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One lunch, one dinner in Chicago - Avec, Blackbird or Green Zebra?

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I'll be in Chicago for meetings next week and have already shamelessly coerced my boss' PA into setting up a team dinner at Frontera Grill, a longtime favourite. :o) This leaves me precisely two meals free before I hop back on the plane to Brussels. I'd like to spend those meals eating some exciting, well-sourced, sustainable if possible "American" cuisine.

I'll be downtown (our offices and my hotel are on the River at Clark and at Michigan, respectively, and don't want to venture TOO far afield -- so am hesitating at the moment between Avec, Blackbird and Green Zebra.

So, Chihounds -- if you had to choose two of those three for a lunch and a dinner, what would you choose? Many thanks in advance.

(And if I'm missing the boat completely and should try something else, let me know! It's also entirely possible that I might end up going back to Frontera for another Mexican fix -- something entirely IMpossible to get here in Brussels!)

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  1. avec doesn't do lunch services. i'd go to blackbird for the lunch prix fixe. i personally would prefer avec over green zebra for dinner because of the value. but avec has communal tables. if you are looking for more of a casual fine dining experience for dinner, green zebra is a better bet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mountsac

      avec has pretty limited menu and my opinion is that the food at green zebra is better. have you considered cafe spiaggia or sepia? those are options worth looking at as well.

      1. re: lmchicago

        "avec has pretty limited menu". What is your basis for that statement?

        @Kelly. I 2nd mountsac's rec.

    2. I just returned from a long weekend in Chicago and would definitely recommend Blackbird and especially Avec. Speciifially,the cheese salad, cuttlefish, bouillabaisse, "fried chicken" , sturgeon and banana dessert at Blackbird and the cobia, eggplant crostini, cauliflower salad and the stuffed dates at Avec. Would take a pass on Cafe Spaggia, not bad, but nothing special and Sepia, beautiful room and great service, but again nothing special food wise.
      You may want to consider The Lounge at L2O for dinner. Not much of a lounge (3 tables), but based solely on food and service it was very good. would pass on the Octopus though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nuggieg

        Avec is amazing. The Menu is always changing so it's great to go again and again. The food is farm fresh, earthy, unique, and full of flavor. With the small plates you can try more dishes from the menu that you wouldn't want to miss. I haven't been to blackbird yet but the publican is also really good, get the pickles.