For bar nibbles and pub food par excellence, Park Pub and Restaurant is a top pick.
Gluten-free and low-fat is the name of the game at Park Pub and Restaurant, where eating healthy, flavorful dishes is of utmost importance.
Be sure to complete your meal at this restaurant with a drink from the restaurant's full bar.
Both the young and the young-at-heart will dig the family-oriented menu and ambience at this restaurant.
Park Pub and Restaurant offers discounted prices on food and drinks during happy hour.
Park Pub and Restaurant has a large dining room, making it easy to seat large parties.
Wanna soak up the sun? Come grab a bite at Park Pub and Restaurant and sit out on their gorgeous patio.
If you're hoping to snag a table on a Friday or Saturday, it's best to ring the restaurant for a reservation first.
Park Pub and Restaurant's business casual policy makes it the perfect place for a number of occasions.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Park Pub and Restaurant's tasty dishes at your next party.
You can also grab your grub to go.
Drivers will embrace the parking lot located next door to Park Pub and Restaurant.
At Park Pub and Restaurant, diners can make use of the safe bike rack.
At Park Pub and Restaurant, you have the option of paying by major credit card.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it's the dinner menu that really draws the crowds.
When you want to relax and grab a quick bite to eat, come munch on some pub fare at Park Pub and Restaurant.
What is American food? Cuisine that is delicious and perfect for any occasion. Come grab some at Manory's Restaurant.
Manory's Restaurant serves food that not only tastes great, but is low in fat and gluten-free.
Tots and tykes will be right at home at this restaurant with its kid-approved food and ambience.
Get connected at lightning fast speeds with Manory's Restaurant's complimentary wifi.
Groups of all sizes can easily be seated at Manory's Restaurant.
The dress code is strictly casual at Manory's Restaurant, so come as you are (and as you are comfortable).
The restaurant also offers catering if you want to bring the flavors of Manory's Restaurant to your next party or event.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
At Manory's Restaurant, street and lot parking is made simple for diners.
Manory's Restaurant provides ample space for bikers to store their bikes.
Save the cash for another day and pay by major credit card at Manory's Restaurant.
The breakfast menu receives the most rave reviews from patrons, but you can also stop in for lunch and dinner later in the day.
When you're looking for a bite of some great American dishes, you definitely won't need to look any further than Manory's Restaurant.
For a casual American classic, Manory's Restaurant will serve you up a delicious meal in Troy.
If you're seeking a highly-rated American restaurant in the area, look no further than Manory's Restaurant.
Paolo Lombardi's Ristorante is bringing back the rustic Italian flavors we all know and love.
Low-fat and gluten-free options are featured on the menu.
This restaurant patrons can also take advantage of the many drink options offered here.
Tots are more than welcome to dine with their parents at this restaurant.
If you're having a party, no need to stress out about cooking, cleaning or getting tables and chairs, have your party at Paolo Lombardi's Ristorante instead.
During the summer months, don't miss out on Paolo Lombardi's Ristorante's outdoor patio seating.
Paolo Lombardi's Ristorante honors a business casual dress code, so formal wear can be left behind.
A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the visitors at your next shindig.
Leaving the couch is half the battle. Your foods awaits your pickup at this restaurant.
At Paolo Lombardi's Ristorante, drivers can settle for safe parking in the lot next door.
Cyclists will also appreciate the plentiful space to lock up their bikes outside the restaurant.
Paolo Lombardi's Ristorante's mid-priced fare will typically cost you about $30 per person or less.
If you're looking to rack up your frequent flyer miles, feel free to pay by major credit card.
When in Rome, you do as the Romans do. When at Paolo Lombardi's Ristorante, you eat as deliciously as the Italians do.
At Troy's Villa Valenti Pub, you can snack away on tasty pub grub.
Keep your diet in check at Villa Valenti Pub, a local restaurant with gluten-free and low-fat menu items.
Ready for a drink to unwind? At this restaurant, you can pair your meal with something from their full bar.
Swing by after work for happy hour, featuring a wide range of discounted drinks and appetizers.
Don't go off the grid! With the free wifi at Villa Valenti Pub, you can surf the web and get some work done.
A relatively loud restaurant, this is not the place for a quiet night out.
The restaurant can get thronged with crowds on Fridays and Saturdays, so book your table ahead of time through their reservation system.
Comfort is prioritized at Villa Valenti Pub, where business casual is the name of the (dress code) game.
With delivery and take-out options, you can enjoy this restaurant's cooking from the comfort of your own living room.
Hosting a swanky shindig? Call up Villa Valenti Pub for their catering services.
Many diners choose to drive to Villa Valenti Pub, as there are numerous parking options nearby.
The food at Villa Valenti Pub is not just delicious, it's also affordable.
Payment is simple and all major credit cards are accepted.
Villa Valenti Pub certainly has all your pub favorites to make an evening comfortable for the whole gang!
Take a trip to Carmen's Cafe in Troy and make your next meal a good one.
Carmen's Cafe's gluten-free items are perfect for those with special dietary needs.
Find time to peruse the wine list here — this restaurant offers a variety of drink options.
Bring the whole clan to this restaurant — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Wifi is on the house at Carmen's Cafe, so you can stay connected on your mobile device.
For some fresh air during the non-winter months, dine outside on Carmen's Cafe's patio.
Score quick and easy seating for your large group at Carmen's Cafe.
No need for a wardrobe change when you hit Carmen's Cafe — it's strictly casual.
If you need to feed a big crowd, Carmen's Cafe also offers catering services for parties and get-togethers.
Enjoy this restaurant's cooking from your own home with their carryout and delivery options.
Street parking is the only parking option close to Carmen's Cafe.
Carmen's Cafe is home to many cyclists who appreciate the parking racks outside.
It's not the cheapest, it's not the most expensive, but it is the most delicious. Come to Carmen's Cafe for a great bite.
If you're looking to rack up your frequent flyer miles, feel free to pay by major credit card.
The restaurant is known for its showstopper brunch, but they also offer lunch and dinner.
Italian eats can be found at Moscatiello's Italian Restaurant, and fans will argue it's the best fare in town (fantastic reviews are everywhere in sight).
Pick your poison and toast your evening — drinks are also served here.
Youngsters are more than welcome to join mom and dad at this restaurant.
Bigger groups gravitate toward Moscatiello's Italian Restaurant, which offers a private section for your next get-together or celebration.
Wifi access is totally free at Moscatiello's Italian Restaurant, perfect for catching up on the news, hopping on social media, or even working.
Enjoy the vibe here with a business casual dress code.
Always five minutes behind schedule? Pick up your food to go instead.
If you're hoping to make a smashing impression at your next soiree, you can also have Moscatiello's Italian Restaurant cater for you.
Drivers can park in the neighboring lot.
Moscatiello's Italian Restaurant is a prime location for cyclists to park their bikes and enjoy a bite to eat.
Your tab at Moscatiello's Italian Restaurant will generally run you about $30 per person.
All major credit cards are accepted.
High-quality Italian food awaits you at Moscatiello's Italian Restaurant!
If you're craving a taste of Italy, come on over to Moscatiello's Italian Restaurant and check out the flavorful menu options.
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