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Anything new near The Palmer House hotel?

c
chefsalad Apr 19, 2010 09:08 PM

We are in town for our annual conference and I am always looking for new places, but preferably at least one within walking distance of the hotel (1/2 mile or less)

Where is the best place nearby to get drinks/beers and good bar food?

Also is there a good Italian beef place nearby for a late night visit?

We have always benefited from the excellent advice from this board....thanks in advance.

We'll be there this week from Wed. April 21 to Sunday morning, April 25.

  1. j
    jjo Apr 20, 2010 09:24 AM

    For beer and good bar good, The Gage on Michigan Ave has both.
    For dinner, Mercat a la Planxa on south Michigan Ave is a modern tapas place.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jjo
      j
      jbw Apr 20, 2010 10:58 AM

      Agree on Gage, no contest there.

      For IB, checkout distances and times for Al's on Taylor (iconic, but likely a short taxi ride) and Portillo's on Ontario.

      1. re: jjo
        f
        ferret Apr 20, 2010 11:06 AM

        Both have been around since before his last visit so they're not really "new."

      2. nsxtasy Apr 20, 2010 01:53 PM

        I would have mentioned Mercat a la Planxa too, even though it's been around for over a year.

        One place that has opened within the past year is Cibo Matto, in the Wit Hotel, a few blocks north of the Palmer House. I haven't been there but the menu sounds very appealing. It's at the top of my "gotta try" list. www.thewithotel.com/the-attractions/c...

        -----
        Cibo Matto
        201 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

        1 Reply
        1. re: nsxtasy
          nsxtasy Aug 11, 2010 01:34 PM

          I tried Cibo Matto a month or two ago and I liked it a lot. Like Vivere, the food is Italian but a lot of the items on the menu are often found on contemporary American menus too. I enjoyed the braised short rib entree, loved the polenta side dish, and the best item of the meal was an amazing dessert featuring cardamom panna cotta. The decor is super-contemporary.

          I also ate at Lockwood a couple of months ago. It was just okay. The food sounded good, but the service was slow and several of the courses arrived not that hot (temperature), which seemed to reflect the slow service (and this was on a weeknight when they were not full).

        2. s
          Shaggy Apr 20, 2010 02:35 PM

          I enjoyed Lockwood, which is in the Palmer Hotel, in case you were feeling like staying in. Otherwise, the Gage is a no brainer. I also really like Villain's bar for drinks (and good burgers), as well as Hackneys, also for great burgers, or Kasey's for beer. I realize these aren't new, but you mentioned beer and bar food, and these are where I would go for a good craft beer list and great burgers (Villains and Kaseys both have really good specials as well).

          1. nsxtasy Apr 20, 2010 04:51 PM

            You know, there are two places on Wabash near the Palmer House that are great for drinks/beers and bar food/burgers. They aren't new; in fact, they've been there for years, but they're still there, still worthwhile too:

            Miller's Pub (since 1935) - www.millerspub.com
            The Exchequer (since 1969) - www.exchequerpub.com

            7 Replies
            1. re: nsxtasy
              t
              Tripper Apr 20, 2010 05:36 PM

              When I worked in the loop I visited both Millers and Exchequer regularly...both were excellent. Will be in Chicago Friday...thanks for reminding me!

              1. re: nsxtasy
                c
                chefsalad Jan 6, 2011 09:55 PM

                Just found out we will be returning to the Palmer House last week of march-first week of april. As every time in, we will have drinks at Millers...good bartenders, huge menu available late at night, and we should be able to catch the last of the fresh fried smelts! (I'm a sucker for a tiny fried fish with lemony and garlicy dip!)

                Any new stuff in the neighborhood? We ALWAYS have brunch at Heaven on Seven and I think we won't have any rookies with us so we won't have to eat pizza...sorry chicago, I just don't need to have it every time.

                Someone told me there is great chinese bbq joint in town...nsxtasy, you have been my culinary guide for these trips for years now...any idea about this place?

                Looking forward already....happy new year

                -----
                Heaven on Seven
                600 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

                1. re: chefsalad
                  m
                  masha Jan 7, 2011 08:24 AM

                  I suspect that the Chinese barbecue place that you've heard of is Sun Wah. I've not been there but it seems to have quite a following.

                  1. re: chefsalad
                    nsxtasy Jan 7, 2011 10:34 AM

                    Welcome back!

                    I have not been to Sun Wah. It's in Uptown, about 7 miles north of the Palmer House; take the CTA Red Line to the Argyle stop.

                    The only new restaurant of significance in the Loop opened since your last visit is Henri - at least, it's the only one I can think of off the top of my head. It's a French restaurant from the folks at the Gage next door. I haven't been there.

                    I'll throw another recommendation out there for you, though: Sable, in the Hotel Palomar. It's not exactly near the Palmer House, but it's a couple of blocks from the Rush Street location of Heaven on Seven where you've had brunch, so I assume that's close enough. Chef Heather Terhune formerly ran Atwood Cafe for ten years and is in command of the kitchen, and the food is fabulous. It's contemporary American cuisine, and many of the items are available in smaller portions as well as larger ones, so you can try a lot of them. The food is also quite reasonable in price. Don't miss the sweet corn creme brulee! They also hired a head mixologist from the Violet Hour and have put together quite an extensive menu of artisanal cocktails. The only downside is that it can get very noisy. www.sablechicago.com

                    1. re: chefsalad
                      m
                      masha Jan 7, 2011 12:15 PM

                      One other new restaurant in the Loop is The Florentine in the new JW Marriott Hotel at Adams and LaSalle. It was just reviewed in yesterday's Tribune by Phil Vettel. The chef is the former chef at Cibbo Matto. I've not been but Vettel gave it a very positive review.

                      1. re: masha
                        s
                        Shaggy Jan 7, 2011 12:57 PM

                        Good suggestion, it was excellent when I went a month ago.

                        1. re: Shaggy
                          nsxtasy Jan 7, 2011 01:06 PM

                          Yes, the Florentine is definitely a good suggestion. I loved Todd Stein's food when he was at Cibo Matto. I see they've finally posted their menus on their website at www.the-florentine.net

                  2. d
                    delk Jan 7, 2011 02:55 AM

                    While It's no secret that I dislike Al's (including, and especially the Taylor St. location) it has taken me years to realize people should enjoy what they want!

                    Al's fans will decry that the franchises are lousy, but for what it is worth, one of them opened up on Jackson & Wabash.

                    Disclaimer: They do have (and I do enjoy them) great fries! (the chili cheese fries are really bad though).

                    1. j
                      jfoumb Jan 19, 2011 06:22 PM

                      There's a restaurant and bar called State/Lake (at the intersection of State and Lake in the Wit hotel), good beers and food.

                      1. c
                        chefsalad Mar 30, 2011 02:44 AM

                        Okay, here is the last minute wrinkle: we scored reservations at Topo for Saturday night at 9:00. This was a few months ago. BUT...we are coming from Richmond, VA, specifically VCU and our kids are playing in the Final Four NCAA Basketball tournament.

                        SO...we are thinking about (GULP!) canceling our reservations so we can watch the game (at 630) and then we'll need a place to celebrate (either outcome, our kids are playing AWESOME!)

                        So...any good place near the Palmer House to watch the game with good snacks and drinks? And where to eat LATE on Sat. night?

                        Finally, if we had to take a cab to eat out, fun, good atmosphere, great food, great drinks, but NOT $100+ per person, WHERE would any of you suggest? As always, THANKS!!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: chefsalad
                          nsxtasy Mar 30, 2011 06:07 AM

                          >> SO...we are thinking about (GULP!) canceling our reservations so we can watch the game (at 630) and then we'll need a place to celebrate (either outcome, our kids are playing AWESOME!)

                          Well, with a 6:30 pm tip-off, barring an unlikely triple-overtime scenario, the game should be over in time for you to still make your reservation and celebrate (or commiserate) over dinner at Topolobampo at 9:00.

                          >> So...any good place near the Palmer House to watch the game with good snacks and drinks? And where to eat LATE on Sat. night?

                          Miller's Pub is right next door to the Wabash Street entrance of the Palmer House, with dining till 2:00 and drinking till 4:00. www.millerspub.com The Exchequer is on the next block south and is open till midnight. www.exchequerpub.com

                          >> Finally, if we had to take a cab to eat out, fun, good atmosphere, great food, great drinks, but NOT $100+ per person, WHERE would any of you suggest?

                          Sable, in the Hotel Palomar. You could even walk it; it's about 3/4 mile. The food is fantastic, and many of the dishes come in half portions so you can try more things. I've stuffed myself on $30 of food there. Don't miss the sweet corn creme brulee! They also have amazing artisanal cocktails. www.sablechicago.com

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