Family recipes from Athens and staff favorites sizzle and boil atop Kosta’s stoves, and the head chef wields more than 45 years of cooking experience to prepare flaky treats in the ovens. Egg-lemon sauce pools around succulent meat-stuffed grape leaves in the dolmades mezes ($7.50), creating a moat to keep friends' forks and invading knights away. The swordfish shish kebab ($16.50) roasts skewered sea steak and mixed vegetables over an ocean of flames, and olympian herbs soak in the juices of the grilled spring lamb chops ($22.50). Finally, the kataife ($3.50) tickles sweet-craving taste buds with slivered almonds and chopped walnuts enveloped in flaky dough and baked to their Platonic ideal.
Laurel's menu is big on small plates and authentic Old World flavors. Give hunger a spicy sucker punch with a mezze of feta cheese baked with grilled banana peppers, tomatoes, and olives ($6). A tasting platter lets you save decision making for Stratego tournaments by combining calamari salad, braised baby artichokes, hummus, and five other edible elements ($12). Protein pirates can sink their mouth cutlasses into grilled beef medallions ($21) or grilled baby lamb chops ($24), and grizzled sea captains and killer whales can make amends over grilled sea bass (market price). A lunch menu lets Laurel Mediterranean Grill crush midday cravings with a condensed version of the dinner lineup, augmented by a sizeable selection of sandwiches.
Tasso's menu expertly meshes the fundamentals of traditional Greek cuisine with modern touches. Head Chef Kostas Anyfantis cut his culinary teeth in his hometown of Athens before earning his chops in Chicago's Greektown scene. In his Naperville incarnation, he addresses feast commencement with appetizers such as a cold dish of taramosalata ($6 during dinner), a mousse prepared with fish roe, lemon and olive oil. Savory shrimp, octopus, mussels, and squid unite inside the light tomato sauce of the best-selling seafood pasta ($20), melding amid garlic, basil, and tangled strands of linguine. Unlike licking a futuristic concept car, the exohiko ($18) allows eaters to traverse the time-taste continuum with its ancient prescription for slowly baking lamb and vegetables together for seven hours. Rolled grape leaves envelop ground meat, rice, herbs, and strained greek yogurt in an order of dolmades ($14). Complement an epicurean evening with selections from the ample wine list, including glasses of imported Greek whites, reds, and roses ($6–$11).
Yin's Wok is Naperville's grab & go for made-to-order Chinese cuisine, available for take-out or delivery. From American-style stir fry to traditional dishes, Yin's Wok has something for everyone. Almost every dish is customizable, so vegetarians, picky eaters, kids and those who love their food hot & spicy, if there's some
Choo Choo's train-themed eatery revs diners' digestive engines with a medley of wraps and sandwiches, as well as a miniature locomotive that gallivants through the family-friendly dining room. The dynamic servers, clad in engineer attire, deliver hearty menu items, such as the bacon-and-cheese char-burger ($8.49) and the tortilla-swaddled chicken-and-bacon wrap ($8.49). The Conductor's special bookends charbroiled chicken, marinara, and parmesan between a gourmet bun, and the Penn Central sandwich trots down the track, tempting tongues with rib-eye steak, mozzarella, grilled onions, and peppers embraced by french bread ($7.99). Watch kids marvel as a model train delivers food at the counter or chugs through a miniature city populated by tiny commuters and average-size thimbles.
Cold Stone's ice cream, made fresh in stores every day, inhabits a quantum flux between soft-serve and traditional ice cream, with a rich, creamy texture that whispers tales of its super-premium quality as it glides over taste buds. The ice cream generously welcomes dozens of toppings, as traditional as vanilla wafers and chopped nuts or as quirky as granola and black licorice. Choose your favorite ice cream from among dozens of silky flavors, such as Irish cream and butter pecan. Then make certain no one will try and steal a taste by topping it protectively with brownies, gumballs, and sugar cone pieces. Whatever Frankencream you create, it'll be scooped cold off the grill into a freshly made waffle cone or bowl. Cold Stone's ice cream and toppings vary between seasons and location, and they also offer sorbet and an array of lighter toppings such as fruit and honey.