Enjoy a hearty meal of steak and potatoes at Suffolk's Sapporo Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar.
Round out your meal with a little tipple — this restaurant has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Children are more than welcome to dine at this restaurant, where there's something for everyone on the menu.
Seating is readily available at Sapporo Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar for those with large parties.
Shake off the stiff workday duds at Sapporo Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar — attire is casual.
Carry-out is also available for those who prefer to enjoy this restaurant's cooking from the comfort of their own home.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Sapporo Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar's tasty dishes at your next party.
Sapporo Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar's diners can park in a neighboring lot just seconds away.
A meal at Sapporo Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar will typically set you back about $30.
Patrons can choose to charge their bill, as Sapporo Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar welcomes the use of most major credit cards.
Sapporo Japanese Steak House and Sushi Bar is a steakhouse committed to serving up the best cuts for an exceptional dining experience.
You can't beat the classics. Stop in at Plaid Turnip for some good home American cooking.
The bar at this restaurant is fully stocked, so pair your meal with a glass of wine or beer.
This restaurant is great for families with kids.
Plaid Turnip is a suitable restaurant for both large and small groups.
Wear what you like when you dine at Plaid Turnip — the restaurant has a chill vibe just right for casual dining.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this restaurant.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from Plaid Turnip.
Street and lot parking is simple near Plaid Turnip.
Plaid Turnip is a mid-priced establishment, with the average meal costing under $30.
Plaid Turnip accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and all major credit cards.
Eat your way through the day at Plaid Turnip — diners can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner here.
A hearty salad, juicy burger, or classic chicken — all of your favorite American dishes will be made fresh when you head to Plaid Turnip.
Swing by Plaid Turnip today and enjoy a delicious American meal in a casual setting.
Plaid Turnip has been highly-rated by restaurant-goers, so stop by today and see what the hype is about.
Find something on the menu for everyone at Applebee's in Franklin.
Applebee's is creating healthy meals that are enticing to anyone's taste buds.
Unwind with a glass of wine or cocktail with your meal — this restaurant has a wonderful selection of drinks to accompany your dinner.
Applebee's offers an affordable happy hour.
Applebee's can provide comfortable seating options for parties of any size.
The restaurant's noise level can be somewhat straining on the vocal cords, so intimate get-togethers may be best enjoyed elsewhere.
If you want to skip the weekday crowds, visit the restaurant over the weekend (and keep the restaurant's no-reservation rule in mind).
Good luck spotting a suit and tie at Applebee's — casually-dressed diners are the norm here.
Throwing a big party? Count on Applebee's to provide top-notch catering with the same great dishes you love.
Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too.
Drivers can park in the neighboring lot.
An average meal at Applebee's will set you back about $30.
Short on cash? No problem. Applebee's happily accepts all major credit cards.
Wake up early to catch a bite of Applebee's' breakfast, or swing by later for some tasty lunch or dinner.
At River Stone Chophouse in Suffolk, you can treat yourself to a hearty meal of steak and potatoes.
Health nuts will be pleased with the menu at River Stone Chophouse, which includes a number of fresh, nutritious items.
Find time to peruse the wine list here — this restaurant offers a variety of drink options.
At River Stone Chophouse, diners can score happy hour deals.
The private room at River Stone Chophouse is an excellent option when you're heading out with a big group for a night of celebration.
River Stone Chophouse honors a business casual dress code, so formal wear can be left behind.
Feed the gang at your next get-together with catering from River Stone Chophouse as well.
Parking is provided in a nearby lot, so diners can easily walk to and from their cars.
River Stone Chophouse offers outdoor bike racks for cyclists.
Prices are a bit on the higher side, so this might be a good pick for a special night out.
Conveniently charge by major credit card when cash isn't an option.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it's the dinner menu that really draws the crowds.
So come to River Stone Chophouse, where you'll discover the fine art of preparing and cooking the perfect steak.
For wings with a ton of zest, Suffolk's Buffalo Wild Wings has got you covered.
Order a bottle for the table if you like — this restaurant has a full bar stocked with the best wine, beer, and more.
Bring the whole clan to this restaurant — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Make sure to check out Buffalo Wild Wings' happy hour for a great way to decompress from the workday.
Buffalo Wild Wings offers a free wifi hot spot — perfect for surfing the web or getting a little work done.
Enjoy the beautiful weather while you chow down — with outdoor seating, Buffalo Wild Wings is a great summer destination.
Be prepared to raise your voice, though — the restaurant can get noisy.
Interested in eating out over the weekend? Keep in mind that the restaurant gets swamped on Fridays and Saturdays, and service may take longer than expected.
For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.
Don't waste time searching for parking, we've done all the work for you. Spaces available here.
Prices are affordable, with a typical meal running under $30.
The wings at Buffalo Wild Wings are certainly delicious, but it's fun atmosphere will keep you coming back for more.
George's Steak House takes their beef seriously, earning them a multi-star rating from their many loyal customers.
George's Steak House works to create healthy meals with flavorful twists.
This restaurant diners can also take advantage of the many drink options offered here.
The large dining space at George's Steak House provides quick and easy seating options for large groups.
No need to gussy up for a trip to George's Steak House, where patrons dress for comfort and fun.
You can also grab your food to go.
The restaurant has catering services as well.
Drivers can access the parking lot next door.
Bike parking is also available outside the restaurant.
All major credit cards are accepted, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
Reviewers rave about the dinner menu at the restaurant, though breakfast and lunch are also served.
So why not find out for yourself why everyone is talking about George's Steak House? Your very own steak is right around the corner.
For a sophisticated meal at a price you can afford, head on over to the highly-rated George's Steak House and enjoy a great steak.
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