I'll be visiting Chicago for the first time in mid-December and am after a few recommendations. I'm from Sydney, Australia and am looking for a range of places from pizza to high-end.
I'll be staying in the Downtown area and am willing to travel. I don't really care about budget as I figure it will be very long time before I'm back in Chicago again.
In Sydney, we have fantastic Asian (particularly thai) so I'd rather avoid such places in Chicago. Typically, I find Sydney has really limited choices in terms of high-end and mid-range italian and of course, a restaurant that acknowledges its location (such as EMP in new york, which i really enjoyed) is also of interest.
I've found Phil Vettel's top 50 Chicago restaurants list to be a helpful guide.
In terms of high-end, I've tried making reservations at a few places (Alinea, Oriole, Grace, Next) but have been unsuccessful to date however I will keep an eye out if a reservation comes up. Any suggestions on similar places that might be a little easier to secure a reservation would be appreciated. Perhaps Spiaggia?
In terms of deep-dish Pizza, I've looked through this board (which is rather difficult now since the change to the layout) and two places I see mentioned over is Lou Malnati's and Pizanno's. Am I missing anything really in sticking with these two?
For mid-range places, girl and the goat, and the purple pig look fun. I'm looking for places that have a fun, lively atmosphere with interesting food to go along with it.
Any help is appreciated.