My mother is vegetarian and her 60th birthday is coming up. We would like to take her out to dinner but would like her to have more than one option on the menu! I am from Boston so am not familiar with the Chicago food scene... is there anywhere like Greens in SF in Chicago? Or a restaurant which caters more to vegetarians? Or does a wonderful vegetarian tasting menu? Any help would be greatly appreciated! TIA!!
It's been mentioned on this board lots of times.
1460 W Chicago, Chicago, IL 60622
Yes, when you're talking about upscale vegetarian, the list really starts and ends at Green Zebra. However, that doesn't rule out other places to eat; they're just not exactly upscale, or not primarily vegetarian.
For example, places specializing in fresh, seasonal ingredients (e.g. North Pond - www.northpondrestaurant.com or Lula - www.lulacafe.com ) may have only one vegetarian entree, but it is usually a very interesting creative one. And if you go to one of the super-expensive "splurge" restaurants, like Avenues or Alinea, you can request a vegetarian menu (even a many-course tasting menu) and I bet it will be the very best vegetarian meal you ever had. (If you do this, it would be a good idea to mention it in advance, when making your reservation.)
If you want to go REALLY upscale, Charlie Trotter's and TRU have multicourse vegetarian tasting menus as part of their regular offerings. Alinea (my favorite restaurant anywhere) will also do a vegetarian meal with prior notice, but some of the dishes aren't conceived as vegetarian from the beginning, which may impact them. All of these are well over $100/person before tax, tip, beverages.
For less money, the tasting menu at Green Zebra is the way to go, because everyone will get different dishes (unless it's changed). That way, a party of 3 or 4 will get to sample just about everything on the menu. Which reminds me that it's been way to long since I've dined there.