My boyfriend and I have been together for many years in Chicago and we have gotten to eat at a lot of great places. I'd like to take him to a nice restaurant we haven't been to yet for his 24th birthday, but one that's not *too* pricey (so no Trotter's, L2O, Tru etc). His tastes run New American / French / Italian, he does not like raw food (tartare or sashimi) and he's a big desserts person.
Some places we have already been: Alinea, Spiaggia, Graham Elliot, Topolobampo, Blackbird, Avec, Takashi, Gilt Bar, Otom (RIP), Province, Il Mulino, Blue 13, Bluebird, Purple Pig, Hopleaf
Some of our staples: Sola, Fox and Obel
I'd rather not take him to Girl and the Goat or Longman and Eagle. I dropped those two subtly over the last few weeks to gauge his reaction and he seemed really apathetic to them. Initially I was thinking along the lines of Boka or Publican, but those menus would appeal a lot more to me than him. He is not a seafood person.
I'd prefer a little romantic ambiance, but if the food is good I won't care if they're blasting metal. Right now, I'm thinking Piccolo Sogno, Le Bouchon, Davanti Enoteca, or the Bristol. Thoughts? Recommendations?