We'll be Chicago for a long weekend, staying in Arlington Hts. We plan to take the train downtown Friday to play, eat, and drink before heading back to the hotel in the late afternoon. Food and wine are our primary motivaters, but we enjoy culture of all types--from funky to philharmonic. Seeking recommendations for great lunch near any interesting sights. We've done the Art Institute before, and Sears Tower but otherwise are Chicago-novices. We 've been to Toplobompo, Frontera Grill, and Bin 36 on other visits (all years ago)
1st Question: If you had 3 or 4 hours to eat, drink, and see something cool kind of on the way to/from the train in downtown Chicago, where would you go? Assume you enjoy all types of food, but are particularly fond of Thai, seafood, and anything that's tough to find in Dayton OH. Cru sounds good, but maybe just for wine instead of lunch? Any great food/interesting sights near Cru?
2nd Question: If you had a car, but didn't want to travel more than 10 miles or so from Arlington Hts (near the track), where would you go for dinner on Saturday eve? For this meal, one person can't eat spicy, and one isn't really a red meat eater (no steakhouses), but all other options including ethnic are on the table. Main criteria is excellent food. Years ago, we generally ate at a tapas place near the train station, but don't even know if it's still there.
Thanks, Chicago hounds. Your suggestions are appreciated!