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NYC'ers visiting Chicago for the first time. Please help finalize destinations! (researched!)

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NYC'ers visiting Chicago for the first time. Please help finalize destinations! (researched!)

indiefoodie | Oct 9, 2015 06:51 PM

Hello everyone, a friend and I are planning a total foodie trip to Chicago mid November. This will be our first time there. We live in NYC so we'd prefer to try things that Chicago does better!

Our priorities are:

1. Deliciousness (if the ambience is good, that's great but it's the food that matters)
2. Something that's better in Chicago than in NYC
3. More meat than seafood and stay away from vegetables
4. Not a lot of French food (we visited France recently)
5. Price is not a very big deal but we do not want to do $200-$300 meals everyday.

In case this helps give an idea of what I like (in case some of the Chicago experts are familiar with these restaurants) - love Aquavit &Rosanjin@NYC, Cat Bird Seat@Nashville, Ledbury@London.
EMP & Momofuku Ko@NYC - Not so much.

We haven't picked a hotel yet. We'd like to avoid renting a car so it'll be a fair bit of El/Uber. If someone has recommendations on neighborhoods for hotels to minimize the time spent on traveling for food, I'm all ears :)

Based on what I read, I tried to come up with a tentative plan with some gaps that need to be filled. I've also included some concerns that I have about these places. I'd really appreciate if I can get some help in finalizing my list. I'll also list all the other places that I considered.

Thank you!

Thursday
- Snack after flight - NEED TO DECIDE
- Bar: NEED TO DECIDE
- Dinner: Grace, Goosefoot or Moto
* Grace: The menu seems a tad too safe
* I'm not sure if we won't get food similar to what's being served at both Grace & Goosefoot in NYC
* Moto looks incredibly innovative but I've read a lot of mixed reviews for this place

Friday
- NEED TO DECIDE ON A QUICK LUNCH SPOT
- Bar: Aviary (We have reservations for the Main Dining Room)
* The 5 course cocktail tasting menu looked interesting but I wasn't sure if it the food that comes with it will destroy our appetites for dinner after this
- Dinner: TRU

Saturday
- Lunch - Fontera Grill
- Bar: Longman & Eagle/Revolution Brewing Taproom
- Dinner: El Ideas
* The menu looks very interesting but I've read mixed reactions to this place as well.
* I don't think we'll be able to get reservations there but how is '42 Grams' compared to this? Also, is it very similar to Moto?

Sunday
- Lunch: Lou Malnati's
- Bar: Berkshire Room
- Dinner: Girl & Goat
* I used to hear about this place all the time about 2 years ago but I was surprised to see that it's not mentioned too often on the boards these days. Am I just imaging stuff? If not, then is it still good and worth the trip?

Monday
- NEED TO DECIDE ON A QUICK LUNCH SPOT

OTHER PLACES THAT I CONSIDERED

For the restaurants, I'm mentioning why I decided to leave them off of my list. Would love to know if I'm right or completely off.

* Alinea - No reservations
* 42 Grams - No reservations.
* Schwa - Closed at random times
* North Pond - Seemed like you can get similar food in NYC. If not, then I can consider this for Sunday lunch and move Lou Malnati's to Monday.
* Pequods Pizza - Most people seemed to prefer Lou Malnati's
* Fat Rice - Dinner looks interesting but not sure if it is good enough to replace one of the places that I have on my tentative plan right now.
* GT Fish & Oyster - Not big on seafood (Sushi & oysters@Walrus + Carpenter in Seattle are exceptions :)
* Les Nomades - Traditional French
* Everest - Traditional French
* Sixteen - Mixed reviews
* Next - This seemed interesting but I'm a little unsure of the 'Terroir' theme. It may be very French focused.
* Naha - Seemed like you can get similar food in NYC.
* Elizabeth - Seemed like you can get similar food in NYC.

BEER
Monk's Pub

COCKTAILS
Three Dots and a Dash - Tiki
Haymarket
Vera
Broken Shaker (next to Berkshire Room)
Celeste
Sable
Lost Lake - Tiki
Sepia (Bar Area)
Billy Sunday
GreenRiver
The Betty

Goosefoot,
Monk's Pub,
Three Dots and a Dash,
Broken Shaker at Freehand Chicago,
Lost Lake,
Sepia,
Billy Sunday,
GreenRiver,
The Betty,
Alinea,
Les Nomades,
Longman & Eagle,
Fat Rice,
North Pond,
NAHA,
Tru,
Pequod's Pizza,
Lou Malnati's Pizzeria
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