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Oct 5, 2008 12:39 PM

Bday dinner but dont want downtown


I am going out with some friends for my 27th bday dinner (there will be four of us). I want something good but I am looking for something different and preferably not downtown. I am totally open for suggestions. I am not set on any type of food. I probably prefer not a sushi restaurant because I eat sushi all of the time. Other than that, I dont care. I also am not a fan of pre fix menus because I do not eat meat. I do eat fish but not meat so I guess that would be a pesco vegetarian so I can find something everywhere. I just am so torn on where to go and I am looking for some good suggestions.


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  1. Can you at least hint at a direction (North, South)? And are you flexible as to suburbs?

    3 Replies
    1. re: ferret

      Yes, additional information on what part of town would be helpful. Also, are you looking for a nicer place (say, a "casual fine dining" or "bistro" type place), or would you prefer ethnic storefronts which may have excellent food but not much in terms of atmosphere?

      I have had some of my finest meals in recent years at two suburban "casual fine dining" restaurants - Michael in north suburban Winnetka, and Tallgrass in southwest suburban Lockport.

      1. re: nsxtasy

        I live in lakeview area so definitely in the city. Other than that, I can pretty much go anywhere. I guess from downtown north is what I would prefer. I dont really do the southside very often...too far.

        1. re: sleopold

          North Pond. Definitely. Have you not been there? It's very close to you, at the north end of Lincoln Park (inside the park itself), just south of Diversey. The setting is exquisite - facing its namesake pond, with the city skyline towering over the opposite shore. And the food is exactly what you're looking for - delicious, contemporary American food from James Beard award-nominated Chef Bruce Sherman. I went there recently with companions who, like yourself, eat fish but no meat, and they absolutely loved it.

          If you've already been to North Pond, my second recommendation would be Lula, in Logan Square, which is similarly good for "pesco vegetarians". And there are a couple of other nice places on the north side that are very good and worthy of consideration: Sola in North Center ( ) and Magnolia Cafe in Uptown ( ). But if you've never been to North Pond, that's where I would recommend, at the top of the list.

    2. If you adventure out to the burbs, I recommend Flamingo Mexican Seafood in Mount Prospect. The decor is boring but the food and margaritas will knock your socks off. If you love fish, go here. You can thank me later.

      1. how about lula cafe - it's my friend's (who is a pesco vegetarian) favorite. Really cute atmosphere, delicious local food and amazing desserts... it's in logan square.

        1. Thanks...I will check them out and keep them coming because even if I dont go for my bday, we go out about once every two weeks to pretty much anywhere in the city so ifyou have more recommendations, even for downtown, let me know and I will put them on my list of places to go!!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: sleopold

            I really love Ras Dashen (Ethiopian). I think on most Fridays they have live music. They have traditional and non-traditional seating. Traditional would entail all four of you eating from the same large dish (which if any of you are vegetarians/vegans you might not want to do) which is fun and comfortable. They have good wine and beer and are in no rush to have you leave so they can seat the next table. At least they've never rushed us!

            I and my boyfriend have had many birthday dinners there.

            Ras Dashen Ethiopian
            5844 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60660