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need Italian & Mexican ideas for next weekend

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need Italian & Mexican ideas for next weekend

Bostonvisitor | May 8, 2006 12:03 PM

1st time in Chicago and appreciate help in trying to satisfy a range of people w/ varying food levels!

We are staying at the Courtyard Marriott near Magnificient Mile. Would prefer walking distance or short cab rides...

Friday night pizza at Lou Malnotis (does it vary from location to location?

Saturday night we have res at Salpicon but a few in the bunch aren't thrilled with the menu. While they appreciate good food, when they "do Mexican", they prefer the taco, enchilada, route. Wanted to try Frontera but don't want a long & noisy wait. Any recs on a good Mexican place that is a bit less formal than Salpicon but still nice atmosphere & good food? (one in group recommended Lala's....looks like a chain to me)

or alternatively,

doesn't have to be Mexican but someplace nice & casual(more like a neighborhood bistro) with a pleasant atmosphere...where would you go on a Saturday night when you wanted good easy food without the "scene"?

Sunday night we are looking for Italian. We have res at Osteria Via Stato, but again, a few in the group don't like the Pre-fix menu.
Someone in group suggested Carmines. Looking for a cozy atmosphere, straight forward food

Also would appreciate any other sight seeing ideas. Friday we are doing architectural river cruise. Sat & Sun afternoons I have to myself, so I would love some solo activity ideas.

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.

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