Indulge in a wide array of American dishes at Banana Boat.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this restaurant offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
Families will feel right at home at this restaurant with its kid-friendly menu and atmosphere.
Making it through another workweek call for a drink at Banana Boat.
You can tote your laptop here to take advantage of the free wifi.
Banana Boat can provide comfortable seating options for parties of any size.
Banana Boat's outdoor seating is available during the warmer months.
Music lovers can enjoy live performances at Banana Boat as well.
Between the music and the crowds, Banana Boat's noise levels can be intense.
Don't let your weekend plans get spoiled! Be sure to reserve a table if you're heading to the restaurant on a Friday or Saturday since it can get pretty crowded.
No need for a wardrobe change when you hit Banana Boat — it's strictly casual.
If you need to feed a big crowd, Banana Boat also offers catering services for parties and get-togethers.
Carry-out is also available for those who prefer to enjoy this restaurant's cooking from the comfort of their own home.
For convenience, patrons can park in the lot next door, and valet is also an option.
Bike parking is also available outside the restaurant.
Meals at Banana Boat are moderately priced — most diners spend about $30 per person.
The 21st-century is here at Banana Boat. Enjoy our emerging cashless society by paying with any major credit card!
Banana Boat provides morning, afternoon, and evening service, so you can easily find time to dine.
Banana Boat is a great place to go for lunch or dinner, so make your way over to the restaurant today and munch on an American classic.
Fresh fare can be found at Two Georges Waterfront Grille, where visitors seek to sample every seafood dish on the menu.
Keep your diet in check at Two Georges Waterfront Grille, a local restaurant with gluten-free and low-fat menu items.
Two Georges Waterfront Grille also provides alcohol, so diners don't have to worry about bringing their own bottle.
Have a few picky young eaters in the family? Not a problem at Two Georges Waterfront Grille, where the food and ambience are perfect for family dining.
Two Georges Waterfront Grille provides a fun vibe with a great happy hour atmosphere.
Warm weather, delectable dishes, and an awesome atmosphere make for a dream night out at Two Georges Waterfront Grille.
For no extra charge, utilize Two Georges Waterfront Grille's free wifi.
Tap your foot to Two Georges Waterfront Grille's tunes — live performances are often showcased here.
During the restaurant's weekend rush, waiting in line is the name of the game (so avoid Friday and Saturday nights if you're looking for something quick).
No need to put on airs for a trip to Two Georges Waterfront Grille — the dress code and ambience at this restaurant are totally laid-back.
Carry-out is also available for those who prefer to enjoy Two Georges Waterfront Grille's cooking from the comfort of their own home.
Don't spend time circling the block — parking is available in a nearby lot, and valet is provided, if preferred.
Typical diners should plan to spend about $30 per person on Two Georges Waterfront Grille's moderately priced fare.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but the dinner menu is the real standout.
Visit Pyure Salon for some true American comfort food smack dab in the middle of Boynton Beach's Renaissance Commons.
Pick your poison and toast your evening — drinks are also served here.
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.
Pyure Salon provides a fun vibe with a great happy hour atmosphere.
Groups of all sizes can easily be seated at Pyure Salon.
Pyure Salon's outdoor seating is available during the warmer months.
Wireless Internet access is available for no charge at Pyure Salon.
Music lovers can enjoy live performances at Pyure Salon as well.
To get seated fast on a weeknight, you may want to call ahead and make a reservation — after-work crowds can fill the place up.
Don't spend time or money shopping for a new dinner outfit
Pyure Salon's laid-back vibe accepts jeans, T-shirts, and everything in between.
Catering makes it easier to organize any event, and Pyure Salon will ensure that it is delicious.
Can't stay at this restaurant long? Pick up and go home.
A free parking lot is conveniently located next door.
Bicyclists will also find lots of space to safely lock up their bikes.
At Pyure Salon, you can ease your appetite and please your pocketbook
the menu offers a selection of mid-priced, budget-friendly meals.
If a trip to the ATM isn't on the agenda, visitors have the convenience of paying by major credit card.
Lunch and dinner are easy as pie (and you might as well get a slice) at the delicious Pyure Salon.
For a classic American dish, head over to the casual establishment of Pyure Salon.
Indulge in a wide array of American dishes at Village Tavern.
Healthy food is in, as it should be, so come here for a tasty, low-fat and gluten-free bite.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this restaurant offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
Tots and tykes will be right at home at this restaurant with its kid-approved food and ambience.
Home to one of the happiest happy hours, pop in after work for great drinks and good company.
At Village Tavern, your large or small party can easily enjoy a meal.
Wifi is on the house at Village Tavern, so bring along your tablet or laptop.
Take your meal to the next level on the patio at Village Tavern.
You may want to reserve your table for a weeknight visit since the crowds can be more intense during that part of the week.
Village Tavern offers an informal dining experience for those who are allergic to jackets and ties.
Want to enjoy this restaurant without the wait? Get it to go.
A nearby parking lot is readily available for Village Tavern's diners.
Village Tavern's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
Typical diners should plan to spend about $30 per person on Village Tavern's moderately priced fare.
AM, midday, and PM meals are served at the restaurant, but supper takes the cake for best in show.
There's a classic American dish waiting to be made for you at Village Tavern.
Pay Village Tavern a visit today and fill up on some classic American dishes in a casual environment.
If you're seeking a highly-rated American restaurant in the area, look no further than Village Tavern.
Load up on meatballs and marinara at Carrabba's Italian Grill, and find out for yourself if the five-star ratings are up to par.
Fear not you gluten-free or low-fat eaters, you'll have plenty of choices here.
Order a bottle for the table if you like — this restaurant has a full bar stocked with the best wine, beer, and more.
Eat out with the little ones at this restaurant, and don't waste time scurrying for a sitter.
Make the most of the warm summer months by dining outdoors in Carrabba's Italian Grill's beautiful outdoor seating area.
Gather up your friends, coworkers or family members and head to Carrabba's Italian Grill for a group meal.
Those with sensitive ears may want to stay away from this restaurant, though, as it can get quite loud.
Perfect for an after-work outing, Carrabba's Italian Grill won't require you to change outfits before dining as the dress here is super casual.
If time is of the essence, this restaurant's take-out option may be a better fit.
Impress the patrons at your next gathering by calling in Carrabba's Italian Grill for catering.
Dining at Carrabba's Italian Grill? Enjoy the easy and free parking in the lot next door.
Deep pockets not required! Carrabba's Italian Grill takes pride in its over-the-top flavor and just-right prices.
Supper is exceptional, though the restaurant also offers breakfast and lunch.
Carrabba's Italian Grill's Italian food gets the highest price; come taste why!
It's certainly time for you to try cheese on cheese on cheese when you take a chance on the best Italian food around at Carrabba's Italian Grill.
Start with the calamari and save room for the fresh catch at Boynton Beach's Prime Catch — this Boynton Beach seafood spot has quite the selection.
The cooks at Prime Catch know how to get creative with gluten-free ingredients.
Toast your evening out at this restaurant with a glass of beer or wine from their lengthy drink list.
Got a big family? Tons of friends? An entire soccer team? Consider the private room at Prime Catch, where large groups can get together to celebrate life's biggest milestones.
Bask in the sun (or moon!) light when you dine on Prime Catch's outdoor patio.
Access the Internet free of charge via Prime Catch's complimentary wifi.
This restaurant's most sought after items include Flash-fried Lobster, Maine Lobster B.l.t., New England Fried Clams, Shrimp Bruschetta, and Calamari Provencal.
Business casual attire is acceptable, so guests can let go of the "dress to impress" standard.
Prime Catch can also cater your next party; call today for details.
Leaving the couch is half the battle. Your foods awaits your pickup at this restaurant.
Prime Catch offers curbside valet parking, as well as parking in a lot next door.
Store your bike safely at one of the main bike racks near Prime Catch.
A night out here can be a bit pricey, so prepare to shell out a bit more.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it's the dinner menu that really draws the crowds.
Head on over to the highly-rated Prime Catch today and enjoy a delicious seafood dish or two.
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