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Aug 31, 2006 06:49 PM

Dinner near Art Institute for tomorrow night?

Hi Chicago board folks... I am wondering if someone could recommend a restaurant to take my parents to for their anniversary tomorrow evening. I don't live in Chicago, so I don't know the neighborhoods well at all, so please excuse my vagueness on location. I know that they'll be at the art institute, so somewhere near there would be best. They're staying in the Clark/Belmont area, so that would be okay as well.

For type of food, somewhere nice, but not stuffy. I was thinking maybe Frontera Grill or Topolobampo, though it might be tricky to get into those so last minute.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. I am also searching the board and I apologize if this has been covered recently.


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  1. If you can make a reservation, Topolobampo would be nice - the food is excellent (Frontera can be crowded and noisy). What about Russian Tea Time? Lovely place, good food, very close to the Art Institute. Near to the Clark/Belmont area is Erwin, at 2925 N. Halsted - great food in a very pretty room. We were just there last night, and had the best chicken livers (in an appetizer) that we've ever eaten. Everything was delicious (we both had the duck confit and sweetbreads combo), and entrees range from $13 to $22.

    Here's a link for Russian Tea Time:

    Here's a link for Erwin:

    2 Replies
    1. re: Akatonbo

      Great ideas, thanks! I was also considering David Burke's Primehouse and Blackbird. I think Erwin is a great suggestions since it's a bit more affordable and I'm not completely sure how much they're looking to spend.

      1. re: Akatonbo

        I'll second Russian Tea Time. We had a delightful dinner there about six months ago. Just don't order the Russian wines, unless you really know what you are doing! Our waiter thankfully headed us off by giving us a taste of two of the Russian wines we had been thinking of-- they were just awful-- and we settled for something French. According to our waiter (from Russia) the vodka is great, but they really don't produce good wine. (And we don't drink vodka.)

      2. From Clark & Belmont you're not too far from Mia Francesca's, a neighborhood favorite.

        1. It's been up and down since it opened (depending on who's in the kitchen), but Rhapsody is certainly a pleasant site for a more formal meal, and it is right across the street from the AI. Here's their website, with menu and Wine List:


          1. How about Custom House. It is a walk from the Art Institute. The food is excellent and perfect for an anniversary dinner.

            1. Gene & Georgetti's. If you like steak, it can't be beat