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Oct 4, 2008 11:53 AM

GOOD food for pre-marathon carb load

Hey Chicago, I'm a Philly Chowhound headed for Chicago next weekend for the marathon and I could use some suggestions for Saturday night dinner. I need GOOD pasta/Italian (not Maggianos-eque), but casual for 6 downtown (we're staying at the Marriot) Please help us fuel our race!!

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    1. You are going to want to make reservations as soon as possible. Especially since you have a large party. Will you be going earlier in the evening? How casual is casual for you and your guests? I know Rosebud isn't the best Italian restaurant but it is close by and the pasta portions are large and IMO, pretty good. Not Cafe Spaggia good but not Maggiano's family style either. I'm sure other people will post more about Italian places in the city.

      Have fun at the marathon! I'm running it too!! 5 days......

      1. We have lots of good casual Italian restaurants in the greater downtown area, including Cafe Spiaggia, Coco Pazzo, Pane Caldo, Vivere, Trattoria No. 10, and many more. One that's just a couple of blocks from the Marriott is Coco Pazzo Cafe, the "little sister" to Coco Pazzo.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nsxtasy

          FYI: (Since I'm bored at work) Reservations on Open Table for 6 people within 2 hours of 6 pm - earlier and after:

          -- Cafe Spiaggia: none

          -- Coco Pazzo: none

          -- Coco Pazzo Cafe: 4:00 PM.

          -- Pane Caldo: 6:00 PM

          -- Vivere: 6 pm and 7:45 pm

          -- Trattoria No. 10 - None.

          Nxxtasy offered excellent options but you should get on it fast! Call the restaurants directly too.

        2. You might try Club Lago. It is a really cool classic hole-in-the-wall red sauce and checkered tablecloth kind of place that hasn't changed since the 1950's. It is much less casual (and much more fun) than the other places mentioned. It's not the finest Italian food in town, but they do have pretty decent pasta (I like the veal also). Besides, why blow big bucks for just noodles in a more trendy establishment? I don't know if they even take reservations.

          Club Lago
          331 W Superior St
          Chicago, IL 60610
          (312) 951-2849

          Club Lago
          331 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60654

          1 Reply
          1. re: Roger Spark

            Another casual option is Quartino, which is close to your hotel. I have not been there for a while, and I have never had the pasta there. It is more of a wine, cheese and salumi place, but I have heard the pasta is pretty good. It may get pretty crowded on a Saturday.

            626 N State St
            Chicago, IL
            (312) 698-5000

            626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654