Seafood, Italian in Chicago (BUT)
My wife and I are visiting Chicago at the end of March for 4 days, staying at the Hotel Monaco. While we don't eat meat, we do eat seafood and poultry. But we live on the ocean in northern California and I catch and spearfish all fresh seafood ( salmon, halibut, abalone, dungeness crab, oysters, etc.) so a seafood restaurant has be special and fresh. Ethnic seafood is fine as well (sushi, thai,etc.). And Italian food is a favorite as well, especially regional and authentic Italian cooking. After a trip to Italy for 5 weeks last May we are a bit spoiled. We don't mind a cab ride, especially if the meal is worth it. By the way, it doesn't have to be fancy, just good!
Thanks for any advice...
There are seafood (and Italian) restaurants, and there are seafood (and Italian) restaurants.
IMHO, the very best, freshest seafood is more likely to be found in restaurants that are not your conventional seafood places (Shaw's, Hugo's, Fulton's, which are still good BTW), but rather, are upscale restaurants that happen to specialize in seafood, such as Spring, in the city ( www.springrestaurant.net ) and Oceanique, in Evanston ( www.oceanique.com ). As well as our "top tables" like Avenues, etc.
For more recommendations, you can find a lengthy discussion of Chicagoland seafood restaurants in this topic:
We have one Italian restaurant that towers over all others, and that is Spiaggia. Tony Mantuano has been nationally acclaimed and Spiaggia is a big fancy splurge type place which is indeed Italian. It's dressy and expensive. It's also fantastic. www.levyrestaurants.com
There are lots and lots of mid-priced Italian places that are excellent. Some of the best include Cafe Spiaggia ( www.levyrestaurants.com ) on Michigan Avenue, Coco Pazzo ( www.cocopazzochicago.com ) in River North, Vivere ( www.vivere-chicago.com ) and Trattoria No. 10 ( www.trattoria10.com ) in the Loop, and Va Pensiero ( www.va-p.com ) in Evanston. For more recommendations, you can find a lengthy discussion of Chicagoland Italian restaurants in this topic:
And, of course, don't forget to have some of our delicious Chicago-style deep-dish pizza while you're here - yum! You'll find discussions about that at: