New restaurant for Chicago visit
Visited Blackbird, Avec, and Sepia last year and really enjoyed it. Where else should we try on our upcoming visit? We are very adventurous diners and enjoy nice wine and beer as well.
Aigre Doux (sp.) near the Merchandise Mart, and Moto. Le Sardine is big with locals (on Carptenter Street near Harpo Studios). Also try West Fulton Market Street. It is the up and coming neighborhood. Several options, along with some great art galleries and shops.
Graham Elliot is the new hot spot - we had a delicious dinner there the other day. It's a more casual vibe, but really refined, fun food but the former chef of Avenues. The cocktails are nice, too. If you can't get a reservation, we saw people eating in the nice, but not-so-crowded bar area. http://www.grahamelliot.com/
There is a new restaurant soon to open on West Fulton by the same guys who run Blackbird and Avec - a "gastro pub" which could be of interest. I imagine it will be quite good, although it's taking forever for them to open the place up. Maybe by the time you show up it will be here.
I'd also recommend Mercat a la Planxa on Michigan avenue which is the best new restaurant I've been to over the past year or so.
If you like Blackbird, you might also try Naha.
If you really want to go all out, Alinea is always an option. In a similar category is L2O which is primarily seafood. Or Schwa if you can ever get a reservation (and I've heard some kind of mixed reviews coming out of there lately).