Caprianos Italian Cuisine is bringing back the rustic Italian flavors we all know and love.
For healthy meals with a twist, head to Caprianos Italian Cuisine.
Children are more than welcome to dine at this restaurant, where there's something for everyone on the menu.
Caprianos Italian Cuisine has a large dining room, making it easy to seat large parties.
Fancy-schmancy attire is not required; in fact, guests are told to keep things casual.
For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.
Catering makes it easier to organize any event, and Caprianos Italian Cuisine will ensure that it is delicious.
Forget the hassle of street parking and head to Caprianos Italian Cuisine for easy access to parking lots.
For great dishes that fall smack dab in the middle when it comes to price, Caprianos Italian Cuisine is a reasonable option for diners of different budgets.
At Caprianos Italian Cuisine, you can pay with any major credit card.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all on Caprianos Italian Cuisine's menu — you can stop by whenever the moment's right for you.
So pay the highly-rated Caprianos Italian Cuisine a visit today and enjoy some tasty and classic Italian dishes.
For the best pick-me-up in town, grab a cup of java at Sweet Meadow Cafe.
For those who follow the gluten-free or vegan dietary plans, Sweet Meadow Cafe is a perfect choice.
Drinks all around! Pair your dinner with a beverage from this coffee shop's full bar.
Sit outside when the weather is fine — Sweet Meadow Cafe has a lovely patio to enjoy a warm day.
Sweet Meadow Cafe will be able to accommodate your large party.
Fancy-schmancy attire is not required; in fact, guests are told to keep things casual.
The food's ready when you are. Come on in or carry out.
Take the comfort of your own home and add great grub from Sweet Meadow Cafe to create the perfect night.
Diners that drive to dinner will find street parking readily available at Sweet Meadow Cafe's W Innes St address.
At Sweet Meadow Cafe, diners can make use of the safe bike rack.
A typical meal at Sweet Meadow Cafe will set you back less than $30.
If breakfast isn't your thing, Sweet Meadow Cafe also serves lunch and dinner, so you can be sure to swing by at some point during the day.
Sweet Meadow Cafe serves up freshly brewed coffee, so make your way over and enjoy a good cup of Joe.
Hankering for a side of fries? Try the grub at Ivan's, a tasty restaurant serving American-style fare.
This restaurant's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
Take the kids along too — this restaurant is a great spot for families with food that even little ones will love.
Looking to host a party but don't have the space at home? You'll love the private room offered at Ivan's — just right for large and merry gatherings.
Free wifi is on hand here as well.
Ivan's' business casual policy makes it the perfect place for a number of occasions.
With food this good, you'll be running into this restaurant to pick it up yourself.
Endless parking options are readily available close to Ivan's.
A night out here can be a bit pricey, so prepare to shell out a bit more.
Isn't it time you indulged in the old classics of American food? Stop by Ivan's to have a bite of deliciousness.
So round up your friends and head over to Ivan's for a casual American meal.
Make your way over to the highly-rated Ivan's and taste your way through some great American dishes.
Inside the savory-scented digs of Honey Baked Ham & Cafe, spools of hardwood-smoked, spiral-sliced ham entice carnivorous palates. Here, chefs uphold the same traditions that Harry J. Hoenselaar created more than 40 years ago. Back then, he chose individual hams, cured them in his secret marinade, and smoked them over hardwood chips before offsetting the earthy flavor with a crisp, sweet glaze. To this day, the staff still makes the signature bone-in hams one at a time and glazes them in the shop.
The hammery's kitchens also whip up classic side dishes and desserts, such as the sweet-potato soufflé. For less formal feasting, party trays and packed lunch boxes fuel business meetings, backyard grad parties, and lengthy end-zone celebrations.
Load up a pizza with all of your favorite toppings at Salisbury's Salty Caper.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this pizzeria offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
Tots and tykes will be right at home at this pizzeria with its kid-approved food and ambience.
Salty Caper's outdoor seating is available during the warmer months.
The pizzeria fills up on the weekends, so keep that in mind before heading out.
Salty Caper welcomes laid-back diners, so there's no pressure to throw on heels or a tie.
With food this good, you'll be running into this pizzeria to pick it up yourself.
For quick and easy parking near Salty Caper, park on the street.
Salty Caper's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
Treating yourself doesn't mean breaking the bank, come taste the great dishes Salty Caper has to offer.
Feel free to swing by the pizzeria for breakfast or lunch, but fans recommend holding out for dinner.
Next time you're looking to indulge in America's favorite dish, call the team at Salty Caper to help you out.
For casual cuisine that everyone will enjoy, stop by El Patron Mexican Grill and Cantina for a Mexican-style menu.
Enjoy a drink with your dinner — this restaurant has a full bar to serve up a glass of wine, beer, or more.
Tots and tykes will be right at home at this restaurant with its kid-approved food and ambience.
Not to be overlooked is El Patron Mexican Grill and Cantina's no-charge wifi.
El Patron Mexican Grill and Cantina can provide comfortable seating options for parties of any size.
Sometimes you need food fast, and this restaurant totally gets it, offering both takeout and delivery.
This dining establishment is located near hassle-free parking options.
Prices are affordable, with a typical meal running under $30.
Short on cash? No problem. El Patron Mexican Grill and Cantina happily accepts all major credit cards.
So swing by El Patron Mexican Grill and Cantina to get a bite out of your favorite Mexican dish.
When you are ready to taste the latest flavor trends of Mexico, make your way over to El Patron Mexican Grill and Cantina.
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