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Sep 6, 2007 12:32 PM

inexpensive date night downtown

I'm looking for something fun and different before going out for some jazz at Pops for Champagne on State and Ohio, but since I'm suggesting the place I want to keep the price really low. I can absolutely walk but would rather not drive between the dinner spot and the drinks/jazz. Everything I'm finding nearby looks pretty dull- any suggestions?

Thank you!

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  1. For something fun and different- and within walking distance to Pops, I'd suggest 1492 Tapas which has a somewhat romantic atmosphere (upstairs or sidewalk cafe). I wasn't blown away by the food, but I was there just once. I'd also recommend Cafe Iberico if you're looking for a very lively atmosphere. Star of Siam would fit the bill as well, and has some fun seating options that mimic traditional floor seating- but is much more casual in atmosphere

    1. How low is really low? Portillo's low? Debevic's low? I'm gonna guess a few steps above. My 2 bit recs:
      Fun and different, one of my old standbys, and pretty cheap:

      Remember scoozi?

      Tiny bit of a hike, but I'd also rec Cafe Iberico on Lasalle.

      One more. I swear I don't work for leye, but

      3 Replies
      1. re: gordeaux

        Cafe Iberico sounds perfect, although I know they don't take reservations so I'd love to make a back-up plan. I'd like something with some atmosphere, where we can sit back and talk. Price is okay at anywhere 8-15 per plate. Thank you so much for the replies!

        1. re: shannon123

          Reza's might be your place for atmosphere /sit back and talk. Mid eastern fare. If you've never been, when they are on, their stuff is good. Recs:
          Broiled Mushrooms ( I still haven't been able to recreate this sauce at home.)
          Baba Ghannouj
          Vegetarian Shami
          Dark meat chicken kabobs with dill rice
          Broiled whitefish.
          You may wanna skip one of the entrees, and share just one. There is NO way two normal ppl could finish this, but I order expecting leftovers. The above meal would prob run in the 30-40 range as is, and be enough for four ppl. They have a full bar, lots of wood and brass around the bar, and white table cloths in the dining room.

          1. re: shannon123

            Iberico seats something like 400 people so turnover is quick. No long waits there unless there's a professional Spanish soccer game in town...just turn around a go somewhere else if that's the case.

            Yeah, Reza's entree portions are huge. One entree will be enough for two unless you eat like me ;).

        2. Wow, inexpensive is tough in that neighborhood!

          blondie's Star of Siam is a good rec, the original Uno's & Due are right there for Pizza, and as to myself: it would be darn hard to not eat at Keefers!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: abf005

            Keefer's is quite far outside the stated range of $8-15 per main plate.

            1. re: OliThor

              OliThor Where did you get 8-15? The OP never stated a number. Besides that, the statement was "I" would have a hard time not eating at Keefers if in the neighborhood.

              Monks Pub & Ricobene's on the other side of the river are both pretty close and very reasonable. There is also a Lou Malnatti's around the block from there.

          2. Quartino
            626 N. State St.




            You'll likely pay no more than you would at one of the tapas places nearby, and, IMO, 1492 Tapas is terrible, and Cafe Iberico has really fallen off in the past year.


            4 Replies
            1. re: Erik M

              I second Quartino. It is surprisingly cheap and the food is great! My husband and I often spend a Friday night having a drink or two at Pops and then head over to Quartino for dinner. Have fun!

              1. re: elc515

                Another vote for Quartino. Also very close to POPs.

                1. re: wak

                  Kan Zama, a Lebanese restaurant, is very good and reasonably priced - that there are a few tables where you sit on rugs on a raised floor adds to the fun for some people.
                  Kan Zaman
                  617 N. Wells

                  P.S. I posted this as a reply to the Quartino responses only because there seemed to be some technical problem for me in repying to the original post.

                  1. re: chowhunt46

                    Kan Zaman another good one. Note though, its BYO. There is a Binnys a few blocks south on Grand.

            2. I second the recommendations for Reza's, Kan Zaman, and Cafe Iberico. 1492 Tapas is not cheap. Greek Islands in Greektown is a short drive or cab ride to Pops. You can't beat the prices, festive ambiance, and great parking too! This place can get pretty packed but you can always get seated right away in the bar area with no reservations. I ordered a whole red snapper, Greek chicken 2 avgolemeno soups, 2 appetizers, and 2 drinks and it came to $56.00 without that's incredible! The snapper was melt-in-your-mouth amazing.

              Not a fan of Vongs Thai Kithchen