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May 8, 2007 08:09 AM

B-day rec's?

Trying to narrow choices for b-day dinner. Don't want standard steakhouse and prefer seafood. Also geared towards healthier options and a very good wine selection, i've narrowed the list to the following and would very much like to get some opinions; also price looking for between about $15-$28 entrees:

Capital Grille
Tavern on Rush
De La Costa

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  1. What kind of atmosphere are you looking for? Your list is all over the map - from Viagra Triangle touristy (Tavern on Rush) to hip new thing (De la Costa).

    Spring is wonderful, emphasizes fish, and has a unique location (former bathhouse). I don't think you can go wrong with it.

    Landmark is very good, and one of my go-to pre-Steppenwolf options, but the same people also own Boka, which is just down the street. IMO, Boka has better food, better atmosphere, and a gorgeous outdoor seating area if the weather is nice. Landmark has healthy options on the menu, but its not particularly geared toward them.

    1. Um, if you don't want a steakhouse why is Captial Grill on your list?

      1 Reply
      1. re: jesteinf

        Capital Grille I know is a steakhouse but they also have some very nice seafood selections so I thought I would throw it on the list.
        SuzMiCo- you are absolutely correct that the selections are all over the board ( i just can't make up my mind) The group will range from 28-61 (family of 5) Thanks

      2. I'd stay away from Zealous. I was disappointed with my one trip there. More interesting comments here:

        Of your list, I like Blackbird and Meritage, although they will be at the very high end of your price range. Entrees probably average $25-40.

        1. All of these places are good. However, most of them are pushing your price limit a bit; most of those listed have entrees in the $27-35 range. If you're serious about $15-28, you might want to consider Scylla or Avec or some other places that are priced a bit less than these.

          The places listed differ somewhat in atmosphere, from the "steakhouse" of Capital Grille, to the uber-hip De La Costa, to the casualness of Meritage.

          I think it's interesting that, with the exception of Spring, these are places that are not known for specializing in seafood. And I mean no disrespect by saying that! You can get excellent seafood at most any fine restaurant. You'll just have a bit more variety of dishes to choose from at a place that specializes in seafood than at one that doesn't. If you think you mgith want more variety of seafood dishes to choose from, you may want to also consider places like Shaw's Crab House, Fulton's on the River, or Hugo's Frog Bar.

          I would also recommend Oceanique, in Evanston; IMHO they have the very best seafood in the entire Chicago area. They, too, are a bit higher than your target price range (entrees around $27-35) but during the week they offer a three-course menu for $39. If you've never been there, it's a real treat - everything there is superb, from the seafood, to the sauces, to the soups, to the heavenly desserts.

          Again, all of the places you already list are good, and all have some seafood. Any of these makes a good choice. The only reasons I mentioned additional choices are for price and for more seafood selection. If those are not concerns, you can pick any of those and I'm sure you'll be happy.