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New & Fun

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We're taking my brother from Phoenix out to dinner next week and are thinking of someplace with both good food and a little bit of "Wow!" factor. He's not a big seafood lover so we've been debating between Sushi Samba Rio and Custom House. But, we haven't been anyplace new since De La Costa and Aigre Doux, and were wondering if any Chicago Hounds would have some ideas. Thanks for any efforts to steer us to new & fun!

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      1. re: ferret

        Mercat...what foods do they specialize in? I've never been but I'm hearing good reviews on this place.

        1. re: LadyintheKitchen

          It's Spanish tapas. Fun atmosphere. Great drinks. Been there several times and I haven't been disappointed once. I just wish I could eat/drink more.

      2. Blue 13 is great. Food, service and music were excellent. I'm going back. The Caesar salad was my favorite - very uniquet. Here's my post on my blog on this if you want to read more about it.

        http://chicagobelly.blogspot.com/2009...

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        1. re: chicagobelly

          Just tried Blue 13 and was pretty disappointed. It's a cute place with a good concept. Very nice accomodating server.

          Overly sweet drink with pomegranate. Wine (a French chardonnay) that was metallic with a bitter aftertaste. They said they were out of the sauvignon blanc.

          Appetizer was good -- pork belly with an oyster tempura and a really excellent kim chi. My fish entree was burned and under-seasoned. Couldn't taste any salt or pepper. They were great and comped it, but really didn't need to b/c i ate as much as I could.

          It looks like they've been around for at least a few months. I would have expected them to have the kinks worked out by now.

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          1. Great suggestions. We made resos at Mercat,. Thanks much.