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Mar 11, 2007 01:04 PM

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

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

    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.

        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 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) -
            One Sixty Blue (in the West Loop) - (closed Mondays)

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

            Bistro 110 (Mag Mile) -

            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 - (closed Mondays)
            Scylla - (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) -
            Shaw's Crab House (in River North) -
            Hugo's Frog Bar (in the Gold Coast) -

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