Amici Miei knows how to perfect pasta, and foodies rave about its cream-of-the-crop Italian eats.
Amici Miei knows how to make gluten-free and low-fat fare taste great, so stop by for a healthy (and flavorful) bite.
Drinks here are readily available, so you can enjoy a glass of red or try something new.
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.
Outdoor dining doesn't get much better than the beautiful patio at Amici Miei.
At Amici Miei, you won't have to wait for your large or small group to be seated.
It doesn't get much more laid-back than Amici Miei, so dress for comfort when you come.
Catering services are also available.
Some say walking is the greatest thing in life. This restaurant knows it's carryout.
Whether you're heading to Amici Miei for lunch or dinner, parking is always free in the adjacent lot.
The average check at Amici Miei will stay below $30 per person, so it's a relatively affordable option.
Payment is simple and all major credit cards are accepted.
Find your sweet (or savory) spot at Amici Miei, where you can opt for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
See for yourself why Amici Miei's Italian food is so highly considered.
Experience the fine art of authentic Italian cooking when you sit down a meal at the charming Amici Miei.
Find great food in a comfortable setting at Tally Ho Restaurant — pizza lovers flock to this tasty joint.
Tally Ho Restaurant's chefs have carefully created a menu filled with flavorful and healthy eats.
Having trouble finding that family-friendly restaurant everyone will love? This pizzeria serves all ages, so little ones are welcome to come along, too.
Tally Ho Restaurant caters to all party sizes, both large and small.
On warmer days, you can take advantage of Tally Ho Restaurant's al fresco patio seating.
Everyone will feel comfortable dining at Tally Ho Restaurant, where business casual attire is standard.
If dining out is not on the agenda, this pizzeria offers delivery and pickup, too.
Catering from Tally Ho Restaurant will take your party to the next level.
Free parking is available to Tally Ho Restaurant's diners that need it.
The average check at Tally Ho Restaurant will stay below $30 per person, so it's a relatively affordable option.
Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy Tally Ho Restaurant since it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So kick back, relax, and indulge in one of the tasty signature pizzas that Tally Ho Restaurant has to offer.
Switch up your normal pizza routine and head on over to Tally Ho Restaurant for a new take on pizza.
Visit Founding Farmers for some true American comfort food.
The gluten-free and low-fat fare at Founding Farmers will leave you happy and full.
Find time to peruse the wine list here — this restaurant offers a variety of drink options.
Little guys and gals will also love dining at this restaurant, which offers a family-friendly environment (and menu).
Outdoor dining doesn't get much better than the beautiful patio at Founding Farmers.
Wireless Internet access is available for no charge at Founding Farmers.
Founding Farmers goes easy on the dress code — business casual is expected, so no need to squeeze into your finest attire.
Ordering food? You can pick it up yourself!
Diners at Founding Farmers will love the free parking nearby.
Bicyclists will also find lots of space to safely lock up their bikes.
Checks are bigger than average at the restaurant, so prepare your wallet.
The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, but it's the brunch menu that draws the most rave reviews from patrons.
When you're craving a true American classic, such as a burger and fries, make your way over to Founding Farmers.
When you have a hankering for American fare, head on over to the trendy Founding Farmers and get your fix.
Broadway Pizza offers a casual environment and multiple pizza choices that the whole family can enjoy.
Broadway Pizza is a local eatery that serves up both gluten-free and low-fat dishes.
This pizzeria is kid-friendly, so little ones are welcome to tag along.
Broadway Pizza's outdoor seating is available during the warmer months.
Parties of any size can easily be seated at Broadway Pizza.
Comfort is prioritized at Broadway Pizza, and guests are encouraged to come as they are.
This pizzeria also offers delivery and take-out options for those who want to make it a night in.
If you're hoping to make a smashing impression at your next soiree, you can also have Broadway Pizza cater for you.
Score! Broadway Pizza provides free parking to all diners in the lot next door.
Meals at Broadway Pizza are moderately priced — most diners spend about $30 per person.
Broadway Pizza offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by whenever is most convenient for you.
For mouthwatering pizza in a casual setting, look no further than the highly-rated Broadway Pizza.
So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Broadway Pizza and enjoy a slice of yummy pizza pie.
As the most populous city in the world, Shanghai has been shaped by travelers and settlers from all over. This is particularly evident in the city's food, which has been influenced by the culinary styles from both the northern and southern regions of China, as well as dishes from throughout the entire continent of Asia. This cultural integration holds true at Shanghai Café, where the chefs use recipes the Hu family has spent the past half-century perfecting. These recipes follow various Shanghai cooking principles—for instance, the original flavors of meats and fish are allowed to shine through rather than being drowned out by heavy marinades or sauces that are too sweet or salty.
Though the recipes are traditional, they respect modern, healthful eating habits by incorporating natural broths and stocks and limiting the use of oil. Some of the restaurant's signature dishes include boiled dumplings, steamed pork buns, and dim sum—a Shanghai staple. In the spirit of Shanghai's pan-Asian tendencies, the menus also include Thai dishes, such as pad kee mao (drunken noodles), nigiri, sashimi, and maki.
Great in the AM or as an after-dinner treat, Vie De France Bakery Cafe sells scrumptious baked goods.
The menu also includes a number of vegan items.
Vie De France Bakery Cafe offers a free wifi hot spot — perfect for surfing the web or getting a little work done.
Make the most of the warm summer months by dining outdoors in Vie De France Bakery Cafe's beautiful outdoor seating area.
Don't sacrifice comfort for style — Vie De France Bakery Cafe's dress code is business casual, so guests can look and feel great.
You can also have Vie De France Bakery Cafe cater your next event.
Leaving the couch is half the battle. Your foods awaits your pickup at this bakery.
We understand parking is expensive. That's why we've got a parking lot for you. Spend your money on our delicious food and drink.
At Vie De France Bakery Cafe, diners can make use of the safe bike rack.
Prices are a bit on the higher side, so this might be a good pick for a special night out.
When your sweet tooth is calling, make your way over to Vie De France Bakery Cafe and treat yourself to some bakery goodies.
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