Just returned from a wonderful 4 days in Chicago. With two exceptions (Irish bar to watch college football-- go Canes!; break from shopping at Fred's inside Barneys), I focused on noisy and delicious places where you can share dishes. Result?
Purple Pig: loved the pigs ear w fried egg salad and the milk braised pork shoulder.
Frontera Grill: haven't been there in 6 years. Still order the taquitos, trio of ceviches and the mezcal margaritas.
The Publican: noisy, fun atmosphere. Beer list is a bit better than the food.
La Madia: tagliatelle with heirloom tomatoes was our favorite. Delicate and fresh.
Mercat a la planxa: ordered the chef's choice tapas menu for lunch outside on the sidewalk. Wine was better than the sangria. Loved the Serrano ham and fig salad as well as the arroz a la cazuela.
Would go again to all of them in this order: Purple Pig, Frontera Grill, Mercat, Publican, La Madia. Would also go back happily to Fred's.
Thanks for all the chow hound recommendations prior to the trip!
445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654