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Restaurants & Bars 2

Another great Chicago visit (Joe’s, Giordano’s, Nomi, RL Grill)

Gabatta | Feb 11, 200810:55 AM

Though it was cold this past weekend, we enjoyed our visit as always. The temperature cut down our exploration a bit, but I don’t think our meals could have been much better.

On Friday night, Joe’s Stone Crab was outstanding as always. I am continually impressed at their consistent quality and service despite the volume of diners they move through that place on a given night. Of course, there was the typical “we are running a bit behind” when we arrived, but we enjoyed our cocktails and were sat 20 min after our original reservation times. The king crab legs were succulent as always. IMO, the king crab blows away the stone crab. I enjoyed the dry aged New York cooked perfectly (as always) medium rare. This was a new choice for me here, as I usually go with the bone in NY, or porterhouse. I think that Joe’s has ht best steaks in Chicago. The one sore spot, was a server who up-sold a bit too hard (only one order of kind crab legs, in addition to the other appetizers??). Also, they could use a stronger list of wines by the glass. All in all, I can’t wait to get back there.

Saturday morning was a bit cold, and we were feeling lazy, so we took a recommendation from the concierge and tried the RL Grill across the street from our hotel. The place takes itself a bit seriously and is maybe a touch over priced for what they serve. However, overall the food was outstanding, and service was accommodating. The lox were very good, though the portion may have been a bit skimpy. The chicken hash was outstanding. Other diners at my table had order when it arrived. Roast chicken pieces, onions, peppers, peas, corn and well cooked potatoes, all perfectly seasoned topped with two perfectly poached eggs. This place was a pleasant surprise, and I am glad that we tried it.

Saturday night was Giordano’s. What can I say? The stuffed pizza was outstanding as always. I lamented not having a good stuffed or deep dish place in Boston as I always do. However it is probably for the best, as I would eat it way too much!

Sunday morning was going to be Sweets and Savories which we were eager to try, however below zero temperatures caused us to opt to stay in the hotel and have brunch at Nomi. It was pricey ($55/pp), but a great treat. We started with the raw bar and sushi which we definitely ate our money’s worth. The sushi chef was only too happy to cut us our preferred sashimi rather than the nigri which was on the raw bar; we ate our fill of maguro and sake. The Jonah crab claws were delicious and warranted going back for seconds and third as well. There were shrimp, oysters and smoked salmon as well; however we focused on the crab and sashimi. The salads and charcuterie were up next. Both the marinated wild mushrooms and pate were simply fantastic, as was the quinoa and cranberry salad. We did not try too much of the hot griddle food, but I can say that the French toast was overdone and one of the few disappointments. Along with all of the buffet style food, each diner gets to order an entrée as well. One of us went with the veggie omelet, and one with the Nomi benedict with lobster. Both were good, but to be honest we were full and saving room for the deserts. All of the desert pastries were great, but I couldn’t get away from the strawberries and marshmallows dipped in the chocolate fountain. Everything was washed down with passion fruit mimosas, and all in all is was a great way to avoid the cold. Needless to say, the meal kept us satiated through our flight home, all the way up until dinner.

Once again, your city left us pleasantly full, and in need of hitting the gym this week. However, we look forward to a return trip, when Frontera Grill is definitely on our list.

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