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Hyde Park dinner recs

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A friend of mine and I will be down exploring the business school at the University of Chicago on Saturday afternoon, and we're looking to finish with a nice meal. I'm a Hyde Park neophyte, so any and all suggestions are appreciated.

Favorite downtown/Northside restaurants include Avec, Publican, and all of Shawn McClain's restaurants; local is always a plus; and we're fine with up- or down-market spots, though nice atmosphere is appreciated -- I'm trying to prove a point on Hyde Park's cultural/culinary attractiveness.

As always, thank you !!

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  1. La Petite Folie, I think, is as close as you'll come to the above mentioned places. More French than American innovative, but reasonably pleasant and a high quality of ingredients and preparations. No lunch on Saturdays but a an inexpensive prix fixe for Sat dinner.

    Other possibilities: Piccolo Mondo (mid-range Italian with its ups and downs, currently experiencing ups, I think), and Park 52 (a Jerry Kleiner restaurant, which I assume is comparable to other Jerry Kleiner restaurants in ambience/price/quality, but I haven't been).

    1. The food at La Petite Folie is stellar classic French and the spot is considered to be somewhat of hidden gem in the city. If you're a fan of Avec and Publican, though, I imagine that you might find the crowd and decor to be a bit mature and subdued. If you're wanting more of a downtown-style place, I think Park 52 (5201 S. Harper) is definitely your best bet. The menu is contemporary American, with an emphasis on southern cuisine. Like Jerry Kleiner's other spots in the city (Carnivale, Redlight, Marche), the interior of Park 52 is gorgeous and the food is elegant and high quality, although not particularly innovative.

      ~MsHydePark (http://mshydepark.blogspot.com

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      La Petite Folie
      1504 E 55th St, Chicago, IL 60615

      Park 52
      5201 South Harper, Chicago, IL 60615