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Special Lunch Suggestions (I've trolled the board, but can find no consensus)

Bring Back the Stein Aug 3, 2009 08:55 AM

Visiting from out-of-town and am not current on where to take someone for a special lunch on a Tuesday or a Wednesday (lived here in the 90s, which, I know, is a lifetime ago).

No restrictions in type of cuisine. We are adventurous, but also like some comfortable New American. And while we're not loaded, we are willing to spend some coin on the meal since this is a big day.

We'll be traveling from Rogers Park, and then from business on the West Side, but are mobile.

Last lunch of this type was at North Pond Cafe. Thus far, my list has Urbanbelly and Sarajevo Cafe on it. Any help appreciated.

  1. chicgail Aug 3, 2009 12:02 PM

    I agree with all the suggestions above. Here are some others.

    Lulu's in Logan Square. More neighborhoody, casual and less expensive than Blackbird, but farm-fresh food and you can sit for a while.

    Rick Bayless' Topolobampo or Frontera Grill (Frontera being the more casual of the two) would be lovely.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chicgail
      Bring Back the Stein Aug 3, 2009 08:42 PM

      Great suggestions above. More than anything, I'm relieved that they're snark-free and smart. I hate to date myself, but went to the Topolobampo soft opening. Since we'll be back in two months, I wouldn't mind more tips...

    2. m
      mountsac Aug 3, 2009 11:41 AM

      blackbird has a pretty good lunch menu. you can do a la carte or the $22 3-course prix fixe. good deal and delicious contemporary american fair.

      another place great for lunch is province - very seasonal and market-oriented.

      both are probably slightly less high end than north pond (more business casual) but still have a nice ambiance.

      Blackbird Restaurant
      619 W. Randolph, Chicago, IL 60606

      161 N Jefferson, Chicago, IL 60661

      1 Reply
      1. re: mountsac
        ms. chow Aug 3, 2009 08:23 PM

        Around this neighborhood, include Sepia as well for business casual, nice ambiance, and excellent modern food. If you are in the mood for Japanese, Meiji is an excellent option.

        123 North Jefferson St, Chicago, IL 60661

        623 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661

      2. m
        marciab Aug 3, 2009 10:34 AM

        While Urban Belly is delicious, it's a world away from North Pond Cafe. It's very casual (order at the counter & community seating) so maybe not what you are looking for in a special lunch restaurant. I'm not familiar with Sarajevo Cafe.

        1 Reply
        1. re: marciab
          Eldon Kreider Aug 3, 2009 07:46 PM

          Restaurant Sarajevo, aka Cafe Restaurant Sarajevo, is a decent Bosnian restaurant in the western portion of Lincoln Square. The atmosphere is nicer than the other Bosnian restaurants I have eaten at. Very good cevapcici. This is very different from North Pond or Urban Belly. BYOB and a lower price point than OP's other two reference points.

          Restaurant Sarajevo
          2701 W. Lawrence Ave.
          Chicago 60625

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