Part of a Texas-based chain, this "casual upscale" eatery does a good job with everything from burritos to bacon-wrapped shrimp. But it's the handsome bar with its big collection of sippin' tequilas, margaritas, and icy micheladas that stamps our passport; add a basketful of warm translucent chips, the muy picante salsa, and an order of guacamole, and we might have to apply for a visa.
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.
Aladdin's serves reliable, health-conscious foods like freshly squeezed juices, vegetarian chili, and an assortment of pita and roll-up sandwiches. For dessert, some diners can't get enough of the crunchy, honey-soaked walnut baklava, which is some of the best around.
The dining room at this posh twin-condo complex has been the site of numerous short-lived restaurants. But if any endeavor has reason to survive it is Americano, an impressive Euro-American bistro. An ambitious kitchen crafts its own charcuterie, pickles, condiments and breads. The at-times-brilliant bistro fare straddles the line between classic French and seasonal American, with prices thankfully in line with the latter. Enjoy mussels, crab cakes, steak frites, beef Bourguignon and seared scallops. Full bar and wine list.
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.
Now with a liquor license.
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.
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