Mediterranean Reconnaissance Recommendations...
Want to do a "dine-around" hitting Mediterranean hotspots including markets and restaurants...particularly interested in tasting food from
I'm not sure what you mean by "dine-around" - if you are trying to hit all of these in one neighborhood, that is nore difficult.
Greece - easily covered by Greektown. Just walk down Halsted from Randolph down to Van Buren. My favorites are Parthenon and Pegasus, but there are lots of great options. For more of a market feel (although not actually a market) you can go into Artopolis.
Spain - My favorite Tapas is up in Evanston, Tapas Barcelona. Other Tapas places worth going to: Cafe Iberico, Cafe Ba-ba-reeba (in a pinch). I'm not a fan of Emilio's which has a bunch of locations around the city.
Morocco - Andalous is very good, not expensive, and BYOB.
Italy - your options for Italian food in Chicago are so plentiful that a price range would be helpful. The best Italian in Chicago is Spiaggia, but hat is very formal and very pricy. There is a somewhat less fancy, still excellant sister restaurant called Cafe Spiaggia in the same building. I also love Coco Pazzo.
Southern France - I'm not sure where to send you for Southern French cuisine. Most of the French restaurants I've been to in Chicago have not focused on Southern French cuisine. I seem to remember that Cyrano's had several Provencal options the one time I was there.
Definitely try Greek Islands at Adams and Halsted in Greektown.
Also try the homemade gyros at Rodity's (greasy but sooo tasty).
For something different;
Raw Bar in Wrigleyville is fantastic for Persian and Egyptian inspired steak, seafood, chicken, etc. in a cool casual atmosphere.
It's not from your requested area list, but I'm really fond of Cafe Suron on Pratt and Sheridan in Rogers Park. It's a persian restaurant, with the best dolmeh ever and a variety of dishes you won't find at a lot of other mediterranean restaurants. They have a great eggplant appetizer dip (not baba ganoush). It's in the former lobby area of an old hotel, so it's also got lots of large windows and a fountain in the middle of the dining room.