Coming in from New York and have visited a few times before. Looking specifically for three recommendations: a group dinner near the Loop for 6-8 people with entrees around $25, a solo dinner at a chef-driven restaurant (any cuisine, but with a good BTG wine program), and a lunch for two someplace adventurous and exciting.
I've had mixed experiences at some of the more commonly mentioned places. Sable didn't satisfy, Frontera failed famously, and Little Goat only looked good.
Had better luck with lunch at Pastoral, tapas at Cafe Iberico and dinner with friends at Cho Sun Ok. Best bite was at Do-Rite, where i'll no doubt return too many times.
Thanks in advance.