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May 6, 2008 11:38 AM

Nice dinner at a bar?

My boyfriend is blowing me off this Saturday night. I'm visiting Chicago from Boston, and we're having dinner at Alinea on Friday night. What I'm looking for now is a nice, pretty fancy restaurant sort of near my hotel where I can have dinner and drinks at the bar by myself. I'm staying on East Wacker Drive. Any advice?

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  1. It depends on what you're looking for. If you want to keep to yourself, you can go just about any place. But if you are interested in dining in an atmosphere where you can socialize with others, you might want to consider Avec, which is a short cab ride or a long walk (a mile, maybe slightly more) on the other side of the Loop from your hotel. They have communal seating, so it's expected that anyone eating there will be seated with others, either at the bar or at the tables of eight. They don't take reservations and there are always long waits on weekends (90-120 minutes is not uncommon) but a solo diner is likely to get seated quicker than a group. Mediterranean cuisine.

    You can find more suggestions for solo dining in the topic at

    1. The Gage on Michigan Avenue is a great spot with a terrific menu; I ate (braised rabbit salad! smoked scallops!) at the bar there last Saturday around 5:30. I don't imagine you'd have much trouble getting a seat as a single.