Coming to Chicago for a weekend trip in a few weeks. Staying at the Renaissance downtown, no car, just my wife and me. Would like a dressier meal one night, then something more casual, maybe more ethnic. But still not way downscale, someplace pleasant to hang out. Some of the more obvious choices either exceed budget or are unavailable at this relatively late date (Alinea, GATG). I'm not particularly concerned over what type of food so much as food that is good and interesting.
So...your thoughts. For the dressier night, what about Balena? Sepia? Or GT Fish?
And for more casual: Urbanbelly? Yusho? Avec? From what I can tell, Urbanbelly and Avec don't take reservations--how bad are the waits on a Friday or Saturday night?
Other ideas? Much appreciated!