Visiting, Got a Car, Need Recs
Staying in River North for 4 days, and I'd like Chicago's answer to Momofuku, plus an atmospheric outdoor space frequented by locals.
What's Momofuku? In general, you're better off going to the best of what we have to offer (which is plenty, including lots of originals), instead of looking here for copies of places located elsewhere.
For the outdoor space, is this for al fresco dining, or for drinks, or for something else?
Momofuku seems to be a noodle shop of some kind...
Chicago's most exceptional asian cuisine is our nice selection of "authentic thai" restaurants.
Check out: TAC QUick, Spoon Thai, Siam Noodle & Rice, and Thai Avenue for starters. You might also like some of the Vietnamese places on Argyle street.
re: Chicago Mike
Momofuku is a little more than your average noodle shop. The Chef, David Chang, was one of food and Wine's top new chefs recently (same year as Michale Carlson of Schwa) and it has had outstanding reviews in the NY press which is a tough crowd. It stands out not only for excellent food, but also very reasonable prices.
I can't think of anything similar in Chicago. If you like good asian food, the Thai suggestions are a strong specialty of Chicago.
If you just like new and innovative food at a fairly reasoable price, you could check out Avec or De La Costa or Sola. They are all relatively new places with excellent chefs and relatively casual. Avec is new american, De La Costa mexican, and Sola New American with some Asian influence. Menus listed ont he web sties below.
Avec is the closest to River North and probably the most unique. The chef's also run the higher end Blackbird next door which is one of Chicago's most highly acclaimed restaurants. The only drawback is that none have outdoor space that I can recall.
I also like Meritage in Bucktown which does have a nice outdoor patio. New American with Asian influence.
Call for reservations for all except Avec, which does not take resrvations.