I'm in for 1 precious night in Chicago for a convention out near O'Hare. I'll be dining with a few business contacts (four guys in the 35 to 45 year old range) of whom like good food, but are definitely NOT foodies like myself (a.k.a - they've likely never heard of Foie Gras and would say "Bless You" if you said "Achatz"). They'd probably stick with a steakhouse - but I'm gonna drag them somewhere cooler.
We won't have a car, but we can cab it into town. We can't splurge - looking for entrees in the $20-$28 range. As an example, we had a convention in Cleveland last year and went to Lolita and it was perfect. Cool vibe, great food that didn't bust the bank and made the foodies and not-so-much foodies all happy.
One other catch, we'll be dining on a Wednesday night around 10:15pm or 10:30pm - so we'll need a place that stays open late and has a good vibe at that time (tough on a Wednesday - I know).
I've done a bit of research and come up with the following places and was hoping to get some help to narrow it down to a definitive winner. I tried to keep the selection of places to cater to a wide array of palates (i.e. American or Italian menus with some casual Bistro style places thrown in).
- Coco Pazzo
- Custom House
- Brasserie Jo
- Blackbird (budget blown - is it that amazing?)
- Sweets and Savories
Thanks for your help with this. Please feel free to slice, dice and add as needed.