At The Original K-9 Cafe, chefs mold fresh, natural ingredients into dishes fit for humans, but specifically crafted for their canine friends. With an eye on nutrition, they whip up tasty Muttloaf, stuffed manicotti, and even “Yappy Hour” drinks such as the Muttini, which boosts digestive health. The menu also includes fresh marrow bones and other deli eats, desserts such as mini peanut-butter bars, and Bowser Beer, a brew concocted from beef broth. Pups can chow down on healthful meals every day thanks to weekly meal plans, or unwind after frustrating weeks of building oubliettes for mailmen with brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
At the spa, relaxation comes in the form of paw massages, nail clipping, and conditioning fur butter treatments that undo damage done to pooches’ coats. The boutique also helps owners dote on doggies with gifts including college jerseys, toys, and treats.
Long-time friends Peter Rauser and pastry chef Jordan Rappaport list cupcakes, custard, and coffee as their specialties at Baker Boys, but their cheesecake reigns supreme. “I have the best cheesecake in the world. Hands down,” Rappaport told a reporter from [Chicago Magazine]http://gr.pn/sNUQ6S) in 2010. The reporter, though reluctant at first, wholeheartedly agreed at the end of a two week trial. “I’m addicted…Rappaport’s coffee cheesecake—perfect flavor combo, perfect texture—put me over the top.” The rest of their menu will not disappoint sweets seekers, either. The aforementioned cupcakes are hand-frosted, and a rotating selection of flavors may include blueberry pancake, caramel mocha, peppermint candy cane, or cookie dough—which features a half-baked chocolate cookie in its center. Meanwhile, a chilled display case holds custards that are equally as decadent: flavors include malted milk balls, hot cocoa n’ marshmallows, Irish coffee, and nutella. They also blend cake shakes, a sippable blend of custard and a mini cupcake.
Carlos and Debbie Nieto?the proprietors of the once-famed Carlos' restaurant and its successor, Nieto's?took inspiration from the bistros of Paris when they opened Cafe Central in 1995. Today, Adam Nieto and his dedicated team craft a variety of contemporary, French-inspired food. Salads feature poached chicken or traditional ni?oise toppings, and roast duckling comes drizzled with peach sauce. They also offer risotto that changes weekly along with their long standing grass fed beef cheeseburger.
The dining room also cultivates an ambiance based on the City of Light. Black-clothed tables topped with natural butcher paper reminiscent of a quaint caf? play host to dishes of country pat? and center cuts of Black Angus filet mignon. Colorful artwork accentuates the butter-yellow walls. A classic black-and-white checkered floor makes the whole place pop, and requires you to checkmate your waiter before they will offer you dessert.
Everything about Eggsperience Pancakes & Cafe is bright, warm, and sunny. Natural light floods the restaurant's eight locations, which sprinkle across Chicago and its suburbs like powdered sugar over a slice of french toast. Orange and yellow walls surround every dining room, and some locations have fireplaces, which make ideal places to sip Ghirardelli hot chocolate or espresso beverages. Even the food is colorful. Fresh fruits?either in solid or juice form?complement dishes such as the Mediterranean omelette, baked in the French style and filled with a vibrant medley of spinach, tomatoes, olives, and imported feta cheese.
Those omelettes, like what most of what comes from Eggsperience's kitchen, start with grade-AA, farm-fresh eggs. The chefs work magic with those eggs, whipping them into frittatas and poaching them for five different "Eggsquisite Benedicts." They also use them to create their signature pancake batter, but in this case, eggs are only the beginning. Strawberries, blueberries, and other fruits mix into the pancakes.
The creativity shown with those pancakes and egg dishes extends to dozens of other breakfast items, and diners could spend countless mornings at Eggsperience without boring their taste buds. The chefs don't stop at breakfast, either. They simply transition to lunch, when they grill Cajun avocado burgers and pair gourmet chicken-salad sandwiches with a soup of the day.
Infini-tea's proprietors pour steaming pots of specialty teas, tisanes, and coffees, coupling them with the cuisine famed in Europe during traditional high-tea ceremonies. They possess a particular affinity for baking scones and make them from scratch each day, and also serve gourmet soups, fresh salads, and finger sandwiches—life's one opportunity to bite the hand that feeds you. Once guests are done, they can take a stroll by neighboring antique shops and quaint Antioch establishments.
Carolyn’s talented baristas transform beans, leaves, and other ingredients into an array of carefully crafted drinks, which can be enjoyed solo or paired with a selection from a menu of cafe classics. Rely on a bombardment of fresh-brewed Intelligentsia coffee ($2.10 for a medium) or a coffee drink such as a cappuccino, macchiato, or latte ($3.64 each for a medium) to perk you up after a long night of stargazing, asteroid hunting, or moon taunting. Unbeaned beverages include green tea lattes ($3.18 for a medium), chai ($4.12 for a medium), and cold mocha frappes and fruit smoothies ($5.40 each for a medium). To celebrate its role as the most important and least candle-lit meal, breakfast is served all day, halting hunger with filling fare such as a quiche Lorraine, whose eggs, bacon, gruyere cheese, seasoning, and cream are transported mouthward on an all-butter crust ($4.50). Midday munchers can choose from hot sandwiches such as the roast beef and cheddar or cold classics such as smoked turkey, each served with chips and a choice of side ($6.95 each). Guests in search of greener fare can dive mouth-first into the spinach salad bursting with raisins, red onion, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette ($6.95).