I'll be in town for a big conference the weekend of May 30 and I figure that, given that I want to eat very well and don't have any reservations anywhere, I'll be dining solo most nights. That typically means eating at the bar, which I have no problem with and often prefer.
Last time I was in Chicago I was more organized and had reservations at Girl & the Goat (loved it) and Publican (good, but didn't blow me away) and then GT Oyster (good), Purple Pig (fantastic), and Frontera (double fantastic) as a solo at the bar. I'll probably go back to Purple Pig and Frontera, but am looking for ideas for other places that have great food but also a lively bar with a strong craft beer selection or interesting/excellent cocktails. Sable or Mercat a la Planxa are on my possible list, as is Boka, but I'm not sure if the latter two have a good bar.
Also looking for recommendations for post-dinner drinks and/or craft beer. Have read great things about The Violet Hour, but that may be further than I'm willing to travel. I'd much prefer to walk and don't mind walking for 15-20 minutes.
Definitely looking forward to this trip, and even if I end up at at the same places I went last time I was in town, I know that I will have done well.