Restaurants & Bars

Chicago Area

NYC Chowhound and Her Chicago Restuarant Roundup (LONG)

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NYC Chowhound and Her Chicago Restuarant Roundup (LONG)

jenniebnyc | May 8, 2005 08:47 PM

Thanks to everyone who recommended some really great places to a fist-timer on a weekend in Chicago! I loved your city. If it was only near an ocean I would be tempted to uproot from my NY roots! I will surely return. Now to the food:

Friday night:
Topolobampo - Very festive atmosphere and attentive hostess, who sent us to the bar for a margarita to wait for our table. The marg was superb...made with the freshest ingredients and potent enough to keep us in a good mood. We were seated quickly in the dining room. Not the greatest seat as the three of us were put at a floating table in the middle of the waitstaff's walkthru, but oh well. For apps we got the wild mushrooms in parchment which had to be sent back due to oversalting. The Aztec soup and fish tacos were a hit though. Another big hit, probably the biggest of the night, was the ceviche sampler which was the best we have had hands down. For entrees we had trout...another BIG disappointment which was unappealing to the eye and palate. Other entrees.....the lobster and pork were better but nothing that wowed us. Didn't attempt dessert and only the mushrooms were removed from the bill. I wouldn't return....maybe only to Frontera for a more "un-trying" menu and more margaritas.

Saturday lunch:
After a splendid morning at the Art Institute we headed for Chicago pizza. Ended up at Due....another place I will not return to. I guess I am a thin crust NY pizza girl at heart.

Saturday happy hour:
Fabulous martinins at our hotel, The Fairmont. Both the cocktails and hotel were top notch in my book.

Saturday dinner:
Gibson's. The hostess shooed us into the overwhelmingly packed bar room which had lots of character and people watching opportunities. After a drink and 30 minutes we were still nowhere near being seated. After drink two and close to an hour of waiting and my NY attitude kicking in we were finally seated at a great booth by a apologetic hostess, not our original hostess, who should be canned for her unsympathic attitude. Once seated the GM hit us with some complimentary shrimp cocktail, lump crab/avacado and antipasto. WE RECOVERED FROM OUR UNHAPPINESS QUICKLY!!! YUM. The waiter was informative,attentive and a joy to be served by. We ordered the 3lb porterhouse, creamed spinach, twice baked potato and what can I say but SUPERB!!! Although stuffed to the gills, a birthday table next to us sliced some of their turtle cake for our tasting and the waiter insisted on us trying a slice of carrot cake on him. This place ended with a bang. Highly recommeded!!!

Sunday lunch:
After a LONG walk to the Jackie O exhibit we taxied it over to Portillo's so we could encounter itlalian beef and hot dogs in the same sitting. As we were starving both we tasty, but not my favorite. I think I liked the onion rings the best.

Grand Finale:
Garrett's popcorn. Cheese and Caramel. Need I say more.......we left the city with happy thoughts.

Thanks!!!!

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