PLEASE HELP ME.....with some of your terrific insights. I have an overnite trip fast approaching. Staying downtown and no time to hit the burbs. What two restaurants would you recommend to us for dinner and lunch? Price no object. We're LA and NY transplants and love to sniff out terrific wine cellars to partner with creative high quality food and service.
If you're a drinkin', try Harvest on Hudson for lunch and the newish Tru for dinner.Both are swell; reserve early. (If I had just two meals, I'd go to Manny's for corned beef and the Vernon Park Tap for pork chops and peppers, but that's just me.)
If you're REALLY a drinkin', check out the Hudson Club also, maybe after dinner or at cocktail hour: they have hundreds of wines in the Cruvinet available by the glass, half glass or arranged by flights.
re: Al Pastor
If I had only two meals to eat in Chicago, one would be at either of Rick Bayless's side-by-side restaurants, Topolobambo or the more informal Frontera Grill. The other meal, based on recent experience (just returned from Chicago last night), would be at Aubriot, located on North Halsted. Harvest on Huron (not Harvest on Hudson) is also real good, as are Blackbird, one sixty blue, and Spiaggia--all upscale sorts of places. For super high end, there's Tru, presently open only for dinner and competing with Charlie Trotter's for the most expensive restaurant in Chicago. After speaking with a number of folks who had been there for dinner and spent well in execess of $400 for two, I took a pass, so can't comment on the food at Tru. For an informal and inexpensive experience, I had wonderful classical French bistro fare at Le Bouchon, including an amazing onion tart and a tasty, perfectly cooked hanger steak. I can also speak from personal experience about the pork chops and peppers at Vernon Park Tap--great comfort food, although I had terrible pasta there. I highly recommend a tavola on Chicago Ave. for perfectly prepared Italian food, especially the gnocchi in a straight-ahead San Marzano tomato sauce, and an incredible apple desert. And, of course, Lou Mitchell's for breakfast.