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Mar 18, 2008 09:58 PM


I'm celebrating my 28th birthday next month and would like to go somewhere special with my husband (not TOO high in the price range, please, I'm in grad school!). I was considering Sepia, but most of the reviews I've seen on here were lukewarm. Has anyone had any very recent experiences there to contradict this conclusion? Does anyone have any recommendations, other than Sepia, that are great?

Thank you, I appreciate the help!

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  1. I haven't been to Sepia; hopefully others can provide you recent feedback.

    Entrees at Sepia are in the mid twenties. So here are some additional suggestions in the same price range or less.

    You could go to a French bistro, such as Bistro 110 ( ) or Kiki's ( ).

    You could go Italian, at places like Cafe Spiaggia ( ) or Coco Pazzo ( - its sibling, Coco Pazzo Cafe, is slightly less expensive - ).

    If you're flexible on your dining hour and day, you can take advantage of some of the specials available at restaurants that would otherwise be above your price range. For example, here are three places who all offer a three-course pre-theater menu at 5:00 and 5:30. Everest has it for $50 every day except Fridays - Custom House has it for $46 every day - And Oceanique has it for $42 every day except Saturdays -

    All of the above are great and suitable for a birthday.

    If there is a particular area (city neighborhood or suburban town) that's more convenient to you, please mention it so that we might suggest something fairly close by.

    1. Sepia is a very attractive restaurant with a nice ambiance but I wasn't enamored with the food. It's not a place I'd rush back to. I like Naha a lot and would really like to get back to Sweets and Savories both of which are within the same price range as Sepia if I recall correctly.


      4 Replies
      1. re: KateB

        Naha ( ) is significantly more expensive than Sepia, with entrees in the low to mid thirties. If you would consider this price range, then you should really add one sixtyblue ( ) and North Pond ( ) to the places you're considering.

        Sweets and Savories ( ) entrees are in the mid to high twenties, just slightly more than Sepia.

        1. re: KateB

          Wow, Naha sounds incredible! I'm pretty mobile, so if it's in the city & accessible by public transportation, I'm able to go there. I'll travel for good food! I've already done Sweets & Savories, so keep bringing on the suggestions, I appreciate them all (I just moved here 6 months ago & am still learning about all the possibilities).

          1. re: Cmvramirez

            I booked MK for my girlfriend's birthday. They have a 5-course tasting menu for $82, which I plan on doing. Anyone been to MK lately?

            1. re: Cmvramirez

              If you can consider places in that price range, there are quite a few contemporary American restaurants that are just excellent. one sixtyblue is my absolute favorite in the city for best food; it's a few blocks from the Ashland stop on the CTA Green Line and Pink Line. North Pond is wonderful for atmosphere and setting (and the food is excellent) and is served by several CTA bus lines that go through the park. Aigre Doux is across the street from the Merchandise Mart (served by the Merchandise Mart stop on the Brown Line). Custom House in the South Loop (all el lines) has a meat-focused menu, and Spring in Wicker Park (near the Blue Line) is seafood-oriented, both by Chef Shawn McClain. Blackbird is always excellent, near the Clinton stop on the Green and Pink Lines. There are lots more such places in the city (e.g. MK, Magnolia Cafe, Sola, etc) and suburbs (Michael in Winnetka at the Indian Hill stop on Metra, Oceanique in Evanston at the Main Street stop on Metra and on the CTA Purple Line, Vie in Western Springs at the WS stop on Metra).

              Website links:
              CTA -
              Metra -
              one sixtyblue -
              North Pond -
              Aigre Doux -
              Custom House -
              Spring -
              Blackbird -
              MK -
              Magnolia Cafe -
              Sola -
              Michael -
              Oceanique -
              Vie -

          2. I have taken clients there a couple times and really like it. The service was alright but the food was yummy! I also really love May Street Market on is my favorite in the city!