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Saturday Lunch for visitor from Boston?

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Hi Everyone,
I'll be in Chicago this weekend and was planning on returning to Art Smith's restaurant for lunch but alas they no longer are open during the day (and i was craving those incredible goat cheese biscuits)! I love great food (from Blackbird, Avec, and Tru to Carson's Ribs) so could you recommend a GREAT lunch experience in the city? I've been to osteria via stato and the other osteria across the street and enjoyed those too-- anything except asian or seafood would make my crowd happy.

thanks for any and all ideas!

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  1. For a GREAT dining experience, one of Chicago's greatest strengths in food is the versatility of our Mexican restaurants, especially for provincial Mexican food (in addition to the more conventional Mexican food you find anywhere in the States). The good news for Saturday lunch is that several of our most creative Mexican restaurants are open for brunch on Saturdays, which is a great time to enjoy their cuisine. These include:

    Frontera Grill, in River North - www.rickbayless.com/restaurants
    Mundial Cocina Mestiza, in Pilsen - www.mundialcocinamestiza.com
    Mexique, in West Town - www.mexiquechicago.com

    Check out their brunch menus on their websites!

    My other suggestions are a bit more conventional and not as unique to Chicago.

    The really highest-end "haute cuisine" restaurants are not open for lunch any day of the week. One exception is NoMI, which is excellent. www.nomirestaurant.com

    Among the casual fine dining restaurants, not many are open for lunch on Saturdays, but here are a few of our best that are:

    Cafe Spiaggia (Italian, on the Mag Mile) - www.cafespiaggia.com
    Mercat a la Planxa (tapas, in the South Loop) - www.mercatchicago.com
    Atwood Cafe (contemporary American, in the Loop) - www.atwoodcafe.com
    Aria (pan-Asian/global, in the Loop) - www.ariachicago.com

    Many of the steakhouses are open on Saturdays for lunch, including David Burke's Primehouse ( www.brguestrestaurants.com ), Saloon ( www.saloonsteakhouse.com ), Joe's ( www.icon.com/joes ), Morton's ( www.mortons.com ), etc.

    And, of course, most of the places serving our delicious Chicago-style deep-dish pizza are open on Saturdays for lunch, including places that serve the single-crust "pizza in the pan" style (e.g. Uno/Due, Lou Malnati's, Pizano's, Gino's East) and those with the double-crust "stuffed" style (Giordano's, Bacino's, Edwardo's).

    If you'd prefer breakfast/brunch type foods, most of our restaurants that specialize in that, including Bongo Room, M. Henry ( www.mhenry.net ), and Lula ( www.lulacafe.com ) are open for brunch on Saturdays.

    Enjoy your visit!

    P.S. You would never get into Table Fifty-Two at the last minute anyway. They were booking up far in advance even before the Obamas had Valentine's Day dinner there last weekend, and now it's even harder than ever to get a reservation!

    1. Also it may be of interest to note that 130 of our restaurants will be participating in our local Restaurant Week promotion while you are here, with special bargain-priced 3-course menus for lunch and/or dinner. For details, see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/585615