Dig in to your favorite American meal at Victorian House Restaurant.
Victorian House Restaurant is creating combinations that will work for any diet you're on.
Toast your evening out at this restaurant with a glass of beer or wine from their lengthy drink list.
This restaurant is kid-friendly, so little ones are welcome to tag along.
Plan your next big gathering at Victorian House Restaurant — patrons will appreciate the spacious interior, and there's even a private room for special occasions.
Don't go off the grid! With the free wifi at Victorian House Restaurant, you can surf the web and get some work done.
Weather permitting, come enjoy a wonderful meal outside at Victorian House Restaurant.
A tad noisy, the restaurant is well-suited for those who don't mind a little extra hustle and bustle.
Reserve a table ahead of time and avoid the lines.
Victorian House Restaurant's dress code is casual — diners are welcome to dress up (or down) to their comfort level.
Hosting a swanky shindig? Call up Victorian House Restaurant for their catering services.
Short on time? Don't wait for a driver — pick it up yourself.
Park in the open lot next to Victorian House Restaurant and score easy and free parking.
Victorian House Restaurant provides ample space for bikers to store their bikes.
Your tab at Victorian House Restaurant will usually run to about $30 per guest.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Victorian House Restaurant is a great dining option for any time of day.
Victorian House Restaurant 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.
Victorian House Restaurant has something for everyone with great American fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So head on over to the highly-rated Victorian House Restaurant for some American eats and see what the buzz is all about.
Fresh from the oven every time, the insanely-cheesy slices at Rossini's Pizza Restaurant have visitors hooked on five-star reviews.
Complement your meal with a beer or wine from this pizzeria's delightful drink menu.
Take the kids along too — this pizzeria is a great spot for families with food that even little ones will love.
Large groups will appreciate Rossini's Pizza Restaurant for its ability to seat them quickly.
Forget the stuffy formal wear! Rossini's Pizza Restaurant's business casual dress code sets the tone for ease and enjoyment.
Rossini's Pizza Restaurant is known for serving great food, and they are able to serve it at your next event with their excellent catering.
For those in a rush, the pizzeria lets you take your food to go.
At Rossini's Pizza Restaurant, free parking is offered on the whole block.
For the cheesiest, most delicious pie in town, pizza lovers claim that Rossini's Pizza Restaurant is at the top of the list.
Don't feel like dressing up for dinner? No problem. Rossini's Pizza Restaurant's pizza is baked with top-notch ratings, so you can be sure to love your meal.
So grab a group of friends and head to Rossini's Pizza Restaurant, where you can relax in a casual setting while enjoying a delicious, handmade pizza.
Rossini's Pizza Restaurant's pizza is oozing with delicious cheese and sauce, so make sure to pick one up on your way home.
Check out eccentric The Funky Monkey Cafe and Gallery for the next wave of coffee culture.
Round out your meal with a little tipple — this coffee shop has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Bring the whole clan to this coffee shop — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Don't go off the grid! With the free wifi at The Funky Monkey Cafe and Gallery, you can surf the web and get some work done.
Parties of any size can easily be seated at The Funky Monkey Cafe and Gallery.
The patio tables outside of The Funky Monkey Cafe and Gallery are the perfect spot for a summer meal.
Take it nice and easy at The Funky Monkey Cafe and Gallery, where casual dress is the rule of the day.
Impress the patrons at your next gathering by calling in The Funky Monkey Cafe and Gallery for catering.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this coffee shop.
Don't leave the car at home when you come in. We'll give you one of the great spaces in our parking lot. And for free.
Morning, noon, or night, you can head on over to The Funky Monkey Cafe and Gallery since they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
With a trendy vibe and great coffee, visit The Funky Monkey Cafe and Gallery for your next coffee break.
When you need an energy boost, head on over to The Funky Monkey Cafe and Gallery and enjoy a delicious cup of Joe.
Mr B's Pizza's piping pizza is just as hot as its ratings, and customers call this tasty spot one of the best around.
Looking for low-fat, gluten-free meal options? Look no further than Mr B's Pizza.
Save money on a sitter — kids are welcome to join the table at this pizzeria.
Parties of any size can easily be seated at Mr B's Pizza.
The noise level can often drown out conversation, so make sure your party is prepared to speak up.
Diners who appreciate a no-frills environment come to Mr B's Pizza in jeans and a hoodie.
Homebodies can take advantage of this pizzeria's delivery and take-out options.
If you need to feed a big crowd, Mr B's Pizza also offers catering services for parties and get-togethers.
Looking for a deal on parking? Free parking is easily accessible in the parking lot next door.
The pizzeria's dinner menu receives the most attention, but diners have the option of grabbing breakfast or lunch here, too.
Some people say that if you've had one pizza, you've had them all. Diners who've tried Mr B's Pizza's pizza say it is the absolute best.
For a casual meal that is highly-rated, look no further than Mr B's Pizza's pizza.
For mouthwatering pizza in a casual setting, look no further than the highly-rated Mr B's Pizza.
Isn't it about time you stopped ordering just any old pizza place and went with Mr B's Pizza?
Come to Watch Factory Restaurant to grab an American classic with a side of fries.
For a healthier dining option, try one of the many vegan, low-fat, or gluten-free dishes at Watch Factory Restaurant.
With this restaurant's wide selection of refreshments available, you can tap into the drink menu early in the evening.
Watch Factory Restaurant is a local restaurant that accommodates both large and small groups.
Don't stay inside on a beautiful day! Come sit on the patio at Watch Factory Restaurant and order great food.
If dinner and a movie are on the agenda, reservations are recommended for a timely night out.
Throw on your favorite T-shirt and head out the door — dining at Watch Factory Restaurant is all about comfort.
That's right! Watch Factory Restaurant will bring their delicious food to your house for any occasion.
The restaurant offers free parking in the lot next door.
Bicyclists will also find lots of space to safely lock up their bikes.
Watch Factory Restaurant is creating dishes any foodie will love at around $30.
Conveniently serving three main meals a day, the restaurant is a great place to eat at any time of day, but is best known for its evening menu.
There's a classic American dish waiting to be made for you at Watch Factory Restaurant.
Craving finger food? Head to Southington's Sam The Clams Pub and Grub and chow down on classic pub fare.
Pair your entree with a glass of wine or draft beer — this restaurant has a fully-stocked bar to complement your meal.
Gather up your group of friends and head to Sam The Clams Pub and Grub, a local restaurant that has room for large groups.
Bask in the sun and enjoy a fresh meal outside at Sam The Clams Pub and Grub.
Up for grabs (and free of charge) is Sam The Clams Pub and Grub's wifi.
The noise level can sometimes reach near deafening levels, so save your conversations for another night.
The food's ready when you are. Come on in or carry out.
Free parking is offered every day in the lot next door, allowing guests to relax and enjoy their meal.
Sam The Clams Pub and Grub's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
Prices are reasonable, with a typical meal running under $30.
Save the cash for another day and pay by major credit card at Sam The Clams Pub and Grub.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but the dinner menu is the real standout.
So when you're in the mood for some tasty pub food, make your way over to Sam The Clams Pub and Grub.
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