My wife and I will be in Chicago on a food pilgrimage on 3/22 through 3/25. Here is our schedule ... not necessarily because I think it will help you make a recommendation, but because I'm so excited about the trip that I risk having an embolism.
Thursday: afternoon snacks at Avec to hold us over until 8:45 reservations at Alinea.
Friday: lunch at Hot Doug's and dinner at ... well, that's where I could use your help.
Saturday: breakfast at M Henry and dinner at Moto.
I'm considering Blackbird for dinner on Friday, but I've been a little put off by descriptions of noise, crowding, and bad service. Those are pretty much show stoppers for me when I read them consistently in reviews but then I see "braised pork belly and knackwurst choucroute" and I have to think that must taste just as good in a mosh pit of "see and be seen" diners. Can anyone confirm that the food rises above the scene or are we going to feel too much like cattle to enjoy "smoke grapes and bacon caramel"? My god that sounds good.
The other options we have considered are: North Pond, Sweets & Savories, and Toplobompo.
I think Toplobompo would be a good contrast to Alinea and Moto.
I'd love to hear from anyone who has experienced these restaurants or has other suggestions that I haven't considered.