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Art Institute question

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I have a group of 10 friends that will be visiting the art institute on a friday before lunch. Last time they were here, we went to Frontera Grill. This time I thought we could go to Terzo Piano, but after sampling the food this weekend, my thoughts are great atmosphere, great menu that reads better than the food. The chicken sandwich had way too much bread and the trio of burgers was ok, but not great. Service was great. Also liked the wine list.

So.......recommendation needed. Would you go there just for the atmosphere, view, and novelty? Or to the Gage which is dependable for lunch? Or back to Rick Bayless but to Topolobampo this time? These people really like good food so I'm leaning toward Topolo, but also thought the Terzo Piano's view is stunning. What do you think?

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  1. I personally love The Gage but the Park Grill is also a good option (I'm not a huge fan but know that a lot of people like it).

    1. of the three you mentioned i prefer terzo piano. if you are visiting the museum anyway, it might be worth it to look into getting a one-year membership. i got a student membership for $40. i know they have a "local resident" membership for non-students. a member has free access to the museum and can bring one other person into the museum for free (both original and the modern wing), and you get 10% discount for the restaurant. but then again, i happen to like the food there (i liked the foccacia, the trio of burgers, and flatbread; loved the homemade ketchup), so i guess we have a difference in taste that you need to note.

      topo has great food, but it's hard to get in on a friday without an early reservation. (sometimes the person on the phone for reservation can have a snobbish attitude as well)

      gage's food is good for a gastropub. but it's a bit loud for my taste.

      1. If you do The Gage, get reservations. It's pretty crowded for lunch. They are on Open Table and I have always had luck even 30 minutes before I wanted to eat. That said, my visits were always just me and the partner, I've never made large group reservations on Open Table.

        1. I'd go to The Gage, especially since you have reservations about Terzo Piano. The group can still go to the terrace and soak in the stunning view.

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          1. re: ms. chow

            I've been to Terzo Piano for lunch and dinner, and while I had a good meal, you can definitely do better for lunch. I agree with Ms. Chow....definitely go to The Gage and sneak up on the terrace for a photo op before.after.