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Where to go this friday for great food, a bottle of good wine, for less than $150/person?

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chucktowneater Dec 5, 2006 04:54 PM

I am headed to Chicago this Friday and was thinking Blackbird, but if anyone has something else that will knock my socks off at this price point then I'm all ears. Thanks a lot.

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    Skeeter Dec 5, 2006 05:01 PM

    I like Blackbird and if you can get in there on short notice, that would be a fine choice.

    Other choices near that price point would be Naha or Cafe Spiaggia. Your probably could also do it at One Sixty Blue.

    One note: The problem with your price is the cost of the wine. If you substitute wines by the glass (and all the places mentioned have good wine by the glass programs) for a bottle, you probably will enjoy the combinations more and also come closer to your cost requirements.

    1. nsxtasy Dec 5, 2006 05:18 PM

      Blackbird is good. One Sixty Blue is another excellent choice (which I like even more than Blackbird, although both are very good). Even with a bottle of wine, either one should come in significantly less than $150 per person (although the big variable is what you consider "good" in terms of wine). $150 per person is very high by Chicago standards, even with wine; only a handful of places are that high.

      1. n
        normalheightsfoodie Dec 5, 2006 05:25 PM

        Have you considered the Tasting Menu at RED LIGHT?

        We were there and were really impressed.

        1. c
          chucktowneater Dec 5, 2006 06:40 PM

          Thanks for the responses. A "good" bottle of wine for this occasion would probably be around $50, as I usually find something to my liking for about that. All of these suggestions look great. Red Light is not really what I'm looking for, as there is amazing thai down the street from me, but still looks appealing. A friend and restauranteur recommended Restaurant MK but had not been there. Anyone been there recently?

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            Pugman Dec 5, 2006 07:37 PM

            My vote would be for Spring. Chef McClain is this year's James Beard winner as Best Chef/Midwest. I've enjoyed countless meals there and the price will be well under $150/person. You'd be able to upgrade you wine selections significantly because 3 or 4 courses will only run $45-$70/person. www.springrestaurant.net

            Blackbird also has brilliant food, just know that the ambience is very minimalist, noisy and cramped. But, some people love the energy and close quarters.

            You could even dine at 4-star Tru for $150/person. The 3-course prix-fixe (many choices) is around $90 and they do have some decent wine selections that won't break the bank. However, they are probably booked up unless you are very flexible with your mealtime.

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            1. re: Pugman
              c
              chucktowneater Dec 5, 2006 10:25 PM

              After seeing the wine list at Blackbird, I was pretty much sold. They have two of my favorite wines at reasonable prices, and the menu looks inventive and not over-the-top expensive. Plus, I got in at 7:30 this friday, not 9:30 or 5:00 like others were quoting. I'll let everyone know how it goes. That said, I'm meeting friends for New Years, and I'm going to call Tru, Spring, and Avenues, crossing my fingers there's availability. Thanks to all who posted. Cheers

            2. c
              chucktowneater Dec 9, 2006 01:23 PM

              Ok, so I went to blackbird last night had an amazing meal. I thought my palate had been desensitized because I was dissappointed with Topolobampo for lunch, but Blackbird was great. The crepes with bosq pears and maple ice cream was one of the best desserts I've had in some time. The venison was good, not outstanding, but the quail with pork belly was one of the best put together dishes I've had. For an appetizer, a decent bottle of pinot noir, an entree, a dessert, and a glass of moscato, the bill came to $120 with tax and tip. I met my budget and my stomach was very happy. Thanks for the posts.

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                normalheightsfoodie Dec 11, 2006 05:10 PM

                It sounded like a great dinner. You motivated me to go into my cellar and open some older Silver Oak I had at dinner with friends.
                What wine did you order.

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                  peterboy Dec 12, 2006 02:28 AM

                  I travel frequently to Chicago and ALWAYS go to Blackbird. Never had a bad dish there or a bad time, alone or with friends. Saw Dr. Ruth dining there in June with her entourage for her birthday.
                  When they heard it was out anniversary they gave us champagne.

                  1. k
                    keli Dec 14, 2006 12:24 AM

                    Green Zebra. I highly recommend it. Interesting menu everything prepared correctly with full-on flavor. Make a reservation though. Very cozy.

                    1. c
                      chucktowneater Dec 14, 2006 01:38 PM

                      We drank a 2004 Jamsheed Pinot Noir. It was a dense, new-style Pinot Noir that lacked the complexity of some of the better Burgundian varietals; however, it was quite enjoyable. The main issue with the wine was the temperature. It arrived at the table at about 50 degrees f and was just too cold to enjoy for about half an hour. To the sommelier's and restaurant's defense, it was absolutely freezing outside, so the cellar was probably a bit colder than usual. A very small qualm with what was a terrific meal.

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