Need help for a family of five
Taking the kids to Chicago so the high end foodie places are out. In the past my wife and I have enjoyed Charlie Trotters, Everest, Tru and Frontera amongst others. With the kids we need to take another approach. They like steak and Italian. One night we will go to Lawerys for Prime rib. This brings me back since I used to go there when I was a kid. My kids like prime rib. For Italian, I am looking for a nice family style place that is higher in quality than a Bucca. As an alternative I was thinking of Gene and gerogettis if that place is still in business. They always had good pasta and charred beef. Other thoughts??
I was also planning on Lou Malnatis for lunch as well as the Weiner Circle ( is it safe to go there for lunch with kids?)
How about a great brunch place for Sunday??? Thanks!!!
Some quick thoughts about your questions:
Harry Caray's serves pretty good steaks and Italian, and it can be lively, entertaining and it's not uncommon to see sports or other celebrities there - in the River North location - and the children (and adults) may enjoy it. Malnati's is a great place for pizza, though - and the pasta is pretty good (the red sauce there is a favorite of mine - and the meat balls are almost as good as "home made").
Portillo's in River North would be better than Weiner Circle, IMO. The food is varied - including the signature Chicago-style hot dogs or beef sandwiches - and it's entertaining. Mr. Beef would be a good choice for Italian beef sandwiches, too if the family would enjoy that.
Most of the better "family-style" places are outside the center part of the city (I'm thinking of the likes of Bruna's, Vernon Park Tap, Sabatino's), but check out Quartino's, Coco Pazzo Cafe, Trattoria 10, Osteria via Stato -- all midlevel interesting places far above Bucca quality (I think of G&G's as primarily an adult place nowadays, unless your kids are considering entering politics.) Weiner Circle is quite appropriate for kids during the day. The real fun starts after midnight.