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Nov 5, 2008 04:26 PM

Dinner options near the Lyric Opera

My editor and I are coming down from Madison to catch "Porgy and Bess" at the Lyric Opera. I'm thinking we probably won't be on much of an expense account, since they're already paying for hotel and mileage, so I'm looking for something lower priced (than, say, Custom House or Tru).

My fantasy was Aigre Doux, but it may be too pricey. I thought about Dine but I'm not sure I want to spend my one Chicago dinner in a hotel. I loved Frontera Grill and Bin 36 (for cheese/wine only) but want to try something new. I'm looking for something in that price range (which maybe Aigre Doux fits? no prices on the menu), relatively near the opera house at Wacker and Madison.

Ideally, I'm looking for French or Asian food, or something else ethnic (Indian? Thai?). I am enchanted by the Green Zebra's menu but worried it's too far away. I was considering Blue 13 and Marche, or possibly Ben Pao.

Thoughts? Thank you!

PS While I'm asking, anyone know a good wine bar to hit up afterwards? I was thinking about heading to Swirl Wine Bar in River North.

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  1. For moderate priced French food near the Lyric, I'd recommend La Sardine,, which is about 8 blocks west of the Lyric. Definitely a better choice than Marche.

    1. Aigre Doux is outstanding. I've paid $90/person for three courses, moderate alcohol, tax, and tip. You can view their menu WITH prices at:
      I also included prices of all items in the report I posted on a dinner there at:

      If that's too pricey, you might consider Avec, a few blocks west of the opera. The cuisine is Mediterranean-influenced. They specialize in "small plates" although I've found the portion sizes quite ample. More important downsides are that they don't accept reservations and waiting times for seating can be lengthy (they do get a sizable pre-opera crowd), and you may or may not appreciate the communal seating.

      For pan-Asian food, Red Light is nearby, and quite good.

      And of course there's always Giordano's, for Chicago deep-dish pizza.

      You might also check out this discussion, where I've posted these and other suggestions:

      1. Red Light is my favorite restaurant in Chicago right now... and definitely let them know when you make your reservation that y ou're going to the Opera, so they'll have you out in plenty of time.

        1. did hear that N9ne Steakhouse has fixed price entree for people going to opera 5-7 you can probably go even after a matinee...sorry not French or Asian but price and convenience might make it worth it...I am going to try it

          1 Reply
          1. re: sue kelly

            These are all great suggestions. THANK YOU, Chicago hounds!