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Pick 2- Spiaggia, Tru, Charlie Trotter's

Visiting from Miami for 3 nights. We already have reservations for Alinea for Sunday night. Of the three Spiaggia, Tru or Charlie Trotter's which should we do on Friday and Saturday. Price is not really a concern. Looking for a memorable dining experience. Thanks!

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  1. Lucky you!

    Trotter's and Spiaggia. People will try to dissuade you from Trotter's to Tru but don't listen to them.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hoppy2468

      I'm one of those "people." Charlie Trotter was once the hot chef, but I have to say that in the last 10 years his place, his food has become a bit ho-hum. It may be because he is so darn serious and significant about everything. While the service is brilliant, nothing is playful there.

      On the other hand, Rick Tramunto's work at Tru, was sparkling the last time we were there.

      That being said, I'm not sure I would want to eat at Alinea, Spiaggia, and Tru or Trotters three nights in a row. It's a bit of overkill. Alinea is, without question the most extraordinary restaurant I've had the pleasure of dining in. Not to be missed -- It is a dining experience "over which you will not get." You might want to tone it down a bit for the other two nights.

      Spiaggia is awesome Italian on the very high end. I think, as someone else suggested, Blackbird might be just the ticket. Very notable kitchen, but not quite the same show.

      Another place to consider is Gordon Elliott -- new on the scene (haven't yet been there) and very highly regarded already.

      1. re: chicgail

        Gordon Elliot is a large, obnoxious television personality.

        Graham Elliot is a restaurant in Chicago.

        1. re: jesteinf

          Correctamundo. Thank you for correcting my gaffe. You do have to admit it was a kind of a funny mistake.

    2. Of those three, having been to none of them, I'd go with Trotter's and Spiaggia also. But I question why those are your three.

      Why not hit Avenues or L2O or "slum it" at Blackbird?

      1. I'm another of "those people!" Hands down, Tru and Spiaggia. Both places serve outRAGEous food, great service, excellent wine and that indefinable "je ne sais quoi" that makes a dining experience complete. I would LOVE to return to each of those places multiple times.

        OTOH, the food is fine at Trotters, but there is an attitude of "we are hot $hit" that I really find offputting. I just can't recommend it.

        1. Spiaggia for sure. Between Trotters or Tru, I really wouldn't do either. (If forced, I would do Tru) You would be much better off checking out Blackbird. You'll save a buck or two, and get better food with a different atmosphere from the fine dining of the other nights.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Doogie Houndser M.D.

            Thank you all for the replies. Blackbird sounds like a good option also. My husband is a little picky and not so adventurous, am I missing any must eat restaurants?

            1. re: nina27

              Uh-oh..."picky" and "not so adventurous" aren't a good match for Alinea. Could make for a very *interesting* evening! Oh well, if he hates it, he'll have great stories to tell.

              1. re: Pugman

                It's my birthday treat, so he'll deal for one night..lol. So looking at blackbird, I also found some info on Sepia? Any thoughts?

                1. re: nina27

                  I don't care about ho-hum. I have known people who have worked for Charlie Trotter and seen him interviewed as well as been to his overpriced pretentious resto, and I think he is a uhh-----penis.

                  The Madonna of Chicago chefs. Sorry.

                  Love Spiaggia, though. And Everest. But you know what? I'd take a break from the chi-chi and hit a pizza place or Chez Billy Goat for a true Chicago experience.

                  1. re: nina27

                    Sepia is one of the best new additions to the chicago dining scene. Terrific bar with very serious cocktails. The grilled octopus is the best in the city. Your "picky" partner should be able to find something to enjoy there also.