Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh of Sweet: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi | Ask Your Questions Now ›

Restaurants & Bars

Chicago Area Dinner

Please help me with a dinner rec for a hard-to-please group!


Restaurants & Bars 18

Please help me with a dinner rec for a hard-to-please group!

anakalia | Feb 16, 2010 06:26 PM

I'm planning to come to Chicago in a few weeks for my big 3-0 birthday, which I will be spending with my husband, my parents who are driving down from northern Wisconsin, and possibly two of my friends.

I haven't been to Chicago in a few years and don't have the slightest idea what to pick. However, here are the things to consider (and I apologize if I sound "picky" - I'm not! I just know how annoying it is when someone asks for a rec and gives no accompanying info).

- Location: Probably somewhere either downtown, or easily reached by metra or taxi- my parents won't want to travel to some random neighborhood which they will likely consider "dangerous." :)

- I'm supposedly a vegetarian, but I do eat fish and I'm not picky about stock, etc.

- My husband is Indian. We both love ethnic food and spices. However, he loves really spicy food and he loves meat -- all types. Duck, Goat, Beef, Lamb, all of it.

-My two friends are big fans of Rachael Ray and the Cheesecake Factory, and they will be very vocally annoyed if they get teeny tiny portions of their meal.

- My husband will freak out if the dinner tastes like it came from the Cheesecake Factory.

- My dad is a typical meat-and-potatas kinda guy and can't handly anything remotely spicy.

See why this is so difficult for me? HELP!!!

I was originally thinking of finding a place that specializes in great, local, simple products, like Mado, but after looking at the menu, I don't know that there's really anything there that excites me. I've also looked into other places with upscale traditional upper midwest food, but I know that my dad will not be pleased paying $38 for walleye and turnips, no matter how great they taste -- and since he'll be paying, I'd like to be considerate.

After reading these boards, I'm also considering Mexique, but I'm not sure if everything might be a bit too "weird" for my dad :) It does, however, look like something my husband and I would enjoy.

Any help at all would be GREATLY appreciated as I need to figure this all out ASAP.

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound