Edoardo Barbieri's love of cooking began during a time of war. As an Italian soldier in World War II, he was captured by Allied forces and imprisoned in a series of prisoner-of-war camps in the United States. The young soldier was assigned to the mess hall, and he quickly realized a knack for the culinary arts. When the war ended, he returned to northern Italy and married his fiancée, but it wasn't long before America began calling him back. Edoardo and his wife immigrated to the States, where he soon opened a number of acclaimed Italian restaurants. As his family and business both grew, his son and grandchildren eventually joined the cause, creating a restaurant chain run by three generations of the Barbieri family.
At Da Edoardo North, the flavors and aromas of northern Italian cuisine vie for attention with lakeside scenery visible through the dining room's floor-to-ceiling windows. Executive chef Eddie Barbieri, who is also Eduardo's grandson, creates pastas and sauces from scratch with the family's time-honored recipes, pairing them with morsels of shrimp, veal, or pork chops seared to a tender finish. Individually sized pizzas bear the traditional toppings of prosciutto or Italian sausage, and the ample wine list proffers a selection of more than 100 varietals, many by the bottle. Diners can even bring a gourmet meal home with the restaurant's grab 'n' go option, which makes for a more convenient Italian meal than standing beneath a Sicilian construction crew at break time.
Fill up on fries and other comfort food at Louie's Sports Tavern, a savory spot for American cuisine.
Enjoy a drink with your dinner — this restaurant has a full bar to serve up a glass of wine, beer, or more.
Youngsters don't need to sit out a trip to this restaurant — it's super family-friendly and perfect for little diners and their folks.
Access the Internet free of charge via Louie's Sports Tavern's complimentary wifi.
Gather up your friends, coworkers or family members and head to Louie's Sports Tavern for a group meal.
You'll want to save quiet conversations for another spot, though — the restaurant can get noisy.
Relaxed attire is perfectly fine at Louie's Sports Tavern, known for its laid-back ambience.
For those in a hurry, the restaurant lets you take your meal or snack to go.
If you're hoping to make a smashing impression at your next soiree, you can also have Louie's Sports Tavern cater for you.
Dine at Louie's Sports Tavern and keep your car safely parked in a nearby lot.
Louie's Sports Tavern's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
Treating yourself doesn't mean breaking the bank, come taste the great dishes Louie's Sports Tavern has to offer.
The best American dishes are cooked up by the great crew at Louie's Sports Tavern, and they're waiting to serve you!
There's no doubt about it. A satisfying meal can always be found at Louie's Sports Tavern.
Fans of Greg's Pizza Co and Lounge make every night "pizza night" — reviews prove that this hub sells steaming slices of five-star bliss.
Healthy food is in, as it should be, so come here for a tasty, low-fat and gluten-free bite.
Take a peek at the drink menu here, and make sure to sample something off the list.
Parents appreciate this pizzeria's kid-friendly attitude, and little ones are often seen dining out with the adults.
For no extra charge, utilize Greg's Pizza Co and Lounge's free wifi.
The pizzeria is about as noisy as it gets — plan for booming speakers and chatty crowds everywhere.
At this pizzeria, you can work your arms a little. Pick up the food yourself and carry it out.
Greg's Pizza Co and Lounge's patrons can find places to park in the area.
Greg's Pizza Co and Lounge offers various parking options, including bike parking.
Everyone's talking about Greg's Pizza Co and Lounge. Find out why when you treat yourself to a delicious pizza pie.
If you can't get enough pizza, be sure to try the pies at Greg's Pizza Co and Lounge, which earn ratings too hot to handle.
Why not keep it casual tonight? Head on over to Greg's Pizza Co and Lounge, where you can enjoy a delicious variety of pizza and a casual, care-free atmosphere.
So grab a slice of pizza or two from Greg's Pizza Co and Lounge and enjoy a great lunch or dinner.
Find something on the menu for everyone at Brick Street Bar and Grill in Grand Blanc.
Whether you are looking for food low in fat or gluten-free, this restaurant is the place you want to eat.
Whether you have something to celebrate or just need something to take the edge off, the drink menu at this restaurant won't disappoint.
Celebrate the start of a great weekend at Brick Street Bar and Grill's great happy hour.
Outdoor seating is ready for diners on those warm summer days.
Brick Street Bar and Grill has a large dining room, making it easy to seat large parties.
Musical visitors frequently perform here, so patrons can enjoy live tunes with their food.
If you're hitting Brick Street Bar and Grill on a weeknight, it's best to make a reservation since the place can really fill up.
Forget the stuffy formal wear! Brick Street Bar and Grill's business casual dress code sets the tone for ease and enjoyment.
You can also grab your grub to go.
Through their catering service, Brick Street Bar and Grill can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
The lot adjacent to Brick Street Bar and Grill provides free parking for diners.
Prices are a bit on the higher side, so this might be a good pick for a special night out.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but reviewers rate the dinner menu the highest.
In the mood to get down in the kitchen? Pick up some fresh groceries from Aremia Imported Foods in Grand Blanc and create a new dish.
Come prepared to feast at Aremia Imported Foods — with no low-fat options, any diets will need to be put aside for the moment.
Stock up your home bar with an assortment of liquors from Aremia Imported Foods and become your own personal bartender.
Find all of your deli favorites, such as sandwich meat and cheese, at Aremia Imported Foods and plan your lunches for the week.
Aremia Imported Foods has so many great gift baskets that would make the perfect hostess gift.
If milk is your go-to beverage, you'll love the dairy products available here (great for strengthening your bones and teeth).
Fill up your kitchen pantry with some tasty canned goods from here and always have a quick meal available.
Add some produce to your next dinner plate for a delicious meal jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients.
Choose from meaty and veggie favorites at Aremia Imported Foods and munch your way through a tasty sandwich.
Next time you need some gifts for your family from Grand Blanc, the answer is definitely to head straight to Aremia Imported Foods.
Drive to Aremia Imported Foods and find parking in the area.
Make this next recipe your best ever with only the best quality ingredients from Aremia Imported Foods in Grand Blanc.
Come to Red Baron for a sandwich and side — this eatery serves American cuisine everyone will love.
Enjoy a low-fat or gluten-free meal at Red Baron, a local favorite.
Beer, wine, and more are also available from this restaurant's extensive drink list.
Home to one of the happiest happy hours, pop in after work for great drinks and good company.
Red Baron is a great location to host a group dinner.
For those who enjoy entertainment while dining, Red Baron hosts live DJs.
Speakers are blaring and crowds roaring at the restaurant, so prepare for a noisy night out.
Jeans are just right for a meal at Red Baron, which embraces a casual vibe.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
Catering from Red Baron will take your party to the next level.
At Red Baron, you can easily find parking in the lot next door.
If cycling is more your speed, you'll find plenty of space to stash your bike outside the restaurant.
If you don't want a night that will cost you an arm and a leg but you do want a delicious meal, come to Red Baron.
Red Baron accepts all major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
So when you need to cure your hunger craving, visit Red Baron and treat yourself to a tasty American dish.
If you're looking for classic American fare, try Red Baron for your next meal.
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