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Visiting Downtown InterContinental 10/19-21/08

WestEndRailNJ Oct 6, 2008 02:17 PM

Was hoping to try some great restaurants, would be traveling alone so would like to dine at the bar. Great Steak / seafood house, good ambiance, people watching. I may even try and scalp some tix for the Bears as I get in early on Sunday, any advice / pitfalls would be appreciated.

Gracie

  1. m
    mgh Oct 14, 2008 10:41 AM

    I come to Chicago a lot for business, and stay at the Intercontinental as well. Restaurants/bars that I tend to like to eat at are: Smith and Wollensky (both main restaurant and pub), Gibsons, The Gage, Frontera Grill, Avec, Blackbird, Sweets and Savories, The Paramount Room. To me all are good; some better than others. So far my favorite has been Smith and Wollensky. A lot of Chicago natives may not like it as much as others due to the fact that it is a chain. It's very close to the hotel, plenty of room, great bar service with 2 different settings. Also I always tend to get into interesting conversations with other bar patrons. The Gage is a great gastropub. Avec has always been a fun place - interesting crowd, real interesting food and open late. The upstairs restaurant at the Intercontinental has a good breakfast. Also it's bar is pretty good as the night goes on. Check out the pool - the largest hotel pool I've ever seen! One place I've drank at but not eaten at is the Park Grill in Millenium Park. It has both an outside restaurant/bar and an indoor one. Good place when the weather is nice. I've seen a lot of posts here saying that it serves a good burger. Where ever you go you'll have a good time; Chicago is a great place! Oh and one more thing...as a lone business traveler in Chicago I inadvertantly dropped into the billy goat for a drink. It's very close to the hotel, and was a real hoot.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mgh
      WestEndRailNJ Oct 16, 2008 12:19 PM

      Thanks for the info, great post. I have eaten at the Smith & Wollensky before, its just across the river from the hotel as I recall. What is the billy goat about? Is that a strip club or something?

      1. re: WestEndRailNJ
        nsxtasy Oct 16, 2008 03:24 PM

        The Billy Goat Tavern is a restaurant/bar that serves burgers and other pub fare. The "original" location (it's actually the second location, founded 1964; the first was near the Chicago Stadium) is on the lower level below Michigan Avenue and is/was very popular among reporters working in the nearby Tribune and Sun-Times buildings. It was satirized by John Belushi on "Saturday Night Live" in the late 70's or thereabouts, with the routine, "Cheezeborger! Cheezeborger! No Coke - Pepsi!" You can read all about it on their website at www.billygoattavern.com

    2. nsxtasy Oct 7, 2008 02:24 PM

      Everyone has a favorite steakhouse in Chicago, and many of them are a short walk from the Intercontinental. You can read lots of opinions on many of them at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/359377

      For seafood, my favorite place in the downtown area is Shaw's Crab House, which is only a block or so from your hotel. Also close by are Catch 35 and Fulton's on the River. More suggestions at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/370202

      2 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy
        WestEndRailNJ Oct 8, 2008 06:13 AM

        Thanks for the replys so far, I have a couple of friends from hicago and they mentioned the Chop House and also Hugo's, an preference between the 2? Also any advce on getting tix to the Bears and where to sit?

        Thanks

        1. re: WestEndRailNJ
          nsxtasy Oct 8, 2008 10:57 AM

          Like I said, everyone has a favorite steakhouse.

          For seafood, I like Hugo's Frog Bar a lot. The only reason I didn't mention it is that it's a bit further from your hotel than the ones I mentioned (a little over half a mile). But it's very good! It's also a good choice if you're trying to please a group consisting of seafood lovers and steak lovers, since it is owned by the folks at Gibson's (another of our top steakhouses), which is next door and they share the kitchen.

          Another excellent restaurant that specializes in both steak and seafood, and is only a block or two from your hotel, is Joe's ( www.icon.com/joes ).

          I don't know about the Bears - sorry - but in any case, the Chowhound folks frown on non-food advice posted here.

      2. l
        lestererik Oct 6, 2008 04:00 PM

        YOU HAVE TO TRY PRIMEHOUSE FOR STEAKS!!!! It is the best steak in town

        1 Reply
        1. re: lestererik
          f
          fets Oct 6, 2008 06:30 PM

          I've had a great steak dinner at the bar @ Chicago Chop House - get the bone in filet. They definitely do it right for solo dining at the bar. They spread out a napkin like a tablecloth and you would be totally comfortable getting a full steak dinner sitting at the bar and still feel like you got your money's worth for a delish meal. There a couple of places on par with the Chop House for steak, but no place better for eating it solo at the bar. Walkable from your hotel, too.

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