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Sep 18, 2009 03:44 PM

Where to go for amazing high end food?


We are big SF foodies who have one night in Chicago. We wanted to do Alinea or Schwa but of course (devastatingly) we can't get a reservation on the Saturday night we are in town. One of us just went to Trotters last month so she wants something different. What is the next best restaurant if you can't go to those three? I realize that Chicago has an amazing array of totally different restaurants in all price ranges but we want something in the Alinea/Schwa/Trotters class of special.

I'm leaning toward Tru but would love to hear from the local experts.

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  1. I would consider Avenues, TRU, L2O. In that order.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ms. chow

      Just to clarify. I LOVE all 3 places. Just that if i have to rank, that would be the order i'd give it.

      Here's Avenues' blog.

      1. I've been to L2O, Alinea, Trotter's, Blackbird (lunch,) Spiaggia, North Pond, and TRU. In order, based on the quality of food and experience:

        Alinea > L2O > Trotter's > TRU > Blackbird > North Pond > Spiaggia.

        1 Reply
        1. re: uhockey

          Everyone's experience is different of course and everyone's tastes are somewhat different. I would place TRU above Trotters easily and I'm not sure North Pond would make the list for food, but perhaps for the experience.

          1. Another vote for Avenues here. I haven't eaten all over town, but I have been to Avenues and Schwa and I found the calibre of cuisine very comparable between the two, albeit in radically different environments (couldn't get much further apart in terms of style and service than those two really). The wagyu ribeye at Avenues is in the discussion for the best thing I've ever eaten.
            If you were interested in Schwa or Alinea, it might interest you to know that Chef Duffy shares common roots with Achatz and Carlson going back to Trio where Duffy was sous chef.