Two chefs visiting from sf
I'm sure it's already all been covered but were both chefs from San Francisco visiting for 4 days a Mon -thus we have reservations at Tru & Alinea. Where else should we go? we will try anything once, and good czech recommendations would be especial appreciated (as Chicago is the "old country" for ,my mom's family . And no more fine dinning please two in four nights is a bit too much already...
What about Avec? I'd say that its hands down the best causal meal in town.
Or you could try some Thai food - one of Chicago's hidden specialties. I like Spoon Thai on Western (1 block south of the Brown Line station at Western Ave. FYI, its BYO. More here: http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic....
Tripton: Last time I checked, (before Doug's vacation/accident) duck fat fries were available on Fridays and Saturdays.
If you two are looking for more ethnic fare, my favorite spot in Chinatown is Evergreen and my favorite Thai place is Opaart Thai on North Western Ave. Both are easy to get to on the train and BYOB!
This seems like a pretty good list of places -- but is there any particular type of cuisine that's not listed that you are searching for? Any specific atmosphere desired (upscale/dive)? I definitely think Mexican would be a great way to go for one of the meals -- my preference, Sol de Mexico.
I know this sounds crazy, but you HAVE to try Hot Doug's for lunch. Its a tiny hot dog and sausage joint, but the sausages are all made in house and the toppings and combos are downright gourmet. Only open from 11-4 and cash only. In a completely out of the way neighborhood and the line to get in will be long if you go before 1:30, but sooo worth it. Sadly, you will miss his Fri/Sat special - french fries, fried in duck fat.
For italian - Riccardo Trattoria. Chef Riccardo is laboring away 7 nights a week back in his kitchen in front of 8 sautee pans, so I feel good knowing my plate is coming from the owner's hands into mine. charming neighborhood restaurant, and they picked a great place, because the architechture in the ceiling makes for an dynamic room. This place got good reviews from both of our major newspapers. Riccardo's cuisine I feel is more "traditional italian," rather than the red-sauce and alfredo sauce "italian-american" type. Nothing wrong with either-just depends on what you feel like.
Also, for "new american" cuisine - Erwin. the food and the dining room are absolutely perfect. You really feel like relaxing in here, due to the lighting and homey-feeling. bowls of homemade potato chips at the bar(!) so make sure to come early and have a beer or martini. As chefs, I think you will appreciate that this guy really knows how to keep his food simple, nuanced and well-executed.
both these places are neighborhoody, and you could wear a golf shirt and jeans if you wanted to.
The western suburbs of Berwyn, Western Springs, Brookfield, and LaGrange are the places to look for Bohemian restaurants serving beef in dill gravy, red cabbage, dumplings, and the like.A search of this board, LTHforum, or metromix might yield names of specific restaurants.
For Czech (will you have a car?)
Klas Restaurant in Cicero is definitely worth a trip for the building/history alone. I think the food is good, if not great.
5734 W. Cermak Road
Cicero, IL 60804
[I was not able to link to this as a "place"...]
Klas's website should have more pictures of the setting. Here's a link to more pictures:
A Czech place which I haven't yet been to, but want to, is Operetta, which Vital Information has posted about on lthforum.com:
5653 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL
p.s. for another of your days I'd recommend Mexican food -- something Chicago is richer in than the Bay Area. A recent thread initiated by Eat Nopal asking for recommendations has a lot of good ideas:
And his trip report is worth reading too: