Start with the calamari and save room for the fresh catch at Lantana's Riggin's Crabhouse and Seafood Market — this Lantana seafood spot has quite the selection.
This restaurant also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Families will feel right at home at this restaurant with its kid-friendly menu and atmosphere.
Riggin's Crabhouse and Seafood Market is a suitable restaurant for both large and small groups.
This restaurant's most sought after items include Soft Shell Crab, Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, Crab Cake, Escargots, and Gator Bites With Scampi Sauce.
Good luck spotting a suit and tie at Riggin's Crabhouse and Seafood Market — casually-dressed diners are the norm here.
For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from Riggin's Crabhouse and Seafood Market.
Forget the hassle of street parking and head to Riggin's Crabhouse and Seafood Market for easy access to parking lots.
It's not the cheapest, it's not the most expensive, but it is the most delicious. Come to Riggin's Crabhouse and Seafood Market for a great bite.
If you're in the mood for a fresh catch, make your way over to Riggin's Crabhouse and Seafood Market and enjoy a delicious seafood dish.
Lantana's Thaikyo Asian Cuisine offers a delicious mix of Asian cuisines.
What can you eat at Thaikyo Asian Cuisine if you're gluten-free? Plenty. Come on in for some tasty meals.
At this restaurant, everyone will find something they love — kids included!
Check email, shop online, or get the latest game scores on Thaikyo Asian Cuisine's free wifi.
Be sure to check out Thaikyo Asian Cuisine's outdoor seating when the climate is right.
You can also have Thaikyo Asian Cuisine cater your next event.
This restaurant also offers delivery and carryout if you're in the mood for the restaurant's cooking but prefer to provide your own ambience.
Parking is easily accessible.
Travel by bike to Thaikyo Asian Cuisine and store your bike at a nearby rack.
Fancy snacks do come at a higher price, but wow are they delicious.
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.
Thaikyo Asian Cuisine puts a spin on traditional Asian cuisine that's worth checking out, so make sure to make your way to the table.
So don't let the casual atmosphere fool you. When you dine at Thaikyo Asian Cuisine, prepare your tummy for an unbelievable mix of delicious Asian-style cuisine.
Lantana's A Bronx Tale Pizzeria and Italian Cuisine knows how to perfect pasta, and foodies rave about its cream-of-the-crop Italian eats.
If dining outdoors is your idea of a good time, you'll love the gorgeous patio seating at A Bronx Tale Pizzeria and Italian Cuisine.
Leave the fancy duds at home — patrons at the restaurant dress informally.
Call A Bronx Tale Pizzeria and Italian Cuisine for catering if you have a big event coming up.
This restaurant will bring your food right to your doorstep if you prefer to make it a night in, or swing by the restaurant yourself to carry out your meal.
At A Bronx Tale Pizzeria and Italian Cuisine, you can park quickly and safely in a lot next door.
Bike parking is also available outside the restaurant.
Want top-notch taste for less than top-dollar prices? A Bronx Tale Pizzeria and Italian Cuisine s mid-range cuisine is sure to satisfy on both fronts, where pennies stretch into perfectly seasoned platters.
A Bronx Tale Pizzeria and Italian Cuisine is the place to go if you're looking for quality and highly-rated Italian food.
If you're craving a taste of Italy, come on over to A Bronx Tale Pizzeria and Italian Cuisine and check out the flavorful menu options.
Whether you prefer fish or veggie rolls, Sushi Bon Express offers a wide selection of sushi.
The sushi spot's menu also includes options for those with gluten allergies or sensitivities.
Drinks here are readily available, so you can enjoy a glass of red or try something new.
Parties of any size can easily be seated at Sushi Bon Express.
At Sushi Bon Express, there's no need to confine your meal to a traditional dining room — outdoor seating is available when the weather is warm.
Casual clothing is the name of the game at Sushi Bon Express, where suits and ties won't be spotted for miles.
Through their catering service, Sushi Bon Express can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
You can call it in, then carry it out.
Parallel-parking experts can find room on the street, though patrons also have access to the sushi spot's adjoining lot.
If you go out for a nice meal, it doesn't need to cost $100, come treat yourself at Sushi Bon Express.
Reviewers rave about the dinner menu at the sushi spot, though breakfast and lunch are also served.
When you want a healthy lunch or dinner option, head over to Sushi Bon Express and enjoy some tasty sushi.
Serving a range of tasty food and drink, John G's Restaurant in Manalapan will have you thinking about seconds (or thirds).
Load up the mini-van and bring the kids to this restaurant — they'll love the menu and scene here as much as mom and dad.
Whether you have a group of five or a group of 20, John G's Restaurant can seat both large and small groups.
Tap into the free wireless Internet at John G's Restaurant.
Drift away from stuffy dress-code conventions and dine in comfort at John G's Restaurant.
Some say walking is the greatest thing in life. This restaurant knows it's carryout.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — John G's Restaurant offers catering.
Fed up with difficult parking? At John G's Restaurant, you will find easy nearby parking and good eats.
Bikers can store their bikes safely while they enjoy a meal at John G's Restaurant.
Menu items at John G's Restaurant tend to be mid-priced, so expect to plop down about $30 per person to dine here.
At John G's Restaurant, you will need cash to pay for your expenses.
Lovers of Latin American cuisine spend their time at spicy spot Victoria's Peruvian Restaurant.
Low-fat and gluten-free options are featured on the menu.
This restaurant visitors can also take advantage of the many drink options offered here.
No need to splurge on a babysitter — tots will be right at home chowing down at this restaurant.
Victoria's Peruvian Restaurant offers an informal dining experience for those who are allergic to jackets and ties.
Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too.
Bring the Victoria's Peruvian Restaurant's great food to your place.
Drivers can park in the neighboring lot.
Victoria's Peruvian Restaurant offers safe bike parking outside.
A night out here can be a bit pricey, so prepare to shell out a bit more.
Convenience is essential at Victoria's Peruvian Restaurant, and food is served from morning until night.
Victoria's Peruvian Restaurant's Latin American flare makes for a great meal out and will have you coming back for more!
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