This is my first report on my Chicago trip. We are staying a month in River North. First impressions are very positive. Went to Fox and Obel yesterday and were very impressed. Excellent gourmet market which holds its own with Zabar's in New York. No I am not from New York but Miami. Had lunch outside at their cafe which was good. Blackbird was great. Their walleyed pike entree was one of the best fish preparations I have ever had. Perfect cooking of the fish. It did not need a sauce. Tried the mission fig beignets with "bacon ice cream". Would not order it again but I admire a restaurant that will challenge its clientele. Also they have Worthy "Sophie's Cuvee" 2004 on the wine list in a half bottle. One of my favorite wines. Only negative was the service. Had to ask for bread and butter.
Tried Blue Water Grill, part of the BR Guest empire. Restaurant design is beautiful, nicer than their places in New York. Had the simply grilled salmon which was good. Went for dim sum at Three Happiness in Chinatown on the second floor. I have to say I have had better dim sum in Miami. Very greasy and not innovative at all. I am sure there are better places around.
Went to Xel-Ha on Wells which was tasty Yucatan food. Delicious plantain empanadas and panuchos (tortillas stuffed with marinated, shredded duck). The corn mushroom quesadillas also very good. Cafe Iberico had excellent tapas with very good service at a fair price. $12 for a pitcher of sangria! We also enjoyed Quartino for small Italian plates that were well executed. Very good service. We have nothing like that in Miami. Had lunch at the Basil Leaf Cafe on Clark. Excellent sandwiches ina cutesy atmosphere.
One major disappointment. Dinner at Allen's on W. Huron. Nice restaurant design in an area filled with art galleries. Only four tables for dinner. We had the Alaskan halibut and the Veal Cheeks Stoganoff. Halibut was fair and the veal cheeks were poor. Do not know whether to try it again with so many other great choices around.
Will go to Naha tonight. Any comments? Will post in again in another week. Have not seen many sushi places around and am surprised. What am I missing. Thanks to all the Chowhounds that made suggestions when I posted earlier.
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