A little bit Greek, a little bit Middle Eastern and perhaps even slightly northern Indian, the names, ingredients and flavor notes of Anatolia's authentic Turkish cuisine will strike familiar chords for veteran tabletop travelers. "Don't-miss" dishes include sleek and smoky baba ghannouj, lamb-and-beef doner kebab and its yogurt-topped sibling, iskender. To drink, splurge on a bottle of Kalecik Karasi, a full-bodied red from Turkey's most prestigious vineyard.
A reliable choice for flavorful Thai and Chinese food, this good-looking East Sider offers options ranging from the traditional (think General Tso's Chicken) to the upscale (including specials like buttery rib-eye steak in spicy red-bean sauce), all served by efficient staffers in a charming if sometimes noisy room.
This little spot in Uptown Solon Center covers all bases. Diners can sit at the bright, pleasant sushi bar and savor lovely fresh nigiri and maki sushi, or take a seat at one of the big hibachi tables and enjoy stir-fried steak, chicken, and seafood dishes. For those who want a comforting bowl of noodles and a cozy tête-à-tête, the tables in the restaurant provide a romantic perch.
Aladdin's serves a variety of simply prepared, Middle Eastern-inspired foods, including homemade soups, salads, pita wraps, steamed veggie plates, and pita "pizzas." Choices for vegetarians abound, and freshly squeezed juices, fruit smoothies, and a small selection of beer and wine are available.
Sleek decor and friendly service distinguish this little Italian restaurant in a suburban strip plaza. Lots of chicken, veal, seafood, and pasta dishes brighten the menu, some of them with the restaurant's namesake sauce a spicy blend of tomatoes and cayenne pepper. Well-thought-out list of American and Italian wines.
Wild, woodsy aromas suffuse this friendly little restaurant, where hickory smoking, slow cooking, and mesquite grilling are the order of the day. Nearly everything, from the thick, sweet, and peppery BBQ sauce to the delicate biscuits in the strawberry shortcake, is made fresh and in-house. And for a real taste of the ol' West, be sure to try the zesty Smokin' Beans.
Although the kitchen at this Caribbean-themed restaurant (part of the Darden Restaurants chain) tends to keep the heat turned down, much of the food such as pressed Cuban sandwiches, butterflied coconut prawns, pan-seared pork tenderloin in a rummy demiglace is flavorful and attentively prepared. Still, the real draw is the bustling bar scene, fueled by shooters, beer, and boozy, fruity, and frozen concoctions designed to make every night feel like a week at the beach.
Don't be distracted by the wide-ranging menu of burgers, sandwiches, and assorted noshes: The youthful, upscale bar scene replete with boutique beers and fruity, high-octane cocktails is the real reason to visit this svelte branch of a Chicago-based watering hole. Weeknight happy hours attract a good-looking crowd, and with the kitchen open late, there's never any reason to go home hungry.
Owner, chef, host, server, bartender, and busser: Junior Battiste really does it all. As a result, dining in this teensy Cajun restaurant can be an adventure, marked by warmth, whimsy, and occasionally slow service. Still, those who value style and substance over speed won't be disappointed: Junior's made-from-scratch cookin' is some of the best in town.
BD's takes the salad-bar concept one step beyond: Rather than just assembling a plate of greens, you choose from an assortment of raw meats and vegetables, douse them with flavored oils and sauces, sprinkle on an assortment of spices, nuts, and seasonings, and hand the whole shebang over to cooks manning an enormous 600-degree steel grill. Recipe cards are provided for the unimaginative.
Casually upscale and unselfconsciously cool, this neighborhood bistro is home to delicious gourmet pizzas, an intriguing collection of fish and seafood dishes, and a dashing wine list containing one of the regions largest assortment of half-bottles.
Sure, you can get your fix of Chunky Monkey or Cherry Garcia just about anyplace these days. But if you want to chill out and savor the full B & J experience, with all the flavors and sundaes and shakes to boot, head over to this little sit-down ice cream shop just steps away from the JCU campus.
Part of an international chain of teppanyaki restaurants, Benihana has long been a Cleveland fave for communal dining around hibachi tables, where knife-wielding chefs provide dinner and a show. Thanks to a lengthy remodeling, a sushi bar now joins the scene; while the sushi offerings aren't particularly imaginative, they are fresh and tasty.
As proof of pho's meteoric rise in popularity, this suburban pho house is winning the hearts and bellies of noodle newcomers. In addition to the house-made beef and chicken-based noodle soups, the menu here features typical starters like spring and summer rolls, papaya salad, crepes, and banh mi sandwiches. The menu also features the usual mix of grilled meat-topped broken rice or noodle dishes.
Reasonably priced, family-friendly dining inside an upscale, Disneyesque facsimile of ancient Roman ruins is this Columbus-based restaurant's claim to fame. The menu focuses on pasta, pizza, or wood-grilled meats; for dessert, the partially caramelized cheesecake, in a pool of crème anglaise, tastes like more.
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