My wife and I will be spending a long weekend (arrive on a Friday, leave the following Tuesday) and are staying in Little Italy (Taylor and Loomis). We will have a car, and are familiar with Chicago public transportation. I have three categories of requests...
1. Looking for some good weekend dinner experiences, knowing that I will have to make reservations quickly. I used to travel to Chicago occasionally, but haven't been there in many years. We've eaten at Charlie Trotter's (now closed), Tru, Spiaggia, Mia Francesca, Arun's, Bin 36, Frontera Grill, Salpicon. I've also eaten at Avec, Blackbird, Lovitt (which became Schwa a while ago).
I'm happy going back to any of these, and bringing my wife to the places I've been but she hasn't. What would I be missing out on (that it would be a shame to miss out on) if I do that? We'd probably prefer somewhere where I wouldn't be out of place not wearing a suit and tie (does that rule out Les Nomades?)..
2. On Monday night, when many places are closed, what is there in or near Little Italy that we should go? Walking would be ideal. So would scratch cooking. Hole in the wall/dive is okay as long as the food is good.
3. I know Little Italy is known for its bakeries, gelato, etc. Any of those I shouldn't miss?
Places I've read about that intrigue me are Purple Pig and Sable. Also, we don't mind eating during non-prime hours if it means having a good experience. Places that allow BYO (loved the $0 corkage at Lovitt, now $2.50 corkage at Schwa) would be good to know about.
Thanks, Chicago hounds.