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Jul 15, 2008 10:29 AM

Chicago Recommendations.

Hello! My wife and I just moved to Chicago about a month ago. We've already been to some restaurants, but I'm looking for a good place to take my parents to when they visit a couple of weeks from now.
I'm juggling a number of names already. We were in Naha once but didn't have dinner, we just caught up with some friends who dined there to have an after dinner drink, but it seemed like a nice place to eat at. Plus, our friends said only good things about their experience.
Anyway, my parents are really contemporary (I mean they're not traditional nor conservative at all), they're 55 and 50 (so you can get the picture), and we all mainly like unpretentious places, good food, nothing too fancy or classy (at least nothing that falls into snob), and a good environment and ambience (no low conversation, piano or sax music or anything boring).
Another place I'm considering is Takashi.
We've already been to (and liked) Sushi Wabi, Meiji, Le Colonial and Riccardo Trattoria. And my parents have been to Coco Pazzo, Le Colonial, Tru, Gibsons and others in their previous visits to Chicago.
Oh, I almost forgot, money... We're looking for something reasonably priced. Meaning no Charlie Trotter's, Alinea, Tru, Les Nomades, et al. Let's stick to the 50-70$ p/pax (w/out wine) ballpark.

So, it's pretty much the impossible mix, cool/good/price, but I'm sure that Chicago has it and you guys can help me.



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  1. Frontera Grill and Topolobampo are good choices if you like Mexican. Try to make reservations asap, though. And my sister recently tried Mercat a la Planxa, which is supposed to be great for tapas.

    2 Replies
    1. re: carriet

      Thanks! I forgot to mention that we are Mexicans, hahaha... so those are automatically discarded. Any others?

      Thanks again!

      1. re: topawers

        Don't discard Mercat so quickly. It is not mexican. It is a tapas place.

    2. I really like Aigre Doux and Naha, both in River North and in the casual fine dining. Both lean mediteranean and you will not be disappointed (search my other posts for these two and chowhound "nsxtasy" for great info on tons of chicago finds).

      For a little off the beaten path, my family always likes to shoot over to little italy for the original Rosebud.

      1. Check out the recent reviews here for Mercat a la Planxa. I believe that this would fit in well with your price range, cool atmosphere and quality food. The I believe that the tapas tasting with wine parings is right around $70 and they also offer a roasted pig for a party of 4 or more people for $42 per person. Its located in the Blackstone hotel. Comfortable, not snobby or stuffy but upbeat and fun.

        1. what about West Town Tavern? I didn't get to go when I was in Chicago but it fits into all your criteria. It might be lower than your price range, I don't know if that's a good or bad thing for you.

          1 Reply
          1. re: CookieEater

            West Town Tavern looks great, as does Sweets and Savories.
            Any of you guys can give me word on Takashi, Avec and Boka?

          2. Give Sweets & Savories a look. They've got a $29 prix fixe thru July:


            2 Replies
            1. re: jbw

              what's included in this prix fixe?

              1. re: phr208

                It's a special 3-course menu, with 3 or 4 selections for app, entree, and dessert. The selections are off of the main menu, and when we were there some of there specialties were included; i.e., Kobe burger, bread pudding. In general, we found it to be a great value.