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Aug 4, 2008 12:53 PM

Dinner - Price Not an Object - Single Diner

I'll be in town on business in a week or so and I'm looking for a unique chowish experience, price is no object, but I'll be on my own, so it would need to be the kind of place where a single diner wouldn't feel uncomfortable.

In terms of food, I would be up for anything. I've dined many times in Chicago and had great experiences at Frontera Grill, Gibsons, etc. Good wine or a great mixed drink would not be unwelcome. I'm staying downtown, but I'm not opposed to heading to another neighborhood for a good experience.

Any thoughts would be very welcome!

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  1. You can have a very civilized dinner at Blackbird's bar. They set it up like you'd find at high end restaurants in NYC (I had a great dinner this way at Babbo). It's very good food and professional service. You may also want to consider eating next door at Avec. I think it's one of the best places for one person to have dinnner in Chicago.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ems

      Thanks - I've never tried Avec, but I will now!

    2. You can't go wrong with Blackbird or Avec. Another good choice would be Sepia. The have a nice bar area where you can have a solo dinner. Very focused and well executed cocktails and the best grilled octopus (appetizer) in the city.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Doogie Houndser M.D.

        Mr. CG and I were just at Sepia this weekend and I can second that recommendation. Excellent service also: knowledgeable, friendly, but not at all unctuous or imposing.

      2. While Blackbird and Avec are great choices - to me, the obvious pick is Avenues. They have a "kitchen bar" where you can sit and rather than have a bartender and array of liquor, you're sitting with the chefs. They're all friendly and talk to the customers, I've been there a few times and it's pretty much what it is - hanging out with a couple guys in the kitchen. The service on my visits has been nothing short of perfect - they recently changed head chefs, the new guy is Patrick Duffy from Alinea - I have yet to experience his food but the Trib recently gave them 4 stars.

        The Peninsula Chicago
        108 East Superior Street (at North Michigan Avenue), Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA

        5 Replies
        1. re: chris

          Patrick Duffy was on Dallas and Step By Step.

          Curtis Duffy is the new Chef at Avenues.

          1. re: jesteinf

            LOL! I'm going to side with the Blackbird/Avec voters. I have had lovely inventive meals at both places, and I think Avenues is a little bit gimmicky. Of the two, I would lean toward Avec. Blackbird can be NOISY and one of the great pleasures of dining alone is getting to talk to other diners at the bar and the bartender and waiter. If you go after 9 o'clock, Blackbird might not be so bad.

            1. re: brendastarlet

              Thanks for these recommendations. I've also been thinking about Naha, since I've seen photos and after perusing the menu, think it sounds terrific. Does anyone think it's a good place for a single diner to visit? Love the Patrick Duffy comment - classic!

              1. re: isabellaflynn

                IMO, and as a perpetual single diner, anyplace is a good place to dine solo. Go for it. Don't limit yourself just because you're a "party of one."

            2. re: jesteinf

              If that's the case, then I take my back my recommendation!