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impressing 14 yr. old foodies

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we have some family in town from kentucky, and want to take the 12 & 14 yr. old kids out to a nice dinner. the 14 year old is a big foodie and would really enjoy eating at a cool, yummy chicago place. the 12 year old doesn't care as long as chicken is on the menu. we'd like to go some place that will be around $30/person. greektown has already been visited! and they are indian so devon ave. is not impressive.

any ideas?

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  1. One of the French bistros may suit the bill. They virtually all hav roast chicken, as well as more adventurous fare for the 14 yr. old. From prior discussions, the concensus on the board seems to favor La Sardine, Bistro Zinc, Brasserie Jo, and Kiki's as best French bistro food in Chicago.

    1 Reply
    1. re: masha

      Bistro 110 too.

    2. The various Jerry Kleiner restaurants might be fun - he's a local restaurant entrepreneur who opens up big, colorful, and generally good quality themed restaurants - three I would recomnend - Carnivale (Latin American), Marche (French Bistro style), and Red Light (Asian). They are in the same general area a little North of Greektown.

      http://www.carnivalechicago.com/

      http://www.redlight-chicago.com/

      http://www.marche-chicago.com/

      1. Agree with the bistro route, good food, decent prices, not too adverterous for the 12-year-old. Other suggestions that I would have are tapas (and you can order some plainer ones for the younger one, or a simple chicken and rice paella while the older one can try different things. Another place that I like that is reasonably priced, fun and small is Maza on Lincoln. It is a middle eastern place that serves this Maza sampler which is a bunch of little dishes, while they also serve individual plates with lots of chicken dishes to choose from. And it is not far from Ethel's choclates, so if the weather is nice take a nice walk in a funky fun area and then bring the teens there for a chocolate fondue or dessert.

        3 Replies
        1. re: CorinneM1

          If you're going to be in town on Tuesdsay, i'd definitely hit up Marche. it's colourful, it's big, it's got a huge open kitchen, it's impressive. Per previous poster, It's also a KDK restaurant but it's the only one i'd eat at.

          Otherwise, in the River North area, I'd ditto the Brasserie Jo suggestion. It is, after all, operated by Jean Joho - who is, once again, nominated for a James Beard. Then again, it's also a LEYE restaurant so... doubly caveat emptor.

          If you really want to impress the 14 year old, I'd hit up the new-officially-HOT-n-revamped Boka, now staff by Charlie Trotters' ex chef de cuisine.

          Ethel's is owned by Mars. Yuck.Avoid. try Coco Rouge instead.

          1. re: TonyC

            Ethel's is owned by Mars?! Really? I wasn't that impressed with their chocolate but my 13-year-old nephew wanted to drink the fondue, he loved it that much. Where is CoCo Rouge?

            1. re: CorinneM1

              Ethel's is indeed owned by Mars, as noted on their website at www.ethelschocolate.com

              Coco Rouge is a chocolatier in Wicker Park. You can read about it and other Chicago-area specialty chocolate shops in this topic: www.chowhound.com/topics/374386

              Not all chocolatiers serve beverages; some are strictly take-out candies. For chocolate beverages, I would suggest the Vosges shops mentioned in that topic; they have shops on Michigan Avenue (520 N. Michigan) and in Lincoln Park (951 W. Armitage).

        2. Carnivale will surely impress. The space is pretty spectacular and the food is quite good. If the weather is nice, you can take a walk on the balcony to enjoy the incredible view.