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Jun 20, 2007 11:18 PM

Special occasion dinner for less than $100 per person?

My SO and I are traveling from Los Angeles in a few weeks, and we're looking for a nice place to have dinner. I'm a huge foodie, but unfortunately, the b/f is not. I want Alinea or Avenues, but since it's a bit beyond his budget, I have to look elsewhere.

Any suggestions for great places that we could eat for about $65-100 per person? Food is very important to me, as is trying a place that is solely found in Chicago (Arnie Morton's just ain't gonna cut it). Any cuisine is fine, but bonus points if the chef has a unique style - perhaps Achatz and Bowles on a slightly lesser level.

Thank you for your help!

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  1. I would checkout the menus for NAHA,Boca,Copperblu. None of these are at the level you are talking about but for the price and I am thinking it would include tip and wine you are just not going to get this. There is a reason these restaurants are so costly-ingredients and service are expensive.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BarbaraM48

      My wife suggests Think Cafe- A BYOB (mostly Italian) on western in the Logan Square / wicker park area. The food is a good mix of food that all sorts of folks (read: foodies, and people who just like good tasting food) The staff is small, and really nice-- the menu is large, and has a good mix of meats, fish, and pasta.

      Another good choice might be Osteria Via Stato-- it is a price fixe style place (I think 35$ per person) where they bring out several anti-pasta, salads, pasta, etc-- you pick the entre, and desert if you like. They have a great thing called 'bring me wine' in which they pair 3 glasses of wine with what you happen to be eating. They offer this at 3 different price points, and vary the wines daily. You always seem to get wines that are of a good value for the price point that you choose. The Concept was developed (at least in part) by rick tramonto of tru fame-- my wife and I have eaten there several times and enjoyed it every time- I would think this would be a place that someone who was a foodie could enjoy with someone whom was not.

      perhaps more foodie than your BF would like is Schwa-- another BYOB owned and opperated by Michael Carlson-- you probably wouldn't be able to get a table at this late notice (my wife and I just booked a table for august 12 the other day- they are closed all of July) the food is superlative, and really interesting.

      Japonais might be a good mix as well (they do have locations in NYC and Las Vegas, and the cost would likley be at the higher end of the 100$) Others have complained that the food is inconsistent, but on my visit there I found the food to be quite good and of a high quality.

      someone else suggested spring-(in an earlier post related to japonais) "pring on North Avenue...seafood focused, upscale but not terribly expensive, and the chef just won the James Beard Award (May 8) as Midwest's Best Chef. Polished, experienced servers and a really smart and carefully selected wine list. Clever desserts, too."- I have not eaten there, but want to
      I would guess that with more parameters (type of food, etc) you might gett a better response from the folks on this board
      good luck!!


    2. If you are not a big carnivore - I LOVE Green Zebra - it is upscale vegetarian - very nice.

      If you are into seafood, I like Catch 35 at 35 Wacker across the river from House of Blues.

      Right down the street from Green Zebra is Red Light - it is an Asian fusion. This area of town is undergoing a major revitalization - it used to be the red light district - hence the name. It was originally where all the fresh meat markets and green grocers were for the restaraunts in the city, but had gone down. Rumor is that Oprah bought a significant amount of property in the area and wanted to turn it around. It is turning into a very fun and trendy area.