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Just a perch at a bar

chocolatstiletto Jan 7, 2009 10:37 AM


I'll be in Chicago the next week for an externship (living/working in the loop) and was hoping someone could point me to a couple of places with tasty vegetarian small dishes (of whatever cuisine) and a bar or attitude comfortable enough for a college girl to sit back and watch life for a while. Places that have kick-ass olives and/or interesting, crafted cocktails get gold stars. Nothing ridiculously expensive, but I'm willing to go out on the town at least once while I'm there. Thanks!

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  1. j
    jbontario RE: chocolatstiletto Jan 7, 2009 11:43 AM

    Since you like the Italian greeting, I suggest you check out Quartino (State and Ontario) which is exactly what you're describing --sit in the bar to the left behind the host stand. You may also enjoy Bin 36 next to House of Blues that will fit your criterea. Enjoy.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jbontario
      ferret RE: jbontario Jan 7, 2009 12:18 PM

      Ditto Quartino. Bar's open late and they have a great assortment of small plate offerings.

      1. re: ferret
        LadyintheKitchen RE: ferret Jan 7, 2009 04:34 PM

        Definitely Quartino!!

      2. re: jbontario
        nsxtasy RE: jbontario Jan 7, 2009 02:41 PM

        Yup, Quartino ( www.quartinochicago.com ) and Bin 36 ( www.bin36.com ) are good recommendations. So are Cafe Iberico ( www.cafeiberico.com ), for Spanish tapas, and Avec ( www.avecrestaurant.com ), for Mediterranean small dishes. Note that Avec features communal seating; the restaurant has 5-10 bar stools and another half dozen eight-tops, so it's expected that you'll be seated with people you don't know, and everyone's friendly (usually). Beware long waits at all of these places on prime times on weekends.

      3. c
        chocolatstiletto RE: chocolatstiletto Jan 8, 2009 06:58 AM

        Thanks so much! I may have to wine and dine myself more than once, given the choices. Any thoughts on Mercat a la Planxa? I'm coming from Philly, which is well decorated by Garces restaurants, but the menu seems enticing.

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