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Vicinity of Montrose and Beacon: early dinner?

steve drucker | Jan 5, 200309:02 AM

Geez. Just when I think, as a visitor, I've got Chicagoland down--with my hard earned chow knowledge of downtown, Elmwood Park, Oaklawn, Archer Ave and so forth; from left field comes a curve ball that's got me totally flummoxed.

Its been decided that we're going to a show at a theater near the corner of Montrose and Beacon on Fri nite, leaving from Oak & Michigan by car courtesy of our local host who is a recent nyc transplant.

Some of the group subscribe to the nyc adage that "...there are three kinds of restaurants--Italian, Italian and Italian". (Myself, having owned two Italian restaurants in a past life, I'm really fussy about Italian--so many triumphs of style over substance, and so often lack of attention to fresh ingredients.) Others of us will eat anything that doesn't eat them first. And of course our wives would like more ambience than fluorescent lights and linoleum floors.

Preferred price range is entrees between $12-$25.

When eating downtown our longtime favorites are La Scarola, Santorini and Blackbird--ok, Blackbird only when we're flush and on a date. We love Johhnie's in all its being-ness, Bobak's and Palermo in Oak Lawn.

Any stellar suggestions--Italian, Greek, Turkish, French and my own preference--open to everything? My wife reminded me about Le Bouchon, which is sort of on the way. Its a good choice, but not so close to the theater, if memory serves. On the positive side, the steak frites and roast chicken would take care of the picky eaters' needs.

(And I thought the recent Chicago FAQ sufficiently comprehensive to cover all ignorant requests such as this. So it just goes to show you...)

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