If it's a spaghetti and meatballs kind of night, ratings say you'll find the best Italian at Mama Stella's Pasta Restaurant.
Whether you have something to celebrate or just need something to take the edge off, the drink menu at this restaurant won't disappoint.
Parents appreciate this restaurant's kid-friendly attitude, and little ones are often seen dining out with the adults.
At Mama Stella's Pasta Restaurant, you can dine with your immediate family and your extended family due to the easy seating for large parties.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Mama Stella's Pasta Restaurant's tasty dishes at your next party.
Leaving the couch is half the battle. Your foods awaits your pickup at this restaurant.
Parking is available at an adjacent lot.
Bicyclists will also find lots of space to safely lock up their bikes.
Mama Stella's Pasta Restaurant accepts major credit cards, including Discovery and AMEX.
Whether you're hungry first thing in the morning or prefer to eat a little later, Mama Stella's Pasta Restaurant is conveniently open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
While high-priced, the Italian food at Mama Stella's Pasta Restaurant is well worth every penny!
From pasta to paninis, Mama Stella's Pasta Restaurant has all the Italian food you love and then some.
Steak and potatoes take center stage at La Plata's Texas Roadhouse.
Looking for low-fat, gluten-free meal options? Look no further than Texas Roadhouse.
Be sure to complete your meal at this restaurant with a drink from the restaurant's full bar.
Having trouble finding that family-friendly restaurant everyone will love? This restaurant serves all ages, so little ones are welcome to come along, too.
Surround yourself with the wonderful weather at your next night out at Texas Roadhouse.
You'll want to save quiet conversations for another spot, though — the restaurant can get noisy.
Texas Roadhouse wants guests to dine in comfort, so save that stuffy suit for another date.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
Texas Roadhouse will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
Don't waste time or money searching for a parking space — pull into the lot next door at no extra charge.
Cyclists are in luck. Texas Roadhouse provides bike parking.
Texas Roadhouse s fare is so good, you ll want to sample everything on the menu (and with its middle-of-the-road prices, you can!).
So head on over to Texas Roadhouse, where you can treat yourself to a flavorful, tender steak that is sure to satisfy.
Ginger-infused entrees and chili-based sauces flood the menu at China Garden, where the Chinese fare is applauded as top-of-the-line and diners dish out star reviews.
Score low-fat and gluten-free eats at China Garden.
Take your pick of beer, wine, or other beverages offered on this restaurant's menu.
China Garden is a good restaurant to dine with a small or large group.
Free wireless Internet is also available at China Garden, so bring your tablet or laptop along.
No need to gussy up for a trip to China Garden, where patrons dress for comfort and fun.
Impress the diners at your next gathering by calling in China Garden for catering.
Eating requires the perfect environment. This restaurant's pickup and delivery options let you choose where you want to dine.
At China Garden, drivers can settle for safe parking in the lot next door.
China Garden provides ample space for bikers to store their bikes.
China Garden offers a wide variety of payment options, including payment by major credit card.
So pay China Garden a visit today and treat yourself to come upscale Chinese fare.
All of your favorite Chinese dishes await your order at China Garden.
Visit Indian Head's George's BBQ for fresh ribs that fall off the bone, sweet corn and homemade baked beans.
Have a few picky young eaters in the family? Not a problem at this restaurant, where the food and ambience are perfect for family dining.
Complimentary wifi is available as well.
For some fresh air during the non-winter months, dine outside on George's BBQ's patio.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — George's BBQ offers catering.
For those in a hurry, the restaurant lets you take your meal or snack to go.
Take the car and arrive promptly to dinner; parking is plentiful, so don't worry about setting aside time to search for a space.
Commute by bike to George's BBQ and find easy bike parking.
Fancy-schmancy price tags don t always bring the best results, and George's BBQ s super yummy, mid-range menu is taste-test approved.
The jury is in. For the best barbecue in town, you'll want to taste the sizzling eats at George's BBQ.
If you relish flavorful marinades, spicy rubs, and oh-so-tender meat, make sure to check out George's BBQ for the best in casual barbecue.
