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If i have to go out to dinner tonight, where?

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Boyfriend surprised me for my birthday (yesterday) with a trip to Chicago to see a taping of my favorite NPR show. So here we are today, staying at the Hyatt, and need to eat dinner, on this of all days. Any suggestions for casual local fare that won't be mobbed, but is hound-worthy?

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  1. What Hyatt? And are you willing to travel? Anything you absolutley don't want?

    1. Hyatt McCormick Place. We can travel only by Taxi, so preferably not more than a few miles (5-10). I guess we are downtown? I don't really even know, I've never been here before :)

      1. I would go to Greektown. It's about a 10 minute cab drive away (5-6 miles). It shouldn't be too crazy/commercial/annoying Valentine Day-ish. My personal favorite is the Parenthon. There's something appealing about savory and hardy food on a day like today.

        Also there has been a ton of discussion on places near McCormick Place. You may want to do a quick search on that. (check out the thread that starts with "... interesting lunch...".

        Chinatown may be fun too but I can't personally recommend anything.

        Hopefully you can get out and enjoy the city! Have fun and stay warm!

        1 Reply
        1. re: lbs

          Shouldn't have any trouble getting a table in Chinatown. For something nicer, try House of Fortune, Lao Sze Chuan or Phoenix.

        2. The recent topic which has a pretty complete rundown on restaurants near McCormick Place is this one:
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/368426

          Cuatro is very close (just a few blocks away) and excellent. Custom House is a bit further but excellent. Lots of other places mentioned in that topic are also very good. Greek Town is quite a bit further than the places mentioned there.

          However, given the weather (snow on the ground and temperatures dropping), I would probably consider the NetWorks restaurant inside the Hyatt, even without knowing anything about it.

          You may have trouble getting reservations since it's Valentine's Day. Some, but not all, of the restaurants here accept reservations through opentable.com so that might be a way of checking at a glance for which ones have availability at what times. Also, if the Hyatt has a concierge, he/she may be able to help you, not only with restaurant suggestions but also with obtaining a last-minute reservation on Valentine's Day.

          Some others below have mentioned All Things Considered. If you are looking for suggestions of places to eat right in the Loop, near the taping, see this topic:
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/370730

          Incidentally, there are several Hyatts in town, including the Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency Chicago, and Hyatt Regency O'Hare as well as the one at McCormick Place.
          McCormick Place, our largest convention center, is three miles south of the Loop (the commercial business district which the elevated trains encircle). And the term "downtown" in Chicago is very non-specific; some people use it to refer to the Loop while others expand its definition to include the surrounding areas of (going clockwise, starting east of the Loop) Grant Park, the South Loop, Greek Town/West Loop, River North, Streeterville, etc. I'm not sure there's a specific name for the area around McCormick Place - maybe the Near South Side - but most people call it "the area around McCormick Place". ;) Hope you get a chance to see more of Chicago - sorry it's when the weather is not so great!

          1. You are probably going to see All Things Considered and so I would recommend Trattoria #10 which is less than a block away:

            10 N Dearborn St (Cross Street: Madison Street)
            Chicago, IL 60602View Map
            (312) 984-1718

            Immediately across the street from you is Rosebud which is also good.

            1. I second the Rosebud/Trattoria 10 recommendation. Both have great food; Trattoria 10 may be a little more romantic. Hope you can get in!

              1. Thanks everyone! (oh, and we're going to see "wait, wait, don't tell me")

                2 Replies
                1. re: prunuspersica

                  I'm going to see Wait Wait in a week .. where did you end up eating? Any suggestions?

                  TIA

                  1. re: SLO

                    Check out the prior discussions for pre-theater meals. Wait Wait tapes in the Bank One building auditorium which is close to the big theaters.

                    My favorite pre-theater places:
                    - Atwood Cafe
                    - McCormick & Scmick
                    - Trattoria No. 10