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1 nite downtown Chicago - fun, young, but delish client dinner

Hi,
I've spent some time scanning the boards, but still need your help.
I'm coming to town tomorrow (3/12) for an 8am mtg on Tuesday.
From what I gather, downtown is not the best place, but this is where we're committed to.

Any recommendations? Doesn't have to be Chicago-centric food. Ideally would like a place that has seafood options. Should be young and hip, but still splurgey enough to bring a client to.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I have only *heard* about this place, but never been.

    Blue Water Grill
    http://www.brguestrestaurants.com/res...

    520 N Dearborn (at Grand)

    1. sorry, i should have clarified a couple things:
      1) i'm coming from NYC, so would prefer to go somewhere I can't go in NY (Blue Water Grill being one of them)
      2) ideally, I'd prefer not touristy, even though I'm asking for suggestions in a touristy area
      3) i'm staying in the gold coast area, so that would be ideal
      4) please no italian!

      Thanks, again!

      1. Hmm... sorry, I actually didn't know that BWG was a chain. Again, I've never been there, but I do have a client lunch in a few weeks there.:)

        Another option, is Tavern on Rush. That is in the Gold Coast, "Chicago-centric" (a lot of people think beef is very Chicago), not too touristy restaurant (too high of a price for the run of the mill visitor) but in a tourist area, and not quite italian.

        http://www.tavernonrush.com/index2.html

        1. Thanks for your quick reply!
          Can you think of anything that is smaller, and maybe more intimate and "special" feeling? Ideally I'd like not to go to a huge restaurant.

          BWG is not bad, by any means. And I wouldn't really consider it a chain. In NY it's actually a great place to take clients for lunch!

          1. First, "downtown" covers a wide area in Chicago. It's like referring to all of Manhattan when you're talking about "downtown" in New York. "Downtown Chicago" usually includes the following areas: Loop, South Loop, West Loop, River North, Magnificent Mile, Gold Coast, and Streeterville. And those areas have many of the best fine dining restaurants in the city. If you need a place within a specific one of these neighborhoods, please let us know which one (or a hotel or address you need proximity to).

            Second, you will find seafood items on the menu at just about all of the top restaurants in the city.

            Is this for a Monday dinner, or for Tuesday? Many places are closed on Mondays - not all, but many - while almost everyplace is open on Tuesday. That can determine which might be an appropriate recommendation. I will indicate below which places are closed on Mondays. Note that many of our restaurants accept reservations on opentable.com which makes it easy to see which are available on a Monday.

            My top two recommendations for "fun, young, but delish" are among our best "casual fine dining" restaurants, both of which have a hip yet splurgey "feel" to them, and neither of which is particularly big:

            Aigre Doux (in River North) - www.chowhound.com/topics/365436
            One Sixty Blue (in the West Loop) - www.onesixtyblue.com (closed Mondays)

            One more place, if French bistro cuisine/atmosphere works for you:

            Bistro 110 (Mag Mile) - www.levyrestaurants.com

            A couple more choices, if you're looking to *leave* the "downtown" areas, would be to go to Bucktown/Wicker Park, which is about three miles northwest of the Loop, and has several nice places with excellent food including seafood options:

            Spring - www.springrestaurant.net (closed Mondays)
            Scylla - www.scyllarestaurant.com (closed Mondays)

            If you are interested in places that *specialize* primarily in seafood, you might also consider:

            Fulton's on the River (in River North) - www.levyrestaurants.com
            Shaw's Crab House (in River North) - www.shawscrabhouse.com
            Hugo's Frog Bar (in the Gold Coast) - www.hugosfrogbar.com

            Shaw's and Hugo's both have a more traditional "feel" (like old-time East Coast seafood restaurants).