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May 25, 2010 01:10 PM

Visiting from Philly need recs

My wife and I will be visiting your great city the weekend of June 4th. We are staying in the river north area. Need a dinner rec for 1 night. We are restaurant owners ourselves and value smaller restos where emphasis is on food. Some of our faves in Philly include Bibou, Amada, and Lolita. (if that helps). Also looking for a place to catch the Flyers game on Friday that is not a sportsbar. TIA

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  1. We just tried the Purple Pig, which has been getting a lot of great reviews, and we loved it as well. It's small plates, but it's also a very small place- and no reservations, so not sure if that's a problem for you, but if not, take a look at their menu and see if it interests you. There are lots and lots of great places to eat in River North, so if not this place, let us know what type of food sounds good, price point etc.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ms. mika

      This looks fabulous... Thanks. We are also considering Blue 13 if anyone has input. Also still looking for a non sports bar to watch cup game.

      Blue 13
      416 W. Ontario Street, Chicago, IL 60610

      1. re: Nigeltab

        Most bars in the city will be showing the game. Close to River North, I'd recommend Brehon Pub, O'Callaghans or Green Door Tavern. Go Flyers!

        Brehon Pub
        731 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654

        Green Door Tavern
        678 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60654

        1. re: chicago09

          Blue 13 is really nice, I live next door. Comfortable atmosphere, great menu.

          Green Door doesn't really have good TVs for watching.
          Brehon is not bad, but my favorite these days for watching games and enjoying good food is Market on W Randolph street.

          Blue 13
          416 W. Ontario Street, Chicago, IL 60610

    2. Thanks again for suggestions... We had a fabulous time. Below is a brief rundown of our weekend.

      Breakfast - Went straight from Midway to Wishbone. (Randolph St location). This is a ritual for us when in Chicago and the shrimp & grits were amazing as usual. Washed down with some beet/carrot/ginger juice and I was good to go. Ran into MJ as we were walking out which was pretty cool too.

      Lunch- Purple Pig - We had an amazing lunch here with brother/sister in law who are from Chicago. Ordered a lot of the menu. Everything was well conceived and executed. Service was flawless. Some standouts were the neck bone gravy (which was almost as good as my grandmas) pigs ears and the octupus. The cheese selection was also brilliant.

      Dinner - Blue 13 - We arrived here early for our 8pm resy to watch the Flyers game. They graciously accomadated our request to push back dinner to 9:30. Had a very nice vibe and the service was great. I really wanted to love the food but was a little dissappointed. We had the duck confit raviolis and point reyes wedge for starters. The raviolis were good and may have possibly been even better if they were served hotter. My wife had the hot and sour cod and I the steak & eggs on acid. The cod was pedestrian and my tenderloin was cooked to proper temp and again good not great. We did have a great time here because once again the service was outstanding and the GM gave us a great suggestion for Saturday lunch.

      breakfast- Fox & Obel - Great gourmet grocery store. Grabbed a cinnamon swirl, double almond croissant, French toast breakfast sandwich , and coffee.... Perfect.

      Lunch- Paramount Room- this was a great recommendation from the night before. If I lived in Chicago, I would be here way too much. This is a top notch gastropub. Beer selection was amazing and the food... Steak tartare was sublime and the Kobe burger cooked perfectly.. We also had a special of pork tacos which were as good as any carnitas tacos I have had. Once again, friendly knowledgeable staff.

      Dinner- Carnivale- This was my sis inlaws choice to celebrate her bday. A large celebratory space. Food was excellent and well executed. Considering the size of this place I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food. We share guacamole, ceviche tasting, bife angosto, churrasco, and the mama mendez arroz con mariscos. All of the beef was cooked to requested temps and the rice / seafood dish was amazing.

      After dinner- Matchbox - Very cool bar. Incredibly talented bartender who changed my wifes normal Pernod rocks into a magical concoction.

      Late night- Billy Goat - I would regret this in the morning, but the double burger with sunny side egg and Oldestyle beer was a perfect end to this night.

      Brunch- Publican - this was a perfect sunday morning brunch spot. Bright and airy and wonderful food. We shared the ricotta and honey plate. The pistachios made this dish. Wife had the red wine poached egg and I had the confit of pork sammy. Wonderful, well executed food in a beautifully designed location.

      Dinner- Purple Pig- Had to make a return visit here. Wanted the pork neck bone gravy again but alas the were out. "Settled"for the wagyu beef tips and the rock shrimp appy. Beef was sublime and cooked rare as requested. The shrimp plate was ok. Too much citrus for my liking.

      Blue 13
      416 W. Ontario Street, Chicago, IL 60610

      Paramount Room
      415 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60654

      702 West Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60661

      Billy Goat
      600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

      1 Reply
      1. re: Nigeltab

        So glad you had such a good visit and it's always great to hear how the recommendations worked out!