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Dec 7, 2001 02:01 PM

Classy Chicago New American or Italian for my parents

  • b


I am a New Yorker with parents back home in Chicago. I am a bit more adventurous with my dining, seeking out cuisines I've never before tasted, but my parents are not quite at that point. Therefore, I am looking for a classy (but not too fancy) American or Italian restaurant in Chicago at which I could purchase a gift certificate for them. Good bets look like North Pond Cafe and Crofton on Wells... any other suggestions like this? The only place I remember them frequenting from my youth is the Oak Terrace. Any suggestions are truly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Brian Sholis

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  1. Brian,

    Very recently, people on this board have spoken favourably of North Pond. I haven't been. I've heard that Crofton, which I have enjoyed in the past, has gone downhill.
    My picks for Contemporary American would be MK or Blackbird. FWIW, Blackbird is a little more "Contemporary" than it is "American."
    My picks for Italian would be Spiaggia or A Tavola. Spiaggia is a Chicago 4 star and is priced accordingly. A Tavola somehow manages to fly under radar, making it an exceptional experience/value in so many ways.

    Do a search. You'll likely find alot of commentary on the places I've recommended.

    If you'd like any more details, just ask.

    Erik M.

    MK 312.482.9179
    Blackbird 312.715.0708
    Spiaggia 312.280.2750
    A Tavola 773.276.7567

    2 Replies
    1. re: Erik M.
      brian sholis


      Thanks for your recommendations. I had found my way to the Chowhound links page and the website with the Chicago whirlwind vacation. MK looked good, and the reviews of it at citysearch were almost unanimously positive. The fact that they have a branch in the north suburbs -- where my parents live -- might push me to the phone to order a gift certificate. You're right about Blackbird; I've seen pictures, read reviews, driven past it, and really don't imagine my parents ever sitting along the banquette with the black-clad fashionistas (though I might try it .. with an after-dinner drink or two at Ghost Bar?). Thanks again for your recommendations.


      1. re: brian sholis

        I wanted to say more about Blackbird... but you get the drift. Don't pass on the opportunity. Its very good. Its just not the kind of place I'd send *my* parents.

        From what I've gathered, Kornick's place up north is supposed to be on par with the Franklin location. I think that you are making a good choice.

        Erik M.