Jem CafeRiverside | Website
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Owners Mario and Joyce Mongello have transformed Riverside's Blue Parrot into the Jem Cafe, an upscale yet accessible neighborhood restaurant in this western suburb's downtown district. Gone is the funky, thrift shop-style interior, which has been replaced with elegant crystal chandeliers, gilded mirrors and candlelit tables. The owners have decided to keep things casual, however, by having orders taken at the counter, with servers bringing food to your table. The lunch menu offers soups, salads and sandwiches, such as the Cuban (marinated pork loin, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, sweet pickles and mayo) and the turkey cran (roasted turkey breast, herb cream cheese, mayo and cranberry sauce). Dinner highlights include butternut squash lasagna and Cajun chicken fettucini alfredo.