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Mar 6, 2007 11:34 AM

Upscale - new - TERRIFIC!

Spending a few days in Chicago - been to Alinea, Avenues, Moto, etc.

What's new and worth my while? Needs to be in Chicago-proper, no suburbs. This is for expense account dining so money isn't an issue; culinary excellence is the only concern.


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  1. Aigre Doux. It's upscale, new, and TERRIFIC. See my review at

    Schwa isn't quite as new - they opened in late 2005 - but it's also creative in the same vein as the places you mention. It's also BYOB.

      1. re: 7up

        Blackbird is very good, but it's not new. It was reviewed by the Tribune in 1998.

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Late to this party, but what's the matter with a restaurant reviewed in 1998? Especially one with a national reputation for innovation and frequently changing menus? Chef Kahan has been at the restaurant for a while, but he doesn't seem to be showing any sign of becoming complacent, or heaven forbid, stagnant.
          That's actually one of the things I like about the Chicago restaurant scene- Chefs actually try to keep up with or surpass national trends- or make their own!

          1. re: lunchbox

            The OP asked for a restaurant that's new. That means a place that has opened in the past year (maybe two). Many restaurants which have been around for a while change things from time to time, but unless the change is a total reincarnation, meaning a new chef and/or new menu and/or new style of food, it's not new. There's nothing wrong with Blackbird, which is excellent, and I recommend it often to those who are looking for a place in their casual fine dining arena (along with One Sixty Blue, which also opened in 1998 and I like even better than Blackbird). But it's certainly not new, which is what the OP explicitly asked for.

      2. This is helpful. Thanks.

        1. You might also look into the chef's tasting at Sweets and Savories(2 years or so and counting).

          1. In case you're interested, Chicago Magazine does an annual article about the best new restaurants. You can go to their website at and click on DINING, then you'll see the link under Dining Features. Pretty much all of their choices for 2006 are worth visiting, but the article is now almost a year old (in May), so it doesn't have anything which is newer than that; we'll see what they come up with this coming May.