Need fun, delicious dinner near the Mart
There will be 8 of us attending Neocon and I need to make the reservations soon. Coming from San Francisco, we would like places that are unique to Chicago. Since it's company paid, price isn't so much an issue, but we don't want to go anywhere stuffy or too upscale. Our palates are very diverse, so we are really open to anything. Thanks in advance!
Graham Elliot (might be too upscale?)
It's not particularly convenient to the Mart, but Mercat a la Planxa is a great bet on Michigan Avenue near the Art Institute
Tizi Melloul -- hands down. Avec is great but they don't take resos and the wait can be long. Carnival feels manufactured and yes, overhyped. Brasserie Jo is fine, but nothing special. Love Coco Pazzo but its a lot of older people in sports coats -- not exactly fun. Tizi has great design which the neocon folks love and you can request a belly dancer to dance for your group if you want to up the fun quotient. They have a regular dining room with the a la cart menu and a smaller dining room you can rent out for larger groups (or if you have the budget) which serves a family-style menu.
Aigre Doux is an outstanding restaurant and right across from the Merchandise Mart. Open for both lunch and dinner.