Fontaine on South Royal Street has great, simple brunch or weekend lunch; I've never been for dinner. Brabo Tasting room is my favorite "everyday" stand-by restaurant; the food is delicious but often surprisingly simple. I think this simplicity might help with the allergy-related limitations. Neither of these places take reservations, as far as I know.
I second the spinach/artichoke/cream cheese/sour cream/spice dip as the easiest appetizer.
Another stand by is jalapenos stuffed with a mixture of shredded cheddar, cream cheese, and spices then wrapped in 1/3 slice bacon and baked until the bacon is done.
Another easy one is baguette slices spread with goat cheese then drizzled with honey and put under the broiler until it looks like the honey disappears and the edges are crisp.
Either Turkey breast or cornish game hens, depending on availability and pricing, with cider marinade
Cranberry sauce with triple sec/cognac
Brussels sprouts with bacon and dried figs
Green bean, mushroom, water chestnut, red bell pepper casserole
Potatoes au gratin (Gruyere)
Clover leaf yeast rolls
Sweet potato pie
Mini pecan pies
A rose wine
All-Clad's French skillet in the ten or eleven inch size (whichever the stainless steel comes in) is the way to go. Its slightly sloped and deeper sides (relative to a normal fry pan) accommodate liquids, but it otherwise functions as a skillet.
I purchased a pair as a way to try out All-Clad's stainless steel line (right before the D5 line came out) and have thoroughly enjoyed the skillets. It's sturdy and hefty but manageable. It cleans up beautifully yet still forms a lovely fond.