When Basil Restaurant opened in 2009, the Columbus Dispatch reported on owner Rhome Ruanphae's inspiration: his mother?s string of successful Thai restaurants?beginning with Thai Village in Chicago?s Wicker Park neighborhood?that she ran with her husband while he was growing up. Rhome borrowed his mother?s culinary mastery for Basil, which teleports taste buds to Thailand with a menu of authentic Southeast Asian cuisine. Chefs gather rice or egg noodles to lay the foundation for many entrees, such as specialty kee mow, a soft or crispy maelstrom of rice noodles with thai basil, tomatoes, and bell peppers. The menu also features a rainbow of curries, soups, salads, and appetizers to keep ravenous diners from eating their napkins.
The seasoned confines of a former antique shop welcome diners to Basil Restaurant, decked out with bare brick and a retro advertisement for ice painted on the back wall. As a glittering chandelier casts light on colorful curries, wine-dark panels of varnished wood gaze at diners from the wall, and exposed lengths of ductwork add a neoindustrial aesthetic without the overkill of steam-powered dessert trays or austere Orwellian maitre d's.
The cobbled stonework that comprises Coaches Bar & Grill's exterior serves as an apt metaphor for how hard it can be to turn down items from the roster of burgers, pizza, and sandwiches. This cuisine basks in the glow of flat-screen TVs that stream a steady flow of sports games. As monitors display feats of athleticism, the kitchen staff displays feats of culinary prowess by cooking half-pound patties bedecked with cheese and bacon, along with a mélange of hot subs, sandwiches, and buffalo-chicken pizzas. From behind a dark wooden bar, their bartending counterparts pour beers and cocktails, which they disseminate to far-flung diners by shooting them out of a T-shirt cannon. The team also brings its serving game to the outdoors patio, where umbrellas shade picnic tables granting clear sightlines to several televisions.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
True to the restaurant's name, a lot of boxers hang out at Ringside Cafe. They just happen to be hamburgers. Each one of the Angus chuck patties gracing the menu has the namesake of different fighter. There's the Oscar De La Hoya, smothered in roasted red peppers, provolone, and garlic aioli, while the Ali packs a flavorful punch of coleslaw, sharp cheddar, fried onion rings, and insect metaphors.
The restaurant has held onto this boxing theme since it opened in 1897. Inside the wood-ensconced confines, diners can peruse old photos and memorabilia while savoring the aforementioned burgers, as well as chicken sandwiches and pugilist-themed beer from Brass Knuckle.
With its intermingling aromas of garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric, and cumin, New Taj Mahal is unmistakably dedicated to the bold, traditional flavors of regional Indian cuisine. You'll find further evidence on the menu, which features homemade paneer cooked with spinach and creamy curry sauce, crispy samosas, and yogurt-marinated lamb served straight from the clay tandoor oven. To ensure that their cooking is suitable for virtually every palate, the chefs tailor the amount of spice added to each dish. This means that orders can be prepared mild or with enough incendiary heat to require a chaser of glacier fragments.
ProMusica Chamber Orchestra not only celebrates some of the most beautiful music ever written, it helps artists create more. Since its founding in 1978, it has commissioned 59 pieces and presented more than 100 world premieres by composers such as Peter Schickele and Pulitzer Prize winner Aaron Jay Kernis. This, coupled with the ensemble's tendency to mix time-tested pieces with modern American masterpieces, has helped it rack up eight awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.