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If you had one night in Chicago

Where would you eat. Looking for a nice place to eat. I was thinking ALineas or Charlie Trotters after purusing the boards, but i am not too familiar with the cuisine scene in Chitown. What other recs do people have. it doesnt have to be fancy, just really tasty.

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  1. There are hundreds of "really tasty" places that aren't fancy and dozens that are. Give us more to go on, otherwise you'll get so many responses that it won't help you at all. If cost is no object then it's Alinea hands-down; a restaurant totally deserving of all its international acclaim.

    Do you want to spend $14 or $400? Traditional? Fusion? Ethnic? Tell us more.

    1. If you have only one meal, and price is not an option, I would definitely choose Alinea. The food is amazing and what really separates it from other upscale restaurants is the creativity. Reserve early and enjoy.

      1. One meal, price not really an option.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MVNYC

          Definately Alinea. The tour. With the wine pairings. You won't have this experience anywhere else.

        2. Ok i have the reservation booked for Alinea. DO you know how much the wine pairings will be?

          4 Replies
          1. re: MVNYC

            You have a choice of two wine pairings. The "regular" is approximately 2/3 the price of the Tour. The "extended" is the same price as the Tour. You get 20 wine pours in each, the difference between them being that with the "extended" wine pairing 4 or 5 of the wines are different and of higher quality than in the "regular."

            When my husband and I went, he had the extended, and I had the regular. He did not feel the price for the extended pairing was worth the upcharge, but that was his opinion, and others on this board have felt it was worth it. I felt that the wines in the regular pairing were just fine (no need to go "extended"), but that it was an awful lot of wine! Twenty 2 oz pours adds up to 40 oz of wine! Per person! It was a lot more than I could handle, and I think you have to take that into account. My husband, who has a greater capacity for alcohol than anyone I know, finished his and whatever I couldn't drink of mine!

            Afterward, we both agreed that nice as it is to have a wine pairing, next time we would just get two nice bottles (a red and a white) and let it go at that.

            1. re: Akatonbo

              Okay, here's a link to an interesting discussion of how the prices break down at Alinea: http://beta.chowhound.com/topics/show...

              1. re: Akatonbo

                I did the wine pairings at Per Se when they offered them and even I, an accomplished drinker thought it was a little much. I was really drunk by the end of the meal, so drunk that my friend and i started harassing Bobby Flay who happened to be in the kitchen getting the tour as we were. The second time i was there they were no longer offering the pairings, as they said people were getting too drunk. SO we went with half a bottle of red and half a bottle of white. This was much better in my opinion. While wine pairings are nice, when you have so many courses, it can detract from the overall experience which is quite expensive.

                I think i will reccomend your route to my two friends i am going with.

                1. re: MVNYC

                  I highly recommend the wine pairings, but I'd say share them. If you will be with 2 other persons, I'd share 2 pairings.

            2. You picked the 2 best. Alinea is a great choice, please report back. Try Trotter's on your next trip.

              1. I, too, am a fairly "accomplished" drinker and I was reeeeally buzzed from the Alinea full Tour's wine tasting (although truth be told, we started with 2 glasses of champagne). Anyway, I do know that they will split the wine pairing between two people(or at least they did before). The food is so complicated and Joe Catterson is such a master at pairing wines with each course that I strongly encourage you to go with the pairings. Another option is to have them just select a few glasses or half glasses to pair with key courses throughout the meal (for instance, to match with the courses that aren't just one-bite servings). This is the route I usually select. Their by-the-glass program is outstanding, with a broad range in choice and price. You can usually select a full or half glass from selections they're offering on the "upgraded" wine pairing, too.

                1. This is a great idea - actually, I think you mentioned this possibility in a former post, and I completely forgot about it. I like the idea of having several glasses matched to the key courses, and the ones with more unusual, complex, flavors. This would really be the better way to go.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Akatonbo

                    I actually like the idea of sharing the wine pairing if you don't want as much. The sommelier puts in a lot of effort matching many of the courses (I think our pairing actually had about 12 or 13 wines) so it really wasn't too much but you can also drink as much or as little of each pour as you want. It would be a shame to miss this