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Dec 21, 2009 12:08 PM

NYE w/ 2 teens?

We have my sister and brother-n-law coming to town for NYE. They are 15 and 17 and love to try the "big city" restaurants when they are in Chicago.

We'd like to go somewhere that will be really festive. Here are our hopes:

1. Somewhere downtown. It's just "cooler" that way.
2. No more than $100/person.
3. Somewhere that would allow business casual attire.
4. Somewhere with food for the 17-year-old with an adventurous pallette and food for the 15-year-old who is pretty picky.

We were thinking of Billy Graham or Tizi Melloul. We haven't been to Billy, but went to Tizi a few years ago and thought the atmosphere was fun.

Last year, we took them to Marche and they LOVED it.

Any other ideas?

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  1. I think you mean Graham Elliot, not Billy Graham - LOL!

    There are really many, many restaurants that fit what you're looking for (and I'll leave out French bistro type places, since you went to Marche last year). The two you mention are possibilities. A couple more places that immediately come to mind are in the West Loop, near Marche: Red Light (pan-Asian, ) and Carnivale (Latin Fusion, ). Excellent options in River North and near Michigan Avenue include David Burke's Primehouse (steaks and seafood, ), Cafe Des Architectes (contemporary American, ), Cafe Spiaggia (Italian, ), Coco Pazzo (also Italian, ), and Nacional 27 (Latin fusion, ).

    You'll need to check with the restaurants to see what their arrangements are for NYE. Prices are often sky-high for later seatings, not too bad earlier in the evening. They may give details on their own websites, or on the NYE listing on Opentable, where many of them accept reservations - You can also check the listings on Metromix at

    1. Mercat a la Planxa has a lot of big-city pizzazz (and really good food). Tapas is a nice way to get the 15 year-old to try new options (or retreat to more comfortableones).

      2 Replies
      1. re: ferret

        I like Mercat a lot, but I'm not sure the 15-year-old would go for it. I know, the "small plates" format allows for more tasting, but almost everything there is pretty unusual, with bold, strong flavors. To help you decide, you might want to check out the menu on their website at

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Ha... yes! Graham Elliot!!

          Thanks for these suggestions! I've never been too impressed by Red Light, but Carnivale had a good atmosphere. That is definitely an option!

          We ate at Mercat a couple months ago and it was wonderful. However, we've done tapas with them quite a few times, so maybe something a little different?

          I really have been wanting to try Cafe Des Architectes. I'm going to try that one out!

          Thanks, all!

      2. Hi! I work for Tizi Melloul and I know that we would be thrilled to have you come back and visit us. Depending in what time you are looking to sit for dinner we still have some availability for our Crescent Room which would be great for the teens (and you!). It's a really unique space that looks sort of like a genie bottle. This link includes an image of the space, not the best, but you can get a feel for it We are offering a limited a la carte menu as well for NYE and you can check out exactly what we'll be offering if you click the link on our homepage. Please feel free to call us anytime at 312.670.4338. My name is Elizabeth and I'm here everyday from 10am-2pm or you can ask for one of my owners after that point. (Steven of Michael) Happy Holidays!

        1. I would think Japonaise or Carnivale.