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Best New Chicago Eats!??

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I will be heading to the Windy City over the Labor day weekend and am wondering from all you foodies out there, what the best new and hottest restaurants are in town. I have tenative plans to eat at TRU and Alinea. I would love some suggestions on what is new and great?

Thanks for your suggestions!

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  1. It depends on how you define "new". If you're looking for the ultimate in creativity and splurge dining, Alinea is certainly a great choice; so is Avenues, although I believe Graham Elliot Bowles has been there for approximately three years by now, so that may not qualify as "new"... unless you've never been there, in which case *any* place is new. :) For casual fine dining, Aigre Doux is wonderful; they opened in December, I think.

    Avenues - http://chicago.peninsula.com
    Aigre Doux - www.aigredouxchicago.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Thank you! I have never been. I was wondering what buzz was going on and where the must go places are. Aigre Doux looks Great!

      FYI - I am staying downtown

    2. Sepia has been getting a lot of talk - just opened up in the last month. More casual than Tru or Alinea.

      I've never been to Tru, but Avenues was outstanding when I went in May, although I was not impressed with the Wagyu Beef. Several dishes were among the best I have ever had in Chicago.

      1. Aigre Doux is definitely the "it" new restaurant right now, and Alinea is a perennial winner. Sepia is also new; the food isn't contrived and is grounded firmly in solid technique.

        For more laid back and reservation free type places, I always recommend Lula Cafe--in my opinion, one of the best restaurants in Chicago (laid back, top-notch local ingredients, pretention-less cooking, and a menu that will allow you to eat splendidly for 10 bucks OR a month of rent). Another solid laid back place is called Ante Prima in Andersonville--top notch, opened a couple months ago, but feels like it's been there for years...

        HAVE FUN!

        4 Replies
        1. re: htamano

          I heard about a restaurant called Blackbird. Not new, but several friends in Vegas here, recommended it. Any thoughts?

          Thanks!

          1. re: sommelierbc

            Heard of it? Maybe.

            In fact, its been one of Chicago's top restaurants for almost 10 years. They have won just about every award and recognition you can get (Food/Wine best new chef, James Beard awards, etc.) Tons of posts on this board if you are interested.

            The founders also opened the more casual Avec next door, and are soon to open their thrid restaurant. If you're in town, definitely a place to visit.

            1. re: wak

              Thanks!

              Never been to Chicago and appreciate all the advice.

            2. re: sommelierbc

              Yes, I agree with wak. If you're not concerned about finding the newest place in town, then that opens up a lot more possibilities.

              Chicago has many outstanding "casual fine dining" restaurants, sometimes called "contemporary American". The newly-opened Aigre Doux and Blackbird are among them; so are many others, including one sixtyblue, Naha, North Pond, Sweets and Savories, Custom House, and many, many more.

              You mentioned Tru and Alinea; there are many more such "splurge" restaurants, if that's what you're looking for. Avenues was previously mentioned among these "cream of the cream" places, which also include Everest, Charlie Trotter's, NoMi, moto, Schwa, and Spiaggia.