dc hounds looking for recs near hyatt regency
Will be in Chicago for a few days next week for the MLA convention. I've been trolling the boards, but I'm so unfamiliar with the area I don't know what's close. We'll be in and out of conference sessions all day most of the time we're there, so I'm mostly in need of places that are close to the Hyatt Regency. I wouldn't mind a few recs that are a short cab or el ride away in case we can escape for dinner one night.
We love all kinds of food, especially Asian. We'll be spending a great deal of our time with vegetarians, so places with good veggie options are especially welcome. Also, would love any ideas of good (preferably non-chain) bars to grab a drink (and maybe a bite) at the end of long days.
the first place you should look is Aria in the peninsula hotel. Within walking distance of your hotel and some of the best Asian-inspired American food around.
In terms of bars close to the hotel, I know lots of other hounds will disagree, but I would recommend Barro at Lake and Michigan. Barro is a very underrated mexican restaurant with great drinks at the bar (especially if you like tequila) and some great food as well.
North across the Chicago River and east of Michigan Avenue...
Sayat Nova on Ohio, reliable and low-key Armenian, good for vegetarians. Lebanese Taverna it ain't, but it's my favorite secret lunch spot.
Boston Blackie's on Grand, an old-school big-city bar restaurant where I like the fried smelt and my wife likes the hamburgers
Fox & Obel cafe cafeteria at the east end of this deluxe grocery on Illinois
Coco Pazzo Cafe on St. Clair has snazzy, good-value Italian food
Volare, also on St. Clair, has a couple of Sardinian dishes I'd like to try
Emilio's Sol y Nieve and 1492 are two tapas restaurants in this area (known as Streeterville). I haven't been to either, but a search on this board and LTHforum.com might steer you to the best plates at both.
Cafe Iberico is a very popular tapas bar not in Streeterville but on LaSalle just south of Chicago Ave., a short cab ride from your hotel. Lots of vegetarian choices. Don't ignore the entrees, soups, and salads.
Back in Streeterville, L'Appetito (sp.?) is a pair of italian delis, one I think on Superior, the other I know at the base of the John Hancock
And for a drink at the end of a long day, consider the original Billy Goat Tavern underneath the Realtors Building, 430 N. Michigan. This, of course, is where Mike Royko and the literally ink-stained wretches--the pressmen--of the Sun-Times and Tribune used to repair. Note the framed photos on the west wall with decedents marked by little metal "-30'" signs on the frames.
thanks for the great suggestions.
we had a delicious meal at Sayat Nova our first night. It was a lovely little room, too. Second night we hit coco pazzo--everything on the table was delicious. it was perfect on a cold, snowy day.
half of our party was sick, so we never made it out for drinks and just grabbed lunches as we could, but our dinners were great!