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inexpensive date night downtown

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shannon123 Sep 6, 2007 12:32 PM

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. blondie60614 RE: shannon123 Sep 6, 2007 12:54 PM

    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

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      gordeaux RE: shannon123 Sep 6, 2007 01:08 PM

      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:
      http://www.rezasrestaurant.com

      Remember scoozi?
      http://www.leye.com/restaurants/rest_...

      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
      http://www.vongsthaikitchen.com/index...

      3 Replies
      1. re: gordeaux
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        shannon123 RE: gordeaux Sep 6, 2007 01:21 PM

        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
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          gordeaux RE: shannon123 Sep 6, 2007 01:44 PM

          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
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            amoncada RE: shannon123 Sep 7, 2007 09:37 AM

            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. abf005 RE: shannon123 Sep 6, 2007 01:10 PM

          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
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            OliThor RE: abf005 Sep 7, 2007 09:26 AM

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

            1. re: OliThor
              abf005 RE: OliThor Sep 9, 2007 08:16 AM

              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.

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            Erik M RE: shannon123 Sep 6, 2007 01:15 PM

            Quartino
            626 N. State St.
            312.698.5000

            http://www.quartinochicago.com

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/119310

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/119467

            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.

            E.M.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Erik M
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              elc515 RE: Erik M Sep 6, 2007 01:47 PM

              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
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                wak RE: elc515 Sep 6, 2007 08:26 PM

                Another vote for Quartino. Also very close to POPs.

                1. re: wak
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                  chowhunt46 RE: wak Sep 7, 2007 09:19 AM

                  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
                  312-751-9600

                  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
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                    wak RE: chowhunt46 Sep 7, 2007 10:56 AM

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

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              amoncada RE: shannon123 Sep 7, 2007 09:24 AM

              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 food...free 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 tip...now that's incredible! The snapper was melt-in-your-mouth amazing.

              Not a fan of Vongs Thai Kithchen

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                Querencia RE: shannon123 Sep 9, 2007 08:51 AM

                Big Bowl, which could be either on Ohio just west of Rush (about a block from your music venue) or Rush & Cedar, which would allow you a pleasant stroll after eating. Either Big Bowl is fun and reasonable but personally I think the Rush & Cedar is more fun. See their website for menu.

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                  Pete Oldtown RE: shannon123 Sep 9, 2007 01:50 PM

                  A lot of good suggestions here. Heaven on 7 on Ohio is a nice cheap option. Gumbo and a crawfish poboy for about $12.

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