Looking for informal place near Martyrs (3855 N. Lincoln)
I'm going to be going to Martyrs in a few weeks for a Friday night show that starts at 9:00. I'll be catching some dinner solo in the neighborhood beforehand, say around 6:30 or 7:00. I looked at what's around there and saw Sola (which sounds great, but kind of fancy for a concertgoer like me me who will be in jeans), Mrs. Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro, Katerina's, El Llano, Cafe 28, and some Asian places (which, other than sushi, I prefer to avoid). An Italian place that is about one-third mile away which sounds goos is Terragusto. Any recommendations, either as to any of those or anywhere else? Thanks!
Well, I ended up at Cafe 28. Thanks, lbs -- excellent choice! Very comfortable sitting at the bar solo and enjoying a couple of mojitos while waiting for my luscious blackened duck with a wonderful portobello sauce and jalapeno mashed potatoes. Boy, that place is hopping on a Friday evening! I got there around 6:15 and by 6:45 the place was full with a 45-minute wait for a table. It made a great prelude to the show.
Perfect for a pre-concert meal with Jeans and a tee shirt;
Bowman's Bar and Grill at Montrose & Lincoln serves great upscale bar food. Nice atmosphere and freindly staff.
Brownstone one block south of Irving on Lincoln serves decent bar food in an upscale Bar and Grill atmosphere.
Fernando's Mexican Restaurant on Lincoln just North of Roscoe serves up very good Mexican food, great carne asada and margaritas. No frills decor here.
I wouldn't rule Sola out just because of the jeans. It's not *that* dressy that you have to worry. And it's really excellent - great food, classy decor (cool glass lighting fixtures in the dining room and even the granite in the restrooms), and nice service too (I'm sure they'll make you feel comfortable and welcome as a solo diner). Note that, even though it's right across the street (Lincoln) from the theater, the entrance to Sola is on the side street (Byron). www.solarestaurant.com
Terragusto is wonderful, but is really more of a destination place than a place for a quick bite before a show, plus, everything is so good that you'll be stuffed and have no room for beer at Martyrs. Mrs Murphy's is good, as is Cafe 28, you can eat at the bar in either place, which I like if I am dining solo.
Further up Lincoln is Jury's, which has great burgers, some of the best in the city. There is also a divey little Columbian steakhouse just up the street that is really good. I have no idea what it is called, but I've gone there after shows at Martyrs before.
If you like German food, Laschetts and Resi's are both a block or so west on Irving Park. Both have great food, although possibly to heavy before a show.
Who are you seeking?
I think Cafe 28 is an excellent choice especially if you would like to imbide in some moijitos prior to the show. For good bar food, try O'Donovans (2100 Irving Park). They recently got a new chef and their food has gone on the uptick since then. They generally have some decent beers on tap but I do find their wine selection to be a bit overpriced. The two German places that Lulubelle mentioned are really good choices as well.