For fast food in Bryans Road's Bryans Road neighborhood, check out the burger menu at McDonald's.
Guess what? McDonald's serves food that's free of gluten and low in fat, so everyone can find something that tastes and feels great.
McDonald's has a large dining room, making it easy to seat large parties.
Eating on the go? Order some tasty take out from this restaurant.
Score a close parking spot at McDonald's.
You'll like your bill almost as much as your meal at McDonald's, with meals usually costing less than $15.
Head on over to McDonald's first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening — McDonald's is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Night owls and early risers alike will appreciate that the restaurant is open 24 hours a day.
So when you're pressed for time or just want a really great burger, enjoy a quick meal at McDonald's.
If you need a quick and easy lunch or dinner option, check out the flavorful items available at McDonald's.
A well-known restaurant in King George, Steamers Seafood Grill and Bar is the perfect location for superb seafood. It's a favorite spot for those interested in incredible food.
Defined by its outdoor seating, the restaurant is a fantastic option when the Virginia weather is nice. There's no particular required attire, so feel free to dress comfortably. Also, though the price can be a bit higher than average, the overall experience definitely justifies it.
Most local parents will tell you that it's a good place to bring the kids, as well. WiFi is offered for anyone who'd like to get connected. If you just want to stop by for a beverage, the restaurant has a pretty broad selection at its bar.
When you add everything up, you shouldn't walk away from Steamers Seafood Grill and Bar disappointed. Don't worry about trying to find a spot on the street, as visitors to the restaurant do have access to a private parking lot nearby.
Siu mai: small pork dumplings. Each has a thin wrapper that needs to be delicately pleated by hand. Easily, they’re one of the most labor-intensive items at Phoenix Restaurant in Chicago, where each weekend this Chinese restaurant serves 80 different varieties of classic dim sum snacks.
This little fact about the siu mai is one of many surprising stories I learn from Eddy, the chef at Phoenix, where he also handles a million other tasks to keep the restaurant running smoothly. When I first came in, he was waving at a group of regulars while on the phone haggling with a seafood vendor.
“What we are serving in this restaurant is what we are eating in Hong Kong. ... It’s very typical,” Eddy says.
In 1996, Phoenix was one of the first restaurants to introduce dim sum to Chicago. Its customer base has grown over the years, and today, even with other dim sum restaurants up and down the block, you’ll find long lines winding out the door on any given Sunday.
Sound intimidating? It doesn't have to be.
Here's our guide to dim-sum dining, with a few tips from Eddy.
On the weekend: order dim sum off a cart
On weekends and special holidays, the wait staff winds traditional dim sum carts around tables, lifting lids off stacked steamer baskets to reveal the enticing contents. Should you see something you like, they leave the basket on your table and put a checkmark on your bill (it’s tallied at the end).
Phoenix is one of the only dim-sum restaurants in Chicago that still uses these carts. When I ask Eddy why they keep them, he says “tradition.” Not only to impress the tourists who come in, but also to let Chinese-American customers share this bit of culture with their kids.
Hot tip: if you want to experience the pushcarts without the crowds, head over on a Saturday, which tends to be less busy than Sundays, Eddy says.
On a weekday: order dim sum off the menu
Cartless weekdays offer a quiet, more peaceful atmosphere for ordering off the paper menu, which you can find near the hostess stand. Don't be intimidated—the menu has pictures; it has numbers; it has names written in both Chinese and English. And best of all, you need only point to what you want to have it brought out from the kitchen.
So what should you get?
“Everyone has their favorites,” Eddy says. The most popular dishes with Westerners are ha gao (shrimp dumplings) and siu mai (pork dumplings mentioned above). Kids gravitate toward the crunchy, easy-to-grip shrimp rolls and sweeter fare, from mango pudding (pictured above) to custard rolls.
Foreign travelers, especially those from Latin America, and adventurous eaters alike seem to love the chicken feet (pictured at bottom-right of top photo), a more exotic dish consisting of skin and tendons. While all these dishes are traditional, the chefs can tweak the recipes to accommodate for special diets or food allergies.
When diners are new to dim sum, Eddy encourages them to experiment. He’ll point out a few of the more popular dishes; if there’s something they don’t end up liking, it can easily be swapped out for something else. This way, by the second or third visit, diners will have a better idea of what they like.
And don't forget the tea
At dim sum, the tea is equally important to the food. Phoenix serves three different types: green tea, white tea, and brown tea. “Each one has its own usage,” Eddy says. While we talk, we drink jasmine tea, which is good for getting rid of toxins.
You can show your dim sum know-how by obeying proper tea etiquette. When your teapot is out of water, prop the lid off to the side. This signals to the wait staff that you need more hot water.
Eddy pours more tea and tells me to tap my fingers lightly against the table when the cup is nearly full. “When your friend or host fills your tea, this means ‘thank you’,” he says. “It’s part of the custom.”
Photos by Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
I had no idea what to expect upon arriving at Elizabeth, the Michelin Star winner from Chef Iliana Regan. But an unmarked, unremarkable storefront between a tire shop and a sporting-goods store certainly wasn’t it. With few exceptions (Schwa, most notably), Chicago’s upper-echelon restaurants boast exteriors that match their illustrious River North and Restaurant Row addresses.
But as it turns out, Regan has no taste for that sort of superficial flash. She dons no chef’s whites. She displays no awards. She does not raise her voice to the Gordon Ramsay–level roar or even the Rachael Ray-ish rollick that TV cameras eat up.
Instead, this northwest Indiana native quietly built her reputation as someone who hunts for frogs and spears them herself. Someone who has suffered tick bites and poison-ivy rashes foraging for wild flora. Someone who has penned an essay on intensity for Lucky Peach and once themed an Elizabeth tasting menu after those violent and visceral A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
So yeah, I was kinda terrified to eat her food.
I’d never done a tasting menu before. And I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a picky eater, but I’m not a particularly adventurous one either, particularly when it comes to meat. (I can barely look at plated octopus without shivering.) I’d heard that Regan once served edible ants. Which are, like, bugs.
My nerves were calmed upon walking into Elizabeth, though. Austere yet charming, the whitewashed space was accented by light fixtures made from bare tree branches; dining chairs draped with faux-fur slipcovers; a chef’s counter armed with Elder Scrolls and Vikings Funko Pop! dolls. It was all in support of the season’s menu theme: vikings.
There were two options: land or sea. Or, as the first in a delightful succession of servers explained it, “Imagine a viking ship has reached the shore. One group goes on land to look for food, the other into the sea.” My friend Erin and I opted to order one of each to share and, despite my trepidation of certain meats, placed no restrictions on what we would eat. (You can arrange for some allergies and dietary needs in advance.) We wanted to go all in.
After the amuse-bouche—a surprisingly complex roasted whey carrot dressed with goat’s-milk cheese and edible flowers—came our first courses. The land dish was … a bowl of rocks. The server assured me the top “rock” was actually a baked potato coated in edible clay. But it was very convincing as a rock, so I bit in with trepidation. As Erin ate the rest, dipping it into the cheese and butter puddings it was served with, I forked into her langoustine with lingonberries. (Pro tip: don’t try to tear off the claw without looking. You will stab your finger on a spine.) So far, so very good.
As the servers continued to weave their culinary narrative, I realized there was an unmentioned character in their tale—Elizabeth itself. The restaurant is small, seating about 16 or so, and the kitchen is wide open. It was impossible not to get caught up in what was happening back there, particularly when sous chefs were wielding brûlée torches and “plating” on gorgeous pieces of handmade pottery. And the line between front and back of house was practically nonexistent. One moment, you’d see someone in the kitchen stirring and slicing; the next they’d be presenting your next course or clearing your table. (Chef Regan included.)
This created an unexpected intimacy, one that removed any hesitation when asking about a particular dish. It’s clear the teammates take a deep yet quiet pride in their collective work. They spoke warmly about where ingredients came from, excitedly about the preparation techniques used. They always used “we” or “our,” never “me” or “Chef Regan.” (Again, Chef Regan included.)
Over the next few courses, there were so many charms. An herb-rolled, soft-boiled quail egg served in an actual nest; impossibly chewy seaweed bread darkened by squid ink; a cauliflower-mushroom soup that Erin about died over. I was particularly fond of a course called Barnyard: headcheese dusted with beet powder, paired with a collage of root vegetables and flavored puddings reminiscent of something out of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.
And that’s the thing. Never in my life would I have thought that I’d be fond of headcheese. I would have probably never eaten it if it weren’t for this meal. But it was fun to break out of my culinary comfort zone.
The other surprising thing? How full we were, considering it was a tasting menu. By the time we were served the entree courses—rare lamb medallions wrapped in swiss chard and pickled fish in a sauce of its own bones—we were taking deep breaths between bites. I’m pretty sure they were the only two plates we didn’t completely clean.
We managed to buck up for our “one-and-a-half” dessert courses, as the server put it. (The “half” was a palate-cleansing sorbet.) Our favorite was Under the Sea, a spongy coral-seaweed cake so realistic looking it prompted me to ask the server just how much of it we could eat. “All of it,” she said. We complied.
Maybe, as a writer, I’m just a sucker for a good story. But I was enchanted by Elizabeth, both in backstory and in not knowing what was coming next throughout the culinary adventure. And while I probably won’t be buying headcheese any time soon, I’m excited to see what Chef Regan has up her non-chef’s-whites sleeves next season.
Shop Chef Iliana Regan's tasting-menu experience at Elizabeth Restaurant:
Watch her explain her approach to fine dining:
As useful as WD40 and much more edible, coconut oil is a powerhouse. In fact, just one jar of the stuff can replace several household staples, from kitchen ingredients to baby wipes. Here’s how to substitute it for 16 total items in 3 rooms of the home:
1. Coffee: Coconut oil is a reputed energy booster. Swallowing a spoonful or two in the afternoon can be a healthful alternative to a cuppa.2. Coffee creamer: Emulsified and poured into coffee, it’s much tastier than (and probably just as nutritious as) that bulletproof stuff.3. Butter or oil (when sautéing): Coconut oil’s high smoke point makes it great for cooking on the stovetop, especially at high heat. Try swapping it in when making stir-fries, scrambled eggs, or pancakes, especially if you like a very mild coconut flavor.4. Oil (when baking): The oil imparts a delicious je ne sais quoi to baked goods—even boxed ones. Use it to give from-the-box brownies an upgrade, and you’ll dream about them for days.5. Condiments: Drop it into quinoa or oatmeal for added nutrients and healthy fats. You can also put it on top of sweet potatoes instead of butter!
6. Moisturizer: It works on your body and your face. It’s naturally SPF 4, so it offers a bit of protection from UV rays, too.7. Leave-in conditioner and anti-static agent: Rub a small amount between your hands and smooth them over your hair to control flyaways.8. Lip balm: It soothes sore, chapped lips, and other skin irritations.9. Eye-makeup remover: Rub it between your fingers until it liquefies, smear it on your lids, and wipe it off with a cotton pad.10. Face wash: Add a little water and rub it in your hands until it foams.11. Hand and foot cream: Massage it into cracked knuckles, or slather it onto your soles and stick them into socks for an overnight soak.12. Shaving cream: It’ll give you a smooth shave, plus additional moisture for your skin.
13. Ouchie ointment: Dab it on cuts and scrapes, which will benefit from its antimicrobial properties.14. Anti-itch cream: Coconut oil reduces itching from bug bites, and helps to calm sunburn, eczema, and cradle cap.15. Diaper cream: A layer on baby’s bottom guards against (and soothes) diaper rash flare-ups.16. Baby wipes: Simply mix it with hot water and pour it over a stack of paper towels that you’ve cut in half. Keep the towels in an airtight container so they stay moist.
Check out more coconut-oil coverage:
Oil Pulling Whitens Your Teeth and (Maybe) Makes You Invincible
The Five Best Uses for Coconut Oil You’ve Never Heard Of