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Sommelier/Chef looking for yummy food in Chicago!!

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Can I get a few recommendations for dining near the downtown core. We're staying at the Fairmont. I'm a Sommelier and was a chef in Italy for a number of years, but am looking for something not too posh. We will be there Fri/Sat and are looking for quaint, tasty and fairly priced fare. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Oh yes, any interesting beers I should be looking for while there? I usually drink stouts, IPA's and Belgian ales, thanks again.

 
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  1. Re beer, are you looking for local brews? Goose Island is the most popular. They have their own restaurant in Lincoln Park. Great ones in the area include Three Floyds (IN) and Domaine Dupage. A lot of places carry these beers. For places with HUGE beer selections, check out Map Room, Hop Leaf, or Publican. Of the 3, Hopleaf has good organic chow, Publican has great, tasty dishes.

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    The Map Room
    1949 N Hoyne Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

    The Publican
    837 W. Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

    Hopleaf Bar
    5148 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

    Goose Island Brewpub
    1800 North Clybourn, Chicago, IL 60614

    1. Solga Restaurant is a challenge to your known world. This is about having a nice grill right in the middle of your table to cook meats. The side dishes are enough to make you think about the main meal. There are only a couple of beers from Korea and Japan.
      This is about just having fun with your food without feeling stuffy.
      Oh! I forgot to tell you that Solga is a Korean Restaurant. Try to grill the short ribs on your table and enjoy the beer with the rest of the meal.
      The place is very clean and modern.

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      Solga Restaurant
      5828 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60659

      1. The Gage is nearby. Search board for much positive commentary:

        http://www.thegagechicago.com/