During her rotations as a pastry chef in culinary school, Uzma Sharif caught the eye of her head chef by drizzling chocolate with the same technique she used to decorate hands with henna. “You’re going to be a great success with that someday,” he predicted. The roots of her talents as a chocolatier go back even deeper, however. In Pakistan, her pastry-chef grandfather was well known for his delicate pink macaroons, and her mother and seven aunts each inherited their father’s baking skills. In January 2011, Uzma followed in her family members' footsteps, founding her own shop to purvey her hand-crafted chocolate creations as Chocolat Uzma Sharif.
These confections brim with unexpected ingredients, such as candied rose petals, Kashmiri chai, and cardamom, or glow with floral colors, such as the pinks and blues on the ombre butterflies that are Uzma's current favorite. The chocolatier handpicks the ingredients that go into her sweet creations, choosing all-natural, organic options when possible. Focused on perfecting a small selection of goods, she makes her chocolates in small batches and packages them in eco-friendly boxes she’s designed herself.
During chocolate classes at her Pilsen kitchen, Uzma teaches students about the origins of raw chocolate and the science behind making a bar with the right sheen and snap. Uzma also shares methods for choosing good chocolate from store shelves, starting with deciphering the percentages on the label and asking it whether it’s been naughty or nice.
Those seeking a casual midday meal will find a comfortable cafe experience at Stax Cafe.
Parents, bring your kids along to this restaurant, where you'll find a family-friendly menu and ambience.
Throw on your favorite T-shirt and head out the door — dining at Stax Cafe is all about comfort.
Don't be afraid to enjoy your food on the go — this restaurant offers takeout for your busy schedule.
Ample parking is located near Stax Cafe.
Make use of the safe and efficient bike parking at Stax Cafe.
Stax Cafe is a mid-priced establishment, with the average meal costing under $30.
Stax Cafe offers the best in American food, so head on over.
Chez Joël: A User’s Guide
Classic French Bistro Cusine | Acclaimed Pommes Frites | Accessible Wine List | Authentic Decor | Garden Patio
Starter: manila clams steamed with white wine and garlic
Entree: new york strip steak with garlic butter and pommes frites, which the Chicago Reader ranks among the city’s best
Dessert: Calvados-apple tart with marzipan
Who’s in the Kitchen? Chef-owner Joël Kazouini runs the restaurant alongside his brother, Ahmed. Chef Kazouini builds his menu around accessible, straightforward Southern French cuisine.
Where to Sit: When it’s nice out, dine alfresco on the restaurant’s garden patio, where you can soak up the scents and sounds of Little Italy.
When to Go: Try to dine before the peak-hour dinner rush. Though it might mean an early meal, you won’t regret the extra elbow room that often disappears in Chez Joël’s close quarters.
While You’re Waiting: Marvel at the interior decorating skills of Chef Kazouini, whose design scheme includes French posters, tables covered with white butcher paper, and dark-wood accents that make the bistro ideal for date nights.
Inside Tip: Valet parking is available, so don’t worry about finding a spot or breaking your car into parts and hiding them in the bushes.
Escargot: cooked land snail; a traditional appetizer in France.
For food in a flash, head to Au Bon Pain in Chicago's Illinois Medical District district.
At Au Bon Pain, service is a priority. That why we provide parking spaces on site.
Your bill at Au Bon Pain will rarely go over $15, so you can really indulge!
Catering to diners throughout the day (and night), Au Bon Pain serves AM, PM, and midday meals.
When you're craving fast food, don't settle for just any joint. Pick up a quality meal from Au Bon Pain.
When your sweet tooth takes control, Chicago's Au Bon Pain is one of the best bakeries in Illinois Medical District.
Take your vehicle to dinner
nearby parking is plentiful and will not pose a problem for drivers looking to dine.
When your sweet tooth kicks in, Au Bon Pain has a selection of baked goods to satisfy your cravings.
Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine takes many forms at Evergreen Restaurant, a Chicago Chinatown hotspot. But whether the chefs are sizzling jalapeno shrimp, deep-fried crab, pork in peking sauce, or black bean dessert soup, their meals are always big on flavor. And they don't skimp on presentation, either. Their popular mango pudding is shaped like a friendly koi fish that smiles at diners—presenting vegans an opportunity to finally eat something with a face. Their most impressive creation, however, is the lobster dinner for 10. They test tables' strength with a host of traditional dishes for sharing, including beef and vegetables, shrimp, and two full lobsters.