslaw, shredded cheese, and honey mustard burrowed inside a flour tortilla ($7.99). Or slather six buffalo wings ($6.99) in southern bourbon, garlic jalapeño, or deadly Ghost Dance sauce, for which you need a written disclaimer and a flame-retardant tongue. Meanwhile, dinner tables groan under the large portions offered by the evening menu, including the Wildwood Platter, where smoked turkey, pulled pork, sliced beef brisket, and half a rack of ribs fill in gastronomic gaps like a digestible game of Tetris ($24.99).
Sometimes the most satisfying meals are the simplest. Leaf Kitchen's cubano sandwich, for example, a semi-regular special with braised pork and melted swiss, was so good that it inspired Little Village's Scott Samuelson to declare, "a part of me [wanted] to check into some private room to be alone with my sandwich and its sauces." And this isn't the only dish that the restaurant's chefs effortlessly elevate. Their rustic cooking spans breakfast and lunch, ranging from sweet and savory crepes to grilled chicken-club sandwiches, focusing on sustainability as well as simplicity. Meals make use of locally sourced produce and meats, and even the coffee is an exclusive blend crafted by a certified organic, fair-trade roaster.
While the cuisine at Leaf Kitchen is minimalistic in design, the dining space is anything but. Midwest Living praised it by remarking that the "eclectic more-is-more interior offers so much to take in that you may not know where to look first." Servers flit among wood and formica tables set with mismatched dinnerware and clustered with turquoise stools and canary-yellow chairs. These vibrant touches find their complement in a retro-inspired soundtrack of jazz, soul, and world music, which gets knees bouncing without the spring-loaded floorboards used by other restaurants.