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40th Birthday for Husband

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On the weekend of August 1st we will be in Chicago. I have read many of the boards and still have not made decision for dinner on Saturday night. We presently live in Florida, so restaurants specializing in seafood is not on our list. We will be staying in the Chicago Loop area. We would love to have a great casual fine dining dinner to celebrate his Birthday. Here is the list and would appreciate any opinions on restaurant. We would prefer that the restaurant be romantic, not a requirement.

Cafe Des Architects
MK
Sepia
Graham Eliot

Also, need to plane for a great casual lunch on Saturday as well. Open to suggestions in the loop area. We are staying at Palmer House.

Thanks!!

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  1. Have only been to MK but we love it. Have gone several times over the last decade and it has always been consistently excellent.
    Cafe Des Architects gets a lot of love on the food boards and GE would be a good choice but MK tops your list in my opinion.

    3 Replies
      1. re: hoppy2468

        FYI Cafe Des Architects is not in the loop. Its in River North, just north of the Loop.

        1. re: jjc58

          None of the restaurants listed are in the Loop, but they're all a short cab ride away.

      2. I would recommend in this order:
        MK
        Sepia
        Cafe des Architects
        Graham Elliiot.

        1. MK is wonderful, it has good cocktails and awesome dessert. The portions are large, particularly for "high class" food.

          1. All are very good . . . but also very different (I'll note that I have not been to CDA, but I ate at One Sixty Blue when the chef was there and liked it very much).

            MK market driven and could be romantic depending upon where you're seated . . . Sepia very good but can be very loud. I really like Graham Elliot, although it can get loud too (not as loud as Sepia though). GE offers the most creative menu offerings with very sophisticated takes on comfort food and plays on other dishes.

            1. Thanks for all of the suggestions. I can not wait to come and visit!

              1 Reply
              1. re: kebersohl

                I wanted to give our reviews of the following restaurants Cafe Spiaggia, Frontera Grill and MK.

                Our experience at Cafe Spiaggia was awesome. To start off our server Greg made the meal memorable. He is very experienced and knowledgable about the menu, the wines and the city. We started off with buffalo mozzarella with squash which was delicious and nice change versus with tomatoes. We also had pork cheeks which was the best that I have ever tasted. For the main meal the gnocchi with wild boar ragu was so delicious. We also experienced pizza with prosciutto. And finished the meal with tiramisu. The whole meal was just fabulous. Every bite we took was just unimaginable.

                Frontera Grill:
                We went there for Saturday brunch. Shakira martini was fabulous. We started off with gaucamole and queso fundido and the green and red salsas. Each item was spectacular. I enjoyed both of the salsa's with chips. For the main entree we had enchiladas mole and pork tacos. Both of these were delicious. What a great meal. Next time I will try his other restaurant.

                MK was our last meal and well worth it. Our service was average but the sommelier Patrick was awesome. His customer service was above par. We both had drinks that were great. The anniversary martini was delicious. We started off with grilled squid and raviolis stuffed with goat cheese accompanied with english peas. The ravioli was by far the better of the two. Our main meals consisted of the grilled veal porterhouse and duck. Both dishes were spectacular. We ended our dinner with a banana souflle dessert. It was so delicious.

                Every restaurant really delivered on top quality and tastiness.

                Can not wait to come back.