Come taste what Lake House is doing to transform classic American cuisine.
The chefs at Lake House know how to prepare tasty, gluten-free and low-fat meals.
This restaurant also provides alcohol, so diners don't have to worry about bringing their own bottle.
This restaurant is a terrific spot for families to gather with its kid-friendly ambience and menu.
Warm weather, delectable dishes, and an awesome atmosphere make for a dream night out at Lake House.
Lake House will be able to accommodate your large party.
Need to catch up on some work or the latest news? Get online at Lake House with their complimentary wifi.
Reservations are available, so give the restaurant a call before you head over for the fastest seating.
Lake House welcomes laid-back diners, so there's no pressure to throw on heels or a tie.
Ordering food? You can pick it up yourself!
Catering from Lake House will take your party to the next level.
Lake House's diners can park in a neighboring lot just seconds away.
Typical diners should plan to spend about $30 per person on Lake House's moderately priced fare.
The best American dishes are cooked up by the great crew at Lake House, and they're waiting to serve you!
Lake House has something for everyone with great American fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Enjoy an Irish car bomb at Blackthorn Grille, one of the hottest Irish bars in town.
Go ahead and bring your rug rats with you — this restaurant has kid-friendly food and seating.
Surround yourself with the wonderful weather at your next night out at Blackthorn Grille.
Getting online is easy with Blackthorn Grille's free and convenient wifi.
Those with sensitive ears may want to stay away from this restaurant, though, as it can get quite loud.
It's been too long since you've had a great meal at home. Order takeout or delivery from this restaurant and enjoy!
Blackthorn Grille is located near a parking lot, which many diners take advantage of.
Who s hungry for great grub at a reasonable rate? Blackthorn Grille s yummy creations will leave a mark in your memory but not a dent in your pocketbook.
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.
Blackthorn Grille's classic Irish feel will make you feel right at home.
Indulge in all of your favorite American classics with a trip to the definitive standard in town at Blackthorn Grille.
For a classic American dish, head over to the casual establishment of Blackthorn Grille.
Make your next meal a pizza party! The Fogcutter in Lake Villa's Grandwood Park neighborhood is a tasty departure from your weekday routine.
The healthy menu items at The Fogcutter will leave you with a full stomach.
Drinks all around! Pair your dinner with a beverage from The Fogcutter's full bar.
Wireless Internet access is just a click away at The Fogcutter.
Call ahead for reservations to ensure your table is waiting for you when you arrive.
The Fogcutter's dress code is casual — diners are welcome to dress up (or down) to their comfort level.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
Catering makes it easier to organize any event, and The Fogcutter will ensure that it is delicious.
Drivers can make use of the parking lots near The Fogcutter.
Bicyclists will also find lots of space to safely lock up their bikes.
Frugal foodies will especially love the prices at The Fogcutter, with a meal typically hovering under the $15 mark.
Short on cash? No problem. The Fogcutter happily accepts all major credit cards.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the pizzeria, but the dinner menu is the real standout.
For a quick and easy bite to eat, Galanti Pizza Grill and Pub is known for its piping hot pizza.
Toast your evening out at this pizzeria with a glass of beer or wine from their lengthy drink list.
This pizzeria is more than willing to accommodate families, so kids are welcome to tag along.
Bring your laptop here and tap into the complimentary wifi.
Be sure to check out Galanti Pizza Grill and Pub's outdoor seating when the climate is right.
Grab this pizzeria's delicious food on the go with its takeout and delivery services.
Restaurant customers can take advantage of the nearby parking options.
Travel by bike to Galanti Pizza Grill and Pub and store your bike at a nearby rack.
It will typically cost you about $30 to enjoy a meal at Galanti Pizza Grill and Pub.
Why not keep it casual tonight? Head on over to Galanti Pizza Grill and Pub, where you can enjoy a delicious variety of pizza and a casual, care-free atmosphere.
Next time you're looking to indulge in America's favorite dish, call the team at Galanti Pizza Grill and Pub to help you out.
All the best flavors of Italy await you at Galanti Pizza Grill and Pub.
Come to Reflections On Deep Lake to grab an American classic with a side of fries.
If gluten is something you try to avoid, check out the G-free menu at Reflections On Deep Lake. Low-fat fare is also available for those keeping an eye on their diet.
Grab the kids when you head to this restaurant — its family-oriented menu and ambience are perfect for the whole clan.
Weather permitting, come enjoy a wonderful meal outside at Reflections On Deep Lake.
It's best to call ahead for a table as the restaurant can get packed.
That's right! Reflections On Deep Lake will bring their delicious food to your house for any occasion.
Driving to Reflections On Deep Lake? Check out the nearby parking selections and park with ease.
Make use of the safe and efficient bike parking at Reflections On Deep Lake.
Prices at Reflections On Deep Lake typically stay below the $30 mark, so you can afford to bring along a friend or a date.
Lunch and dinner are easy as pie (and you might as well get a slice) at the delicious Reflections On Deep Lake.
So round up your friends and head over to Reflections On Deep Lake for a casual American meal.
R J's Eatery's cheesy goodness cannot be beat — this mellow establishment has perfected the art of pizza.
R J's Eatery is a local eatery that serves up both gluten-free and low-fat dishes.
Whether you have something to celebrate or just need something to take the edge off, the drink menu at this pizzeria won't disappoint.
Take the kids along too — this pizzeria is a great spot for families with food that even little ones will love.
The patio seating at R J's Eatery is perfect for those warm summer days.
If waiting to be seated isn't your style, plan ahead and make reservations.
R J's Eatery tosses the jacket-and-tie dress code convention in favor of a more casual dining experience.
Need a night in? Don't miss out on this pizzeria's delicious food — you can carry it out to eat at home or have them deliver it straight to you.
R J's Eatery is just steps away from a parking lot.
R J's Eatery cooks up great, casual pizzas just how you want them: delicious and scrumptious.
A tasty pizza form R J's Eatery is perfect for any of your upcoming casual gatherings.
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