So I'm relocating to Chicago next week for my job, and while I am extremely excited to try a bunch of new restaurants in the mid-west, I am going to miss a few places that I go to on a regular basis here in D.C. I was wondering if anyone was familiar enough with both areas that they could offer me some recommendations for restaurants in Chicago that may be similar to the following places that I have come to love around D.C:
Sushi Sono (Columbia, MD), has bar-none the best sushi I have ever had. The freshest and biggest cuts of fish I have ever seen, fresh wasabi, daily specials flown in from Japan, and really reasonable prices. I have no problem driving 45 minutes from Rockville to get there. This isn't Nobu, or some other upscale and expensive place. This is more of a traditional Japanese restaurant with the freshest ingredients possible...is there anything comparable to this in the Chicago?
Crisp and Juicy (All over D.C.), for the best Peruvian chicken. My favorite place for carry out. Their chicken is on a rotisserie all day, and it is completely drenched in seasoning. There hot sauce is awesome, as are all of their sides (yukka fries, yellow rice, beans, plantains, etc..). This place is a total hole in the wall, lacking any real decor, with a half chicken and two sides coming out to about $8. Going to realllllyy miss this place.
Urban BBQ (Rockville, MD), more for the atmosphere and owners. I'm sure there are really great BBQ places all around Chicago, but are there any that aren't menu/sit down, and offer a friendly, community type of feel. Memphis style BBQ is a MUST.
Ray's the Steaks (VA) is the one I'm most worried about, which is odd considering Chicago is known for their steaks. I have eaten at both Gibsons and Mortons in Chicago, and they don't even come close to this steak house in Virginia. Perfectly cooked steaks, with complimentary sides...I have NEVER had steaks this good anywhere. What's even better is that the prices are extremely reasonable, particularly for the D.C. area, with most steaks staying under the $30 mark (and this includes sides). It's a really bare bones type of steakhouse, where the emphasis is on the food. If I can find steaks as good as this in Chicago, I think I will be OK. I took a group of friends from Chicago here when they visited, and they all said it was the best steak they had ever had.
2 Amy's (D.C.) is traditional neapolitan style pizza that is certified by the Verace Pizza Napoletana Association. Really thin crust, excellent buffalo mozzarella, and great small plate appetizers like raw beef, roasted Spanish almonds, and friend cheese and risotto balls. I see that Spacca Napoli in Chicago is certified by the VPNA as well. Anyone have any thoughts on Spacca Napoli, or know of other places that might be similar to what I'm looking for?
Thanks for any input. I appreciate it a ton, and look forward to coming to Chicago!