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Restaurants & Bars Chicago Area

Trip review

deknor | | Feb 20, 2013 12:41 PM

Hello guys. Just got back from Chicago, where I ate more in 8 days than anyone should... Thanks for all the tips. Here are some quick highlights:

- Dinner at Grace = I loved it. Amazing meal, service and wine pairings. Curtis Duffy sure got it right. There are a few things here and there that I would change, but for the most part, a really great experience. Oh, the flora menu is better than the fauna menu.

- Lunch at Lou Malnatti's = Really cozy place. And I somewhat enjoyed the deep dish pizza. Thought it was going to be heavier. Had an amazing metropolitan beer. Actually brought some bottles back to Brazil with me.

- Dinner at L2O = Biggest disappointment of our trip. Dinner started off nicely but progressed to heavier / greasy dishes. And it was weird to eat at an entirely empty dining room for the majority of our meal. Didn't like it.

- Brunch at Publican = Really, really nice. Simple, good food.

- Dinner at GT Fish & Oyster = Cool restaurant. Noisy, nice people. Great oysters and we were lucky with some dishes, not so lucky with others. Overall, we enjoyed it.

- Brunch at North Pond = What a beautiful restaurant. Cozy and beautiful views. Wasn't very impressed with the food. Nice, but nothing I would order again.

- Dinner at The Aviary = Ok, not really dinner. We tried the Chef's Kitchen Table. 10 drinks with a few bites. This is the best experience we had in Chicago, by far. Amazing drinks, awesome bites and great service. We had a lot of fun. Can't recommend this highly enough.

- Lunch at Portillo = We had the italian beef sandwich and hot dogs. Liked the beef sandwich, really enjoyed the hot dog, Chicago style. Could have eaten 5 of those...

- Dinner at Alinea = I liked it a lot. Didn't like it as much I thought I would, but I liked it a lot. Didn't really care for one of the dishes, but the rest were either good or great. Some were really great. I would have liked it more if I hadn't seen every single dish on the other tables, before ours. And even though the service was really good, it wasn't all that friendly. With pretty much every other place we've been to, people were the nicest we ever met. We are from Brazil and travel once or twice a year to the USA, every year. Chicago has the nicest people ever.

- Lunch at Mercat a La Planxa = I liked it. We tried some good things like the potato soup and some ok things like the croquette. The rose wine sangria was amazing. I actually tried to get the recipe so I would try it at home. Got a list of ingredients...

- Dinner at TRU = Great dinner. They told us the menu had changed a few days ago. You now have a choice of a 7 or 14 tasting course menu. They still have some other little things on the menu like caviar. We actually had some osetra caviar, which was amazing. And the 14 tasting course menu had some really great dishes. And once again, amazing, super friendly service. Sommelier actually paired one of our courses with sake, which I like a lot. We ended up talking about this Sake Lounge and Karaoke place that they go. And we went there the next night.

- Lunch at Frontera Grill = Some really good dishes like the tamales. Others were good but not really special. Enjoyed it ok.

- Dinner at Murasaki and Girl and The Goat = Yeah, both places in one night... Tell me about it. We tried a bunch of sake and tried a few bites. they don't actually have a full menu at Murasaki. Really nice people again. Would come here every weekend to try the sakes. And we really enjoyed Girl & The Goat. Beautiful/busy restaurant. We had all kinds of goat. Noisy, casual, but with good food.

- Lunch at Purple Pig = I loved this place. We tried a bunch of stuff and liked every single dish. Pork is king here, obviously. Really, really tasty food.

- Dinner at Next = I liked it. The thing is, I had such high expectations for this place that it let me down a little. Don't get me wrong, I liked it a lot. Some of the courses were great. Some were not really that special. I really like the concept thought. I would certainly go to every single menu they put out.

I believe thats it... Lots of food in 8 days.

Overall, we had a lot of fun and had some really great experiences. The Aviary and Grace are at the top. Only real disappointment was L2O.

Once again, thanks everyone for all the tips! And congrats on such a beautiful city.

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