Amid rich woodwork and four big-screen TVs, 800 West treats taste buds to savory steaks, scrumptious sandwiches, and seafood. Customers can commence consumption with the 800 West shrimp, tender prawns tossed in a spicy cream sauce ($10.29), before applying paws to a hearty handheld such as the grilled-barbecue-chicken-ranch sandwich ($9.29). Dive fork-first into the blackened mahi-mahi with pineapple salsa for a taste of the tropics ($14.99), or opt for the 7-ounce char-grilled filet mignon served with onion strings and maitre d' butter if you only eat fish born as cheesy crackers or 7-ounce filet mignons ($23.99). The six-cheese purse pasta—little pockets stuffed with sundried tomatoes, spinach, and garlic and blanketed with parmesan cream sauce—sates herbaceous bellies and pastaterian pandas ($10.99). To rinse down solids, patrons can saddle up to the full-service bar and sip a glass of wine ($7–$12), a beer ($3–$5), or a martini ($9–$10).
Mécénat Bistro and Gathering Place's menu is stocked full of seasonal American specialties. Guests can pair truffle fries, marinated skirt steak, or creamy crab and lobster risotto with one of 70 varietals on the bistro’s wine list. Domestic craft beers also span the menu, accentuating flavors in seasonal specialties such as the pan-seared duck breast with braised red cabbage or the sautéed potato gnocchi with organic mushrooms.
Named after the Greek word for “green”, Prasino follows a farm-to-table philosophy that revolves around hormone-free meats and organic produce. The seasonal menu collects internationally inspired eats such as an Irish skillet with corned beef hash, and the Paris: poached eggs, brie, and truffle hollandaise over a pretzel croissant.
Today Kama owner and chef Vikram Singh cooks his internationally influenced Indian cuisine with a goal to give diners an experience that stimulates all the senses. Perhaps that calculated idea came from his background in mathematics and engineering. Or perhaps it came from his father, a renowned chef in India whose cuisine has impressed King Abdullah of Jordan and former German chancellor Helmut Kohl. After a successful career working with numbers, Vikram and his wife opened Kama to bring the local area an inspired, unique Indian menu—and one that would certainly meet his father’s inimitable standards.
Chef Singh actually draws on four decades of experience crafting his made-from-scratch sauces, homemade paneer, and spicy lamb dishes. To keep things interesting, he engages American, French, and Chinese traditions as he invents entrees such as tamarind-glazed baby back ribs and lamb tacos. But he isn’t the only one creating new tastes under his roof. Kama’s bartenders mix cocktails with fresh-squeezed juices and spike martinis with unconventional flavors such as cucumber, cinnamon, and rosemary. The restaurant recently received a 2014 Michelin Bib Gourmand award, given to the guide's favorite spots for high-quality cuisine at good value.
As a high-school student working at a local pizzeria, John Schnatter often pondered how he would do things differently if he owned such a business himself. After graduating from college in 1983, he got his chance, knocking down the broom closet in his father’s tavern to create his own pizza-delivery business. Since then Papa John’s has grown to 3,500 restaurants in 50 states and 29 countries. At each location, cooks cover the signature hand-tossed crusts, made with high-protein flour and clear, filtered water, with tomato sauce from vine-ripened California tomatoes, then pile on locally sourced ingredients such as green peppers and onions. The emphasis on fresh ingredients extends to the 100% mozzarella cheese, beef, and pork, which are never artificially inflated with fillers or undeserved compliments.
In addition to delivering pizzas, Papa John’s reaches out to the community with charity involvement, including partnering with the Boy Scouts of America and Junior Achievement to teach US students about entrepreneurship and the best method of capturing a wild roma tomato.
One of the first things you notice about Tavern on La Grange is how colorful it is: hot pink and indigo lights wash walls in a neon watercolor effect, and the bottles behind the bar are backlit with red and fuchsia. Murals of art deco-style buildings and figures give the room another added pop. Pasta and steak dishes are among the menu's crowning achievements, along with the likes of lobster tail and lamb chops. People fill the restaurant's spacious, kaleidoscopic dining rooms throughout the week to take in bistro-style meals, drinks, or one of the establishment's periodic events. Those evenings are just one part of what the restaurant's owners hope makes Tavern on La Grange "a quality dining experience and community meeting place."