so my girlfriend was visiting from ny, so i polled my chicago friends on where to go, and frontera grill and morton's came up several times.
frontera grill- i called a couple of weeks ahead to make a lunch reservation, and the hostess told me that i should just walk in, as seating is not a problem. so i walk in and the hostess tells me the wait should be a shade under an hour. this irks me. when we finally get seated, we order the huevos muletenos and chicken enchilladas with mole. then we waited for a long time. i understand that a busy restaurant can't always have the best timing, but when the couple next to us is seated twenty minutes after and is served earlier (and they weren't eating easily assembled plates), that also irks me. when out food arrived, my dish (the huevos) was excellent- nice mix with the fried plaintains, smoky ham, and a pronounced orange yolk for the egg. my girlfriend's enchilladas were sub-par- chicken tasted as if it was pulled from an unseasoned roast, and the mole did not have enough chocolate to balance the chiles well. all in all, a normal place, but not the "civic treasure" i thought it was going to be. if anyone can give me some pointers on the menu, i would appreciate it.
morton's- i've been to the satellites in san francisco and los angeles, and i always thought this place was a little overrated, especially for the price. the chicago mothership, however, was fantastic. porterhouses for both of us, and the quality of the meat, and the fact that the steaks were cooked as ordered (something that doesn't happen as often as one would expect) made this probably the best steak experience i've had (will have to go back to peter lugers just to make sure).