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Dec 25, 2008 05:36 AM

post concert, Chicago Theatre, sat nite

Happy holidays to all the hounds! I'll be in chicago on 12/28 for an event at the Chi. Theatre. Are their any recs for post concert food and drinks? We're open to most anything, seems like a good time for some kind of ethnic experience.

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  1. 12/28 is Sunday. It might make a difference if it is Saturday 12/27 or Sunday 12/28.

    Merkat a la Planxa is my first thought for a fun ethnic experience. It is a wonderful and very popular Spanish tapas restaurant, but it is in the South Loop -- not walking distance from the Chicago Theater, especially with this weather. Also, it is only open until 10 pm on Sundays.

    1. This discussion has a bunch of recommendations for after-theater eating, including links to nearby restaurants and notes on how late they are open and how far they are from the theater:
      It has recommendations for the Oriental Theater (Ford Center), which is right around the corner from the Chicago Theatre, so all of the distances mentioned in that topic are still accurate.

      Although the recommendations in that topic are very close, they are not particularly ethnic. chicgail mentions Mercat a la Planxa ( ), which is good but is not particularly close to the theater. There are a couple of ethnic restaurants within walking distance of the theater, although they are not as close as the non-ethnic recommendations in that other topic. Vong's Thai Kitchen is three blocks north of the theater, and is open till 11 on Saturdays, 9 on Sundays. Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, our Mexican superstars, are five blocks north and two blocks west of the theater, and are open till 11 on Saturdays, but are closed Sundays. For a couple more options, I don't know if you consider French or Italian to be ethnic, but Brasserie Jo ( ) and Vivere ( ) are both very good and about three blocks from the theater.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy

        Good suggestions, Nsxtasy. I didn't mention Vong's because I personally don't think it's very good, very ethnic or much fun, but Frontera and Topo are great options if the OP's event is on Saturday. Don't know how I missed them.

        1. re: chicgail

          No problem! I like Vong's and think it's decent - maybe not the best Thai food in town, but not bad, and a good choice for its convenient location as well as for those who want a more upscale environment rather than the more typical ethnic storefronts (which are not usually open late).

          To the OP - as you can see, there are a bunch of choices in the immediate vicinity. Let us know if you have any questions, or if you need more suggestions in a different vein for other portions of your stay. Enjoy your visit!

          Happy holidays to all!

      2. a quick cab ride(about 6 long blocks) to the fairmont hotel will take you to ARIA. great post theatre for light and delicious small plates or entrees, all with asian and african influences. i love the moroccan spiced chicken and the sake glazed cod entrees. have tried so many small plates and all the salads and never been disappointed. and save room for dessert!!!!! extensive and interesting wine list. modern yet cozy for a cold night.

        2 Replies
        1. re: amaliax

          Aria is a great recommendation too! And this time it's shame on ME for neglecting to mention it, since I just had dinner there a couple of weeks ago. It was excellent. One of the nice things about Aria is that there's such a wide variety of dishes - everything from pan-Asian (Chinese dishes like lobster chow mein, Thai dishes, Korean, etc), to American, etc., one of the most varied menus you'll find anywhere. As amaliax notes, there's also a variety of sizes, so if you want something light, you can do that. In addition to their signature dish, an excellent wild mushroom bisque made from three kinds of 'shrooms, they also had a wonderful cream of kabocha squash soup. We also had their coconut curried mussels starter, equally good. For the main, I went with one of their larger dishes, a 28-ounce smoked prime rib chop, and it was great. I also liked another main I tried, the chestnut-coated barramundi. For dessert we had the "chicago's best chocolate cake" which was very good, a dense devils food type chocolate layer cake. I'll warn you about it, though - the menu says that it's for two people, but the size is more like it's for twenty-two people, it's absolutely enormous!!!

          The dining room is very elegant. We had a party of six so they gave us a round table in one of their round alcoves, which offered a very nice sense of privacy. The service was okay (our server was sometimes distracted). All in all, we had an excellent dinner there.

          According to Opentable, they're open for dinner till 11 on weekends, and till 10 during the week (including Sundays). The bar is open till 1 a.m. I'm not sure what food they offer at the bar but there's a huge display case of seafood in the bar so I'm pretty sure you can get some food as late as you want there.

          Aria is actually only four normal-sized blocks east of the theater, so unless it's bitter cold or pouring rain, it's an easy walk.

          1. re: nsxtasy

            there is a sushi bar in the bar area. i have ordered off the aria menu while sitting in the bar. the cocktail servers are efficient and friendly. they also have a wine,cheese and chocolate bar(ENO) in the lobby. the same as the one at the intercontinental hotel (both hotels are managed by strategic hotels).