Hi there, Chicago Hounds.
You have collectively been very helpful to my wife and I with our honeymoon planning. We have dinner reservations for 5 of the 6 nights we will be in Chicago: Everest on a Tuesday, Topolobampo on a Wednesday, Cafe Spiaggia on Thursday, Sola on a Saturday, and Gibson's on a Sunday. We are thinking about Spoon Thai on Friday (we will be in your town from Sept 4-10).
(Note: I did heed some of the warnings about Rick Bayless's restaurants, as well as about Sola, but my wife insisted on both places, and after all, it is our honeymoon).
Now, for some specific questions about the above restaurants.
1) Everest: 7 Course tasting menu, or a la carte? They also have 3 and 4 course pre-fixe dinners. I would be happy with three or four courses unless they are miniscule. Does anyone have strong opinions about which way to go here?
2) Topolobampo: Same question. Is the tasting menu (which looks quite intriguing on the website) an over-the-top size meal, or suitable for an average appetite? Is the food better suited to wine or beer? (I instantly think "beer" when I think of Mexican food, partly because the chilies don't pair well with wine in my opinion, but perhaps Bayless's flavours are more subtle than the average Mexican joint). Also, are the desserts good here?
3) Gibson's. (survey question) What is your favourite steak here? What is W.R.'s Chicago Cut? Why are there no rib/ribeye steaks advertised on the menu? Do they have a bone-in ribeye? What about favourite sides? Are the desserts good, or a pass? (the dessert names do not look very intriguing).
4) Sola: How much food to order (one appy and one main per diner? three appies and one main each for 2 diners? Good desserts?)
Generally, looking for info on what to expect re: portion sizes, how much food an average eater would order (i.e. 900-1200 calorie dinner); the strengths of the respective restaurants, as in do they excel with desserts, salads, red meat, fish, pasta, etc...
Thanks in advance for any feedback. I'll be happy to return the favour if any of you are planning a trip to the Victoria/Vancouver BC area.