Blue Line Spots
Staying in Rosemont just off the Blue Line. Need recomendations for spots 3-4 blocks away from a Blue Line Stop. Did a search but don't understand Chicago enough to understand where the places are. Like local places with great food. Cost is really no object ( but it would be better if it was reasonable) as it's only going to be for 1 night.
One way to do it is look at the Blue Line map on www.transitchicago.com, and then search on restaurant addresses close to the stations. Google maps, given an address, will also show what El stops are nearby.
A few to consider:
Lula Cafe @ Logan Square stop. My #1 favorite restaurant in the city. Creative, eclectic modern farm-to-table food. The regular cafe menu has very excellent cheap eats. The specials menu continue to dazzle me after all these years.
Cafe Matou @ Western stop. Note that there are 2 Western stops on the Blue Line itself. Coming from Rosemont, you want the first Western stop before you get downtown, not the one towards Forest Park. Anyway, Cafe Matou is a good, fairly traditional French cafe without the traditional heavy sauces. My personal pick for romantic restaurant for personal reasons (this was the first place that DH and i discovered together). They have a prix-fixe dinner special usually on weeknights.
Spring @ Damen stop. Excellent seafood place by celebrity chef Shawn McClain. Also, tons of places galore around Damen.
La Scarola & Piccolo Sogno @ Grand stop. La Scarola is an old school red-checked tablecloth Italian place. Always a fun time. Piccolo Sogno is more traditional Italian (i meant, Italy-Italian, not American-Italian) from the former chef of Coco Pazzo. Great outdoor patio space.
La Scarola Italian Restaurant
721 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
2537 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647
1846 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60647
2039 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647
A couple of quick thoughts for you to consider: Smoque (a 1-2 block walk from the Pulaski Rd. Blue Line stop). and Bari Foods (3-4 block walk from the Grand Ave. Blue Line stop), for a great Italian sub in a handful of varieties. More information about both will be revealed if you use "google," including the Google Maps feature.
Wherever you have dinner, stop off at Western for dessert at Margie's, Western & Armitage. The specialty is hot fudge or caramel sundaes served in a great big seashell dish; the topping comes in a separate pitcher so you can pour it on ad lib. I think Margie's has been serving this since about 1925, something like that. See Chicago Yelp for detailed descriptions and reviews of these sundaes.
Easy answer in my humble opinion: Get off at the Damen/Milwaukee stop, which is the heart of Wicker Park/Bucktown. There is lots of action at this six-corner intersection, and lieterally any direction you walk in will lead to many great options, some of which have already been mentioned (e.g., Spring, Mado). I would suggest walking three blocks north on Damen and go to Bluebird (owned and frequented by locals), which is a "gastro-pub" serving great food along with great wine and beer.
I 2nd Bluebird. Hot Chocolate is right next door. Actually, make it a great night with Violet Hour, Bluebird, Hot Chocolate. Violet Hour for fantastic old-school cocktails (start the night there early so you're not dealing with the wait). Bluebird for laid back vibe, good food, and beer (or wine). Hot Chocolate for fantastic desserts.
The Violet Hour
1520 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622
1747 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
1749 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
All of these are great spots. I would also mention a couple Mexican taquerias, if you're into cheap taco dives. Off the Western el - Arturo's, and off the Division el - La Pasadita.