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Mar 17, 2007 06:14 AM

Recs needed for MDW Area

My wife flies into Midway airport every other week for business, and would like to find some better fare than she has had in the past. The hotel employees recommend an Italian place and a steak house, but she is tired of them. Anything good in the area? Thanx

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  1. You'll find numerous recommendations in these recent discussions:

    In particular, note my recommendation in the second topic of Bella Bacino of LaGrange, which has great food including the best calamari I've ever eaten. It's located in LaGrange's central business district along LaGrange Road, which has a bunch of restaurants and nightlife. Emilio Gervilla's group of restaurants includes Sunflower Bistro in this area, and there are a bunch more nice places. From Midway Airport, take 55th Street west five miles (it becomes 1st Ave/IL-171 north), turn left at 47th Street, and go two miles west to LaGrange Road and turn right.

    Bella Bacino of LaGrange
    36 S. La Grange Rd.
    La Grange

    Emilio's Sunflower Bistro
    30 S. La Grange Rd.
    La Grange

    1. Great Polish food a short cab ride from MDW at:
      Szalas Restaurant
      5214 S Archer Ave
      Chicago, IL 60632
      (773) 582-0300

      1. A mile or two west of Midway is Harlem Avenue, one of Chicagoland's great chow streets. South on Harlem from the 80s to the 100s are Middle Eastern restaurants. My favorite is Al Amaar.

        North on Harlem at Madison is the suburb of Forest Park. West on Madison a few blocks are two excellent Italian places. Jimmy's is a loud, big bar with tables and really satisfying Italian-American food (pizza, rapini with beans, the stuffed sliced beef dish whose name I can't remember). La Piazza, SE corner of Madison and Circle Drive, has an inventive chef-owner making delicious Italian food in an Italian version of Pee Wee's Playhouse.

        Archer Ave. is an important diagonal that runs by Midway almost to the Loop. It's neighborhoods go Polish then Mexican then Chinese. One can take Archer to Western, then north to 25th, then east a few yards to Oakley and several old-school Italian restaurants, principally Bruna's. Just east of Ashland and 18th is Nuevo Leon for reliably good northern Mexican. And as long as you're nearby, try Greektown's Santorini, Costa's, Parthenon, or Greek Islands.

        This might all seem like a lot of driving, but Archer Ave. and Chicago's grid enables one to get around this side of town pretty well.

        For addresses, try You might also dearch

        Good luck.