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Province, Eve, Aigre Doux or Graham Elliot

Spending the weekend in Chicago. Already booked at Alinea on Friday, need help picking a restaurant for Sat lunch and Sat dinner. Was thinking Province, Aigre Doux, Graham Elliot for Sat night. We've already eaten at Sepia, Moto, Blackbird, mk......loved them all. Please help me decide.All suggestions welcome.

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  1. We have so many contemporary American type restaurants and so many of them are excellent! It's a difficult decision. I loved Aigre Doux, haven't been to the others. I also recommend Cafe des Architectes and North Pond.

    Keep in mind that most such places are not open for lunch on Saturday, so that may be a deciding factor for that meal. However, many of the steakhouses and most ethnic neighborhood restaurants are open for Saturday lunch.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nsxtasy

      >> Keep in mind that most such places are not open for lunch on Saturday (nsxtasy)

      >> Not sure if Aigre is open during lunch. (jbontario)

      Cafe des Architectes is open for lunch during the week and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

      Eve is open for lunch during the week. There's a discrepancy in the weekend hours for Eve between Eve's own website and Opentable. Their own website says they are open for lunch on Saturdays but doesn't mention Sundays; their listing on Opentable says they are open for brunch on Sundays but doesn't mention Saturdays.

      Province is open for lunch during the week, but not on Saturday or Sunday.

      North Pond is open for brunch on Sundays, not open for lunch/brunch any other days of the week.

      Aigre Doux and Graham Elliot are not open for lunch at all.

    2. Are you sure you can snag a reservation at all these places so late in the week?

      1. Sorry for the confusion, I'm spending next(the) weekend in Chicago. And by checking Opentable most of all the mentioned still have many openings.

        1 Reply
        1. re: skypilot

          Yes, Opentable makes it easy to check a lot of places for openings at the same time.

          Regarding availability, if you need a reservation for a night other than Saturday, you can often get a desirable time even at the last minute for all but a very few restaurants that you can count on your fingers (Alinea, Table 52, Gibson's, and I'm not even sure what else). Saturday nights are tighter, but you can still often find reservations without too much trouble. When checking Opentable, I am usually surprised by how many great places DO have availability, rather than how many DON'T. Also keep in mind that occasionally a place that doesn't show availability on Opentable can still accommodate you if you try phoning them.

          Bottom line is this: If there's a place you want to go, try checking on Opentable, and calling if necessary; don't just assume that they won't have availability.

          Unfortunately, the economic recession is creating a lot more availability now, too.

          Just to give you an idea about last-minute availability, I'm going to check Opentable now (Thursday night) for THIS COMING Saturday night, even though you (skypilot) are not coming till NEXT weekend. And right now, Saturday night is wide open at Aigre Doux, Eve, Graham Elliot, and Cafe des Architectes; North Pond has 5:45 and 8:45, nothing in between, and Province has nothing.

        2. I too really like Aigre Doux, but I also recently had a great meal at Province--they specialize in organic ingredients and varying sizes of plates so it's a great share place. You can't go wrong with either. Not sure if Aigre is open during lunch. Graham Elliot redid the menu about 4 months ago and I have not tried it, but I think there are other reviews on this site post-menu change.

          1. I have been to all four. It really depends on what you are looking for. Graham Elliot is more "avant garde" if you will, Province is Latin fusion (or something similar to Latin fusion), Aigre Doux is French/American, and the most like Eve. I would take Province out... I did not really like the ambiance or the food all that much. The other three I enjoyed, both in food and atmosphere., so I would go by the menus online to see which you prefer.

            Have you been to Schwa?