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May 5, 2009 06:06 PM

Dinner 'downtown'?

We are going to be at McCormick for the Restaurant show in a couple weeks on a Saturday. I tried searching for a really long time, but I don't know the city. And if I had my druthers we'd be eating Vietnamese or Korean or Indian...The criteria: 8 people from the 'burbs, Houston, Knoxville, and Chicago. Probably not ethnic, and all that was said to me was not the Chophouse, too expensive, but someplace fun, good food, moderately priced. We're staying at the Tremont. Thanks!!

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  1. There are lots of restaurants near the Tremont, including some of the very best in the entire city.

    Cafe des Architectes ( ) is in the Sofitel, just a block or two down Chestnut Street from the Tremont, and is IMO the very best contemporary American restaurant in the city. It's also a beautiful space. And it's a bargain, considering the quality! The three-course seasonal menu is priced at $42; furthermore, on Sunday through Tuesday evenings, they also offer a "neighborhood friends" menu with three courses for $29.

    Cafe Spiaggia ( ) is the best mid-priced Italian restaurant in the city, and it's three short blocks north of the Tremont. Be careful if you're checking the menu on its website, because it shares the same website with its very expensive sister restaurant, Spiaggia; make sure you click on "CAFE".

    Bistro 110 ( ) is a decent French bistro a block south of the Tremont.

    If you think you can get away with Vietnamese food if it's served in an upscale townhouse setting, Le Colonial ( ) is a couple blocks away.

    Pizano's on State ( ) offers excellent Chicago-style deep-dish pizza a couple blocks west of the Tremont. Not fancy, but you probably already guessed that. Call ahead with your pizza order if you want to avoid waiting 30-45 minutes while seated for your pizza to bake.