Coming to your wonderful city for July. My last visit was two years ago. Had wonderful meals at Charlie Trotter's, Naha and Blackbird. I would like to return to all three. Am staying in River North but do not mind traveling. Open to all cuisines and price ranges. Planning to go to Everest to celebrate a special occasion.
I am looking for hidden gems with great and/or unusual food. I live in Miami which does not have good Chinese, Mexican or Greek. Prefer non-tourist places. Any Indian spots besides Devon Ave? Is Berghoff's still around? I remember it from my childhood.
Thanks in advance.
816 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
500 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610
Your inquiry is interesting because your first paragraph sounds like you enjoy contemporary upscale dining but your second paragraph sounds like you enjoy ethnic places that are not necessarily upscale. So...
For your contemporary upscale dining, Everest is excellent, one of our very best. If you enjoyed Charlie Trotter's, you might also enjoy Alinea, considered by many one of the best restaurants in the world. www.alinearestaurant.com For a slightly less lavish experience (comparable to Naha and Blackbird rather than Trotter's), I recommend North Pond, serving contemporary American cuisine from James Beard nominated Chef Bruce Sherman in an exquisite setting in the middle of Lincoln Park (the park itself, rather than the adjacent neighborhood of the same name). www.northpondrestaurant.com
Responding to your specific questions in the second paragraph...
>> I live in Miami which does not have good Chinese, Mexican or Greek.
Our best Chinese food is in Chinatown, three miles south of the Loop. In particular, for Szechuan food, Double Li is excellent. http://chicago.menupages.com/restaurants/double-li
The most creative Mexican restaurants are Rick Bayless's Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in River North, but you should be aware of the reservation dilemma. Topolobampo accepts reservations on Opentable.com ; it generally books up for dinner three months in advance but you can book weekday lunches without that much lead time. Frontera Grill accepts only a handful of reservations over the phone, and holds most of the dining room for walk-in traffic. There is usually no wait if you arrive shortly before they open, and even on weekdays, waiting times may be small, but on Friday and Saturday nights the waits can be lengthy. If you eat at the bar you can order from either menu. www.rickbayless.com/restaurants
We have other creative Mexican restaurants as well. Salpicon, in Old Town, is quite close to River North. www.salpicon.com My two favorites are Mundial Cocina Mestiza in Pilsen on the near south side, www.mundialcocinamestiza.com and Mixteco Grill on the north side, http://chicago.menupages.com/restaurants/mixteco-grill
As for Greek, Greek Town, just west of the Loop, is the place for that. You can find links to their websites in the discussion at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/119233
>> Any Indian spots besides Devon Ave?
Yes, although there isn't a consensus favorite, either on Devon or elsewhere. India House is in River North. www.indiahousechicago.com An interesting variation in River North is Vermilion, which combines Indian cuisine with Latin American food. www.thevermilionrestaurant.com
>> Is Berghoff's still around? I remember it from my childhood.
Yes. It briefly closed, