It will be my first time in your fair city, but unfortunately, only for a couple of days -arrive late Fri night, leave Monday am...which allows me at the very least --two dinners ---maybe 2 lunches and a breakfast.
So yes, I have done a search and complied a list of spots. I tend to like casual spots with lots of energy that really do a great job of capturing the local essence--not so interested in high end (like Alinea, tho' it does sound great) but more just really good food in relaxing surroundings --emphasis on local, fresh, cooked and served by passionate people who love good food. Bonus points if it is in a fun, bustling neighborhood. Girl and the Goat sounded like just my sort of place, but it seems to be booked already. (And I'm not a huge meat/organ/charcuterie eater either, so maybe that's just as well) Thought I might want to try a Rick Bayless place, but both Topolobampo and Frontera seem to be booked both nights (tho i only tried online via open table, might be worth a phone call) No clue whether any of these places are in lively areas --don't know Chicago at all and am hoping to learn a little more about the neighborhoods. On that note, I'm not sure where we are staying...my guess is it is somewhere downtown in the center of the action (I'm heading there for a convention so I'm thinking HIlton, Marriott, Sheraton, etc)
I love places that have an interesting beer list, so Publican seemed to jump out at me and I was able to get a res there for Sat night...so that's a tentative. Also maybe Gilt Bar, which for some odd reason had availability Sat night but not Sunday? (I'm thinking maybe their res system doesn't book that far out? Otherwise can't figure out why Sunday would be all booked and Sat would be open)
But...since I've never been to Chicago, I would like to experience a "chicago institution" --I know your hot dogs are famous so maybe Portillos for a snack one day? And deep dish pizza (tho' I'm having a tough time thinking of going to Unos just b/c it is a chain around these parts --but Unos and Dues are different, right?)
Avec seemed like an option, but again, no reservations, and I'd rather have a few reservations lined up as I'm not sure we'll be up for 2+ hr waits on Sat night. And my guess is Sunday night will be similar as well, yes?
Thought maybe a steakhouse could be possibility and so Keefers or David Burkes? My sister recommended Gene and Georgetti...anyone want to weigh in on those?
In regards to what I like --as I stated above, not a huge meat eater but if Chicago truly is known for their steaks I'd be up for a steakhouse. I tend to like Italian just 'cause I love pasta...tomatoes, olive oil, all kinds of seafood, etc but again, I'm open. Just looking for a memorable dining experience that truly screams "Chicago.."
Will keep searching the boards but wanted to get all of the natives' opinions on whether some of my thoughts were good and/or if you had any other recs and/or ideas.
Promise to return the favor if/when you come to Boston :)
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
615 W Randolph St Ste A, Chicago, IL 60661
445 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610
Girl and the Goat
809 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661