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Jul 9, 2006 02:13 AM

great special occasion restuarant in downtown area

hi there,
i'm looking for a recommendation for good food, pretty ambiance resturant in chicago. Birthday celebration coming up and would hate to go somewhere overated, bad service terrible food and i'm really unfamiliar with the chicago area.

Also does anyone know of any really great old bars with mob, capone ties?

thanks so much for any help

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  1. First, give us a little more info regarding cuisine, price, neighborhood, etc. There are thousands of restaurants (hundreds that are 'high end') and you aren't likely to get useful info by asking such a vague question. Read earlier posts and let us know what interests you most, and we can then be in a position to offer more helpful advice.

    Second, you want someplace with mob ties? Do yourself a favor and don't waste your time with those kind of tourist places. Any place that brags about mob ties is going for the tourist crowd. Having said that, you might check out the Green Mill at Lawrence and Broadway.

    1. You asked for a place in the downtown area, but North Pond Cafe, in Lincoln Park (in the neighborhood of the same name) is a beautiful place to have a birthday dinner - food is great, and the restaurant is on the north lagoon in the park, so the setting is very romantic. If you insist on staying downtown, and don't mind paying big bucks, Avenues, in the Peninsula Hotel, is one the best restaurants in the city. It has a variety of tasting menus at various prices, and both the food and the service are superb. Here's a link:

      Darren72 mentioned the Green Mill - this is a bar where time has pretty much stood still since the 1920s. It used to be a favorite haunt of Capone and other mobsters. It's often used as a set in many movies because of its authentic decor. It's a live music venue, so go for the band, or, if you just want to drink, go earlier, before the band starts. You can get there on the Red Line El - get off at the Lawrence stop - the Green Mill is just north of the north-west corner of Lawrence and Broadway, a block from the El. Here's a link to a site that gives some history on the place.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Akatonbo

        I second North Pond. If you're looking for good food and ambience, it's a great place to go. Make your reservation early, and you ask for a table by the windows, with a view of the city's skyline. It's only about a 10 minute cab ride from Michigan Avenue.

        You can also try Kevin and MK - they're both feature excellent, inventive cuisine and are fairly quiet. They are both in the immediate downtown area.

      2. I would think that Coco Pazzo, Spiaggia/Spiaggia Cafe, West Town Tavern, Rhapsody, or Naha would fill the bill quite nicely. Sending her all the way to Uptown to a bar is pretty much the opposite of what she asked for, IMO.

        Geez. Focus, people!

        1. Folks, please keep responses focused on the poster's first question. The topic of bar scenes is off topic for this site- we're here to suss out great chow, not mobsters. Thanks.

          1. thanks so much for the brilliant tips. I will be sure to check all of your recomendations out.