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INTRODUCING DAUGHTER TO CHICAGO FOOD FOR FIRST TIME

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My daughter is leaving hubby and two tots at home for a Chi meeting mid-July. I'm meeting her
there for the weekend - technically we have five meals: Friday and Saturday lunch, Saturday
breakfast, Friday and Saturday dinner and Sunday brunch.

I am a foodie and fan of Rick Bayless, so Frontera for lunch or dinner is a definite. Several
other places which have been recommended were not mentioned in the recent lengthy three
days in Chicago thread. Money is not an object (not that we want to go crazy) and precious is
out which eliminates Alinea. Suggested: Table 52, 3rd floor of Art Institute for lunch, Purple
Pig and Bristol. I love North Pond so that is a definite possibility. We eat almost everything.
Girls just wanna have fun! (and eat well - not to mention drink well).

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Alinea
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

North Pond
2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614

Table fifty-two Restaurant
52 West Elm Street, Chicago, IL 60610

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  1. If you're a foodie, a fan of Rick Bayless and money is not a concern, I strongly suggest dinner at Toplobompo, Bayless' more upscale place.

    4 Replies
    1. re: jjo

      I agree. That way you don't have to risk a long wait for a table at Frontera Grill, since it's easy to get reservations at Topolobampo.

      If you want to eat dinner at Topolobampo in July, make your reservation now, because they've been booking up this far in advance.

      Table 52 is another place that books up well in advance, so if you want to go, make your reservation now. (Like Topolobampo, they accept reservations on Opentable.com) I haven't been there (the menu on their website hasn't inspired me to want to go).

      Terzo Piano (Tony Mantuano's restaurant in the Art Institute) is supposed to be good, but don't overlook Cafe Spiaggia either, his other moderately-priced Italian restaurant. I haven't been to Purple Pig or Bristol yet. North Pond is always a delight.

      In Chicago, there are always way more excellent choices than you can hit in a few days time. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask!

      1. re: nsxtasy

        nsxtasy, obviously you are a foodie who have lived all over - kind of like me. one of my
        chicago friends is loving prairie fire these days. what do you think? here's what i'm
        thinking at this point - one lunch (maybe) at the art institute; one at frontera. one dinner
        at table 52; one at prairie fire (maybe) or . . . need sunday brunch suggestions before
        we get on our separate planes to fly west (her) and east (me). thanks for your help.

        1. re: tafttiger

          I haven't been to Prairie Fire but wasn't all that impressed in my several visits to Prairie Grass Cafe, Sarah Stegner's other place.

          If you're going to one of Bayless's places for lunch, then I recommend Topolobampo rather than Frontera Grill. The prices are quite similar to each other for lunch, and you can make an advance reservation for Topolobampo.

          What about North Pond for Sunday brunch?

          1. re: tafttiger

            Two other options you might enjoy:

            Dale Levitsky's Sprout
            http://www.sproutrestaurant.com/

            and

            Mercat a la Planxa
            http://www.mercatchicago.com/

            When my daughter, who is working her way up to chef, was in town for the holidays, both of these were a big hit with us.

            My work team, which spends a lot of time talking chicago food, also really likes Province
            http://provincerestaurant.com/

            and Naha
            http://www.naha-chicago.com/

            and raves about Green Zebra brunch.
            http://www.greenzebrachicago.com/

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            Green Zebra
            1460 W Chicago, Chicago, IL 60622

            Naha
            500 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610

      2. Some great places I often take visitors are:
        - Cafe Ba Ba Reeba or Cafe Iberico: for Tapas and Sangria!
        - De Cero for Tacos and Margaritas (although if you're already hitting Mexican with Topo or Frontera, this may be a pass)
        - Mia Francesca: For delicious Italian (either on Taylor St. in little Italy or Clark St. in Lakeview)

        Have a great time! Hope your daughter LOVES the city! :)

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        Cafe Iberico
        737 N Lasalle Drive, Chicago, IL 60654

        Mia Francesca
        3311 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60657