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Firefly Grill

Located not quite two hours by car from St. Louis, Effingham, Illinois, is probably best known for the giant cross that looms above the intersection of Interstates 70 and 57. Now, we would never suggest that the town should be known instead for the Firefly Grill. Frankly, we're old and slow and not very confident in our ability to dodge wrathful lightning bolts. Besides, the Firefly Grill doesn't need to make grandiose claims. The food speaks for itself. Chef Niall Campbell, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Kristie, serves everything from crab rangoon and fried calamari to escargot and elk with the same level of finesse. ("Is my crab rangoon?") Carnivores might make the trip to Firefly just to try one of the oak-fired steaks, but gastronomes of every persuasion will find a reason to celebrate: Firefly boasts its own garden, an environment-friendly aesthetic and a gorgeous design. Believer or not, you just might say a prayer of thanks as you pass that giant cross. It means you're just minutes away from the Firefly Grill.

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