1 night, 1 chance.... can you do it for me?
Will be in Chicago for one night (a Thursday) arriving late (8pm) to ORD.
Meeting a couple for dinner and needing a great spot ... Italian? Sushi?
Need dinner for four near the Omni Hotel (676 North Michigan Avenue) to create an evening that will be long remembered. Hoping not to spend a fortune (<50/person would be nice).
Can any of you Chicagoan foodies help me earn kudos?
Thanks in advance!
FYI, I am a road warrior and travel in and out of O'Hare at least twice a week.
You should not plan to eat dinner until at least 9:30, probably 10, if your flight is scheduled to arrive at 8PM. Thursday night at O'Hare is HORRIBLE and you will likely arrive late then battle the long taxi lines.
That being said, there are many restaurants that serve late over the long weekend, but make sure to call first to confirm.
Will the dinner be the same Thursday night you are arriving? If so, jbontario's warnings are apt. These days, with flight delays commonplace, it's very difficult to plan a meal immediately after you land (and, as he notes, even if your flight lands on time, you have ground transportation delays to consider).
If this is a concern, you'll want to check with the place you're going to see how late they serve, and make sure you plan to go somewhere that is open late, in case you are delayed. Most of the Greek and pizza places I mentioned are open pretty late, though. Another easy way to check to see which restaurants are open past a given hour is to check on opentable.com
$50/person, including alcohol/tax/tip, is a very inexpensive meal, and you are looking for something in the highest-priced neighborhood in the entire Chicago area. You have some options, but to the extent that you can be flexible on price, that will open up more.
You can probably meet that price point if you hop a cab and go to one of the Greek restaurants in Greek Town. The food is decent, but if you remember the evening, it will be because of the company, not the food. You'll find more specific recommendations for Greek Town at www.chowhound.com/topics/119233
You can also meet that price point at a place for real Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. Two of the very best are very close to your hotel - Giordano's ( www.giordanos.com ) on Rush Street for double-crust "stuffed" pizza, and Gino's East ( www.ginoseast.com ) on Superior for single-crust "pan" pizza. Allow 30-45 minutes for your pizza to bake, or phone your order ahead if you don't want to wait at the restaurant.
For Italian food, Coco Pazzo Cafe is good, and is very close to your hotel. With dinner entrees in the $20 range, you probably won't be under $50/person, though (and this is still one of the less expensive of our mid-priced Italian restaurants). They show prices on the menu on their website at www.cocopazzocafe.com
If you really want "to create an evening that will be long remembered", and you're willing to stretch your price to $80-110 per person inclusive, that opens up a lot more options - steakhouses, seafood restaurants, contemporary American, etc.