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Feb 25, 2009 08:52 PM

Good eats near the Hilton Chicago?

My husband will be in Chicago tomorrow night and will be taking a colleague (who is also not from the area) out to dinner. My husband is an adventurous eater and up for anything. I would say he'd be looking to spend around $60 per person. We know Chicago is full of great eats, so what would you recommend?

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  1. Go to Mercat a la Planxa, a new tapas restaurant just up the street that is getting rave reviews from everyone.

    Another excellent place nearby is Custom House, whose cuisine is contemporary American with an emphasis on meats, also just a few blocks from the Hilton. However, you may have trouble getting a 3-course dinner for $60 unless you're there early for their $46 pre-theater menu (5:00/5:30) or otherwise limit yourself to entrees.

    Other than those, you may want to look into other restaurants that are participating in Restaurant Week (and Chicago Chef Week). The special RW/CCW menus (3 courses for $32) should fit any of them within your budget. Opentable has a special page set up so you can see at a glance which places participating in Restaurant Week have openings: and the same for Chicago Chef Week: For details about the promotion and recommendations on the best places that are participating, see Top picks that still have openings at desirable times tonight: Aigre Doux, Cafe Spiaggia, Atwood Cafe.

    You'll find recommendations for moderately-priced restaurants in the vicinity of the Hilton in the discussion at

    1. Just to add a little variety to the mix, about 5+ blocks to the south you'll find Gioco, one of the better Italian restaurants in the area, particularly if you like Tuscan specialties, Altho it's not one of my favorites, across the street from Gioco is Opera, a pan-Asian restaurant. About equidistant to the north is Lockwood in the Palmer House, very similar IMO to Custom House.

      All of these should be in your price range. Towards the lower end in price, is Chicago Curry House, a new restaurant that has opened in Dearborn Park, a couple of blocks to the West of the Hilton with some Nepalese specialties, and a very pleasant atmosphere as well as bar service.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jbw

        Yes, those are good suggestions too. I almost mentioned Gioco and Opera, but decided not to because their proximity (about 3/4 mile from the Hilton) isn't as close as the two close-by recommendations (which IMHO are better, too). Same thing for Lockwood to the north (although the place to the north I almost mentioned was Rhapsody). If any of these places are of interest, note that Lockwood and Rhapsody are participating in Restaurant Week. Although Gioco and Opera are participating in Chicago Chef Week, their regular prices aren't that different from the CCW promotion.

        If you enjoy sweeter items for breakfast, go to Bongo Room (at Roosevelt and Wabash) the following morning!