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Nighttime drinks, and lunch options: Marina City

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'Hounds--

My wife and I are making an impulse trip tomorrow (Friday) to Chicago. We're staying at the House of Blues Hotel in Marina City (we've always wanted to stay there!). We've booked dinner at Vermillion, one of our favorites in town, and right around the corner. However, two important destinations haven't been chosen, and I'm hoping someone out there can make a recommendation.

We've intentionally booked a late dinner reservation so that we can go out a little earlier for cocktails and appetizers. However, we don't know Marina City very well-- any recommendations? Is the bar at the HOB Hotel any good?

And then there's lunch (or brunch) the next day. I like Topolobampo, so I was considering making a lunchtime stop at Frontera Grill. However, any better ideas close by?

Nothing urgent, I know we'll eat and drink our way just fine-- but always open to a little help from folks in the know!

Thanks a bunch...

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  1. Nice choice! I stayed at the House of Blues Chicago a few years ago-fun, the rooms are beautiful and Kazbar is a great place for drinks and live music.

    I also really recommend Bin 36, the wine bar and restaurant in Marina City. This is a great place for appetizers. They offer wine and champagne flights, cheese flights, and little nibbles. Plus, its right next door to the House of Blues.

    Vermillion is a wonderful restaurant-good selection!
    If you want to grab a few cocktails near Vermillion, go to Pops for Champagne. This new location recently opened in River North-it should be a festive place for a few drinks.

    http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/se...

    In terms of brunch, there aren't that many restaurants in the loop/River North area that offer brunch on Saturday. If I were you, I'd focus on lunch. Here are some suggestions:

    Cafe Iberico (tapas
    )http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/di...

    Klay Oven (Indian...but you may have had your fill from Vermillion
    )http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/di...

    Reza's (Persian)
    http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/di...

    Also-if you're heading to the Mag mile for shopping, you should try to get into:

    RL Cafe
    http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/se...

    and go to Cru for drinks after shopping
    http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/se...

    Hope this helps! Have a great time!

    3 Replies
    1. re: gillespie412

      Fantastic recommendations, thank you! I did a little browsing on your recommendations, and now I feel almost have too many choices! (Not a bad problem to have...) I'm really intrigued by Bin 36 (as I love getting cheese flights!), so we'll make a point to go there. And maybe Pops or Kazbar for post-dinner. As for lunch, I love having options! Thanks a ton and I'll let you know where we go...

      1. re: gillespie412

        Cafe Iberico and RL Cafe are very good choices.

        1. re: gillespie412

          Just wanted to let you know we did find time to get to Bin 36 on Friday night, and it was excellent. We did wine and cheese flights and they were delightful. We will definitely be stopping there next time we are in town!

        2. The oysters at Bin 36 are very nice, if you like that sort of thing.