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For Chicagoan's, What restaurant is on top of your list to try?

So far this year I have hit quite a few restaurants for the first time in the Chicago area based on rec's from this site, and LTH (Amanacer Tapatio, Frontera, Sa Soo Gap San, Coalfire, Saloon Steakhouse, Joes Seafood, Prime Beef, and Stone Crab, Katy's Dumplings, Lao Szechwan).

I am now looking forward to my next meal out, at the top of my list to try next are:

1) David Burkes Primehouse - I cant get enough dry-aged beef.
2) Le Colonial
3) Fultons on the River

I am curious if others have a list of places they have at the top of their lists to try?

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  1. Despite always trying to find something new when I go out, its amazing how may places I have not visited. For example Coal Fire - I live a mile away. Why have I not tried this yet? My current list:

    Honey 1
    Coal Fire Pizza
    North Pond
    Taco Veloz
    Tio Luis
    sticky rice
    'Little' Three Happiness
    Sol de Mexico
    Hot Chocolate
    Old Town Brasserie

    1 Reply
    1. re: wak

      Little Three Hapiness is on my extended list as well.

    2. Sabitino's (I know I spelled it wrong!)

      North Pond


      Sol de Mexico

      Sa Soo Gap San

      Spoon Thai/TAC

      BTW Swsidejim - I went to Fulton's on the River a week after I went to Keefers. I didn't like Fulton's at all. I thought the food was just ok and the prices a touch too high for what was being offered. We did get to sit outside which was wonderful but all in all, I'd rather spend my money at different place.

      3 Replies
      1. re: lbs

        thanks for the tip on Fultons. I also have Spoon Thai & TAC on my extended list.

        I have alos heard good things about Sol de Mexico, but have yet to go.

        1. re: lbs

          Spoon Thai, like at Lawrence and Western?

        2. There's just too many to list, but No. 1 is Shikago on La Salle in the loop. TAC and Sticky Rice are two others. Every time I think I am going to try the latter two, I end up at Spoon.

          1. Right now it's Avec for me. We've done blackbird and were blown away. Vie in Western Springs is going to be up soon too.

            1. Sepia
              Table Fifty-Two

              1. Shikago

                For those who have North Pond and Avec on their lists, I highly recommend both.

                  1. Table Fifty-two (going in a couple of weeks)
                    Kevin (going in a couple of weeks)

                    In the past year, my previous top choices that I've actually gotten to try and loved (and have become favorites and therefore been to more than once) include North Pond, Spiaggia, Cafe Spiaggia, Spring, Sepia, Aigre Doux, Sola, Scylla (so sad it's gone), West Town Tavern, Crust, A Tavola, Frontera, Spoon, One Sixty Blue, Hot Chocolate, Meritage, Chalkboard (so so), MK, Custom House...

                    I get most excited at the thought of returning to Aigre Doux, Cafe Spiaggia, and Sepia, with regular dining (been to more than twice and not necessarily a special/nice dinner) including Crust, West Town Tavern, Frontera (great brunch!), and Spoon.

                    1. In no particular order after #1:

                      1) Charlie Trotters (been to several of the other high end spots around town, but not the most famous of all)
                      2) Arun's
                      3) Moto
                      4) Coal Fire
                      5) Sepia
                      6) Schwa

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Dedalus

                        So sad to say that Schwa closed October 5th....

                        are my old standbys - highly recommended!

                        I am heading to Brasserie Ruhlmann next week - wondering about all of the hype.

                      2. 1) Avec
                        2) MK
                        3) Honey 1
                        4) Smoke Daddy
                        5) Al's
                        Sol de Mexico was at 6, but I finally made it there on Friday night. It was excellent.

                        1. Catch 35 in naperville or chicago! I have the raw oysters for appetizer before and after meal. The Sea Bas is amazing

                          1. I'm definitely interested in the techno-cheffy places, just because they sound fun. Beyond that:

                            --Hot Doug's
                            --Niche in Geneva
                            --Stillwater in Downers Grove (not because I expect it to be one of Chicago's truly great destinations, but because I just want a good place to finally open up in Downers Grove)
                            --Sunflower Bistro in La Grange
                            --The Gage

                            I'm sure there are others, if I really applied myself!

                            1. I am going to knock off # 1 on my list(David Burkes Primehouse) the first week of December as a pre-Christmas present to myself & my wife. I am really looking forward to the dry aged beef they feature after having the best steak of my life at Saloon last month, a 21 day dry aged K.C. Strip. I hear David Burkes has steaks dry aged for twice as long. I am really looking forward to it.

                              David Burkes narrowly beat out my second choice for this dinner, a return trip to one of my favorites: Joe's Seafood, Prime Steaks, and Stone Crab. I have been craving some of the stone crabs that have just come back into season. Oh well perhaps Joe's for a lunch sometime soon

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: swsidejim

                                DBs dry-ages up to 75 days, although I've found that they don't always have these steaks available. The most I've been able to get is 40 days. DBs is my favorite steakhouse in Chicago.

                                1. re: BRB

                                  I am counting down the days in anticipation.

                              2. On my list to try (in no particular order):

                                Sol de Mexico
                                A Tavola
                                Lula Cafe
                                The Blackbird
                                Hot Chocolate
                                Aigre Doux
                                Old Town Brasserie
                                Brasserie Ruhlmann
                                Boka (since change in chef)
                                Honkey Tonk BBQ
                                David Burke's Primehouse

                                Now, which should go to the top of the list? Anyone?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: ljero

                                  Alinea and Blackbird (not The Blackbird, just Blackbird), should be Nos. 1 and 2 respectively.

                                  1. re: jesteinf

                                    sorry, have been to blackbird many times..I meant The bluebird.