Where should we eat?
June 12, 2010 8:59 AM   Subscribe

Yet another Chicago restaurant suggestion needed: 5 adults, 2 of whom's flight is coming in this evening and we want to give them a special "Chicago" experience. Preferably in the Loop? I live in Rogers Park and we don't want to have to go running all over the city. We will probably go straight from the airport to the restaurant. I'm also looking for a nice place to have brunch tomorrow near the Palace theater downtown. Have any thoughts?

I know it's kind of short notice for places that need reservations. Don't worry about price range.

I am looking at Yelp right now but it's just overwhelming..
posted by amethysts to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Others please weigh-in about Frontera. Is it still good?
posted by Pamelayne at 9:17 AM on June 12, 2010

Response by poster: Oh, I wanted to go there or Toblopomampo but one of our party doesn't like Mexican.
posted by amethysts at 9:19 AM on June 12, 2010

The Berghoff? In The Loop and a classic.
posted by donovan at 9:21 AM on June 12, 2010

Bandera (535 N. Michigan) has good food and vibe. Not particularly "Chicago," but it's nice and near the Loop.

Also, the Publican is an experience.
posted by adrian_h at 9:42 AM on June 12, 2010

Best answer: I've only had drinks there, but I'd try for either dinner or brunch at The Hancock Signature Room. The skyline views of the city are spectacular, especially at night. If you can't reserve a table, it'd be well worth going just for after dinner drinks!

I'd also be considering either Ethiopian food (such as The Diamond) or Indian food on Devon since both are especially good/unique to Chicago, but they might not be as fancy as you are thinking.
posted by susanvance at 9:44 AM on June 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

How does your picky eater feel about tapas? I had a good meal at Emilio's Sol y Nieve on East Ohio St.
posted by Meg_Murry at 9:47 AM on June 12, 2010

About twice a year, I go to Italian Village. It's actually three restaurants, each on a different floor.

Since I don't put much trust in menus generally, I ask the waitstaff which of the specials is best that day, and they've never steered me wrong. They're very spiffy and old-school professional, which is nice.

It has a fun vibe to it; it's lit well, the whole interior is painted to look like an Italian Village, and it can get loud and energetic, like a good Italian restaurant ought to be. If that's less your style, they also have confessionals you can sit in that are much more private for couples/small groups (I believe I've sat in a confessional with five other people, actually.) The wine is also excellent, if you're into that sort of thing.

They serve a bit too much food in my opinion, but that's sort of a hallmark of Chicago restaurants, I suppose. What did Jim Harrison once say? "Only in the Midwest is overeating considered an act of heroism." Heh. So crazily true, that.
posted by heyho at 10:06 AM on June 12, 2010

If you want a dressier brunch on Sunday, I'd strongly recommend the Seasons restaurant at the Four Seasons hotel at 900 N Michigan. Buffet style, and the food is incredible.
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 10:16 AM on June 12, 2010

We're off to Blue 13 next week, so I don't yet know from first-hand experience whether it's as amazing as everyone says, but it sure looks awesome.
posted by onepot at 10:25 AM on June 12, 2010

Correction: Jim Harrison was quoting Jack Nicholson, who said, "Only in the Midwest is overeating still considered an act of heroism."
posted by heyho at 10:28 AM on June 12, 2010

i'm pretty partial to miller's pub. downtown on wabash. classic old school chicago.

berghoff might be okay, too, but i haven't been there since it reopened.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 11:18 AM on June 12, 2010

Response by poster: Ugh well their flight's been delayed and delayed and delayed till later on tonight so dinner is moot :(
I really like the idea of brunch at the Signature Room though.
posted by amethysts at 4:19 PM on June 12, 2010

Best answer: I've been to the Signature Room. Very impressive, especially for guests.

My son got delayed at JFK today, flying into O'Hare, sucks, huh? I've been stuck at O'Hare waiting to get out or pick up someone. Try Benigans or something like that for late night food. Something for everyone and probably still open. Unless you want Denny's.

If you're driving, there are tons of hotels with restaurants on River Road & 72 (Higgins). Westin, Hotel Sofitel, etc. Grab some food there and buzz into town and lay low until morning. Then decide where to go for brunch.

Other than that, there's always pizza.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:16 PM on June 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: BTW brunch for 6 and a few rounds of drinks came to about $500 at the Signature Room. Which was fine for this occassion but probably wouldn't have been fine any other time so I'm just giving fellow travelers a heads up. Also the food was really good.

Thanks for your thoughtful responses as always everyone.
posted by amethysts at 7:49 PM on June 13, 2010

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