Brightly painted walls, vivid paintings of Mexican life, and flavorful margaritas lend Las Palmas' numerous locations a relaxed, distinctly "fiesta" vibe. As guests slowly unwind with friends, family, or Twister champions over ice-cold Mexican beers and cocktails, the chefs prepare fajitas, enchiladas, and tacos alongside plates of charbroiled meats and seafood. They also whip up vegetarian-friendly options, such as the signature guacamole and enchiladas banana, which they stuff with fried bananas and smother in mole sauce and melted cheese.
Cucina Biagio dispels hunger pangs with flavorful soups, salads, and hearty Italian pastas and pizzas. Ravenous appetites get a playful ribbing from starters such as the minestrone zuppa ($2.95/cup, $4.25/bowl) or the caprese salad, mozzarella flanked by loyal sidekicks tomato and red onion and dressed for digestive success in a light balsamic vinaigrette ($8.95). Fill up with the certified-Angus-beef entrees, such as the filet mignon in a red-wine mushroom sauce served with roasted potatoes and vegetables ($30.95), or bear down on a slew of wood-fired-oven pizzas, available in a variety of styles—stuffed, pan, thin-crust, and earth-crust ($10.95).
A newly inaugurated neighborhood eatery, City Tap & Grill serves up a menu of hearty American dishes, more than 25 classic and craft beers, and inventive cocktails in a welcoming space accented by large windows and big-screen TVs. Crispy sweet-potato fries ($4.99) dive into chipotle dipping sauce, and heaping spoons of golden-brown macaroni and cheese ($9.99) blast into eager maws like drool-seeking missiles. The City Tap burger ($9.99) costars bacon, cheddar, and giardinieras on a marquee of juicy beef, and the Vesuvio chicken wrap ($8.99) corrals lettuce, onion, tomato, pepper jack cheese, and caesar dressing into a tasty tortilla embrace. Diners can complement bites with a locally crafted Goose Island Honkers Ale ($4.50), or they can slurp dessert with a chocolate martini ($8), which is decadent enough to make Las Vegas blush.
"Who cooked that hamburger?" That demand came from Arnie Morton as he burst into the Playboy Club's kitchen in Montreal. Klaus Fristch was the culprit, and to his relief, Arnie declared it the best he'd ever tasted. From that moment on, the pair formed a lasting partnership that resulted in several restaurants —including Morton's The Steakhouse, which opened as a basement spot on Chicago's State Street in 1978. While Morton's The Steakhouse has grown to include over 69 locations, they all remain true to the founders’ original tenets: “Quality. Consistency. Genuine Hospitality.” They use only USDA prime-aged beef—the top USDA ranking and a slim percentage of all meat—which they age for 23–28 days. To menu also accommodates lighter tastes with fresh seafood offerings, such as baked whole Maine lobsters and oysters in the half shell. This attention to detail and a business-casual ambiance has earned the chain several awards and press mentions throughout the years.
At Rex Italian Foods, Josephine Pinello and her son Anthony prepare what Time Out Chicago describes as "rare items" from their native Sicily. Their signature schiacciatas—which are like a mixture between pizza and paninis—drew the attention of Guy Fieri's _Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, which aired a segment in which Anthony Pinello reveals the secrets of the family recipe for the dish. Available in five varieties, the schiacciatas blend fresh peppers, cheese, and a variety of ingredients on panini-pressed bread, creating a dish so iconic it's depicted on the 5-euro bill, though the dish itself is only accepted as currency at banks during lunchtime. The eatery's house-made pastas, hand-stuffed Italian sausages, and imported deli meats are available for dine-in, carryout, or catering.
At RoccoVIno's, a dish can never be too Italian. That's why you can order a pizza—already an Italian staple—in Italiano style, crowned in spinach, tomato, and three types of cheese. Customers add their own personal touch to the pizzas, too, choosing from thin crust, classic pan, and stuffed-crust deep dish styles, or select a specialty pizza such as the Margherita, Veggie Delight, or il Paisano. The pasta dishes are similarly customizable, filled with noodles from farfalle to rigatoni and drizzled in a choice of 10 sauces. These include a spicy tomato sauce made from only tomatoes that look like winking faces. Other gourmet Italian dishes include seafood risotto mixed with scallops, calamari, and shrimp, filet mignon, topped with a chunk of gorgonzola cheese, chicken or eggplant parmigiana, lasagna, and baked mostaccioli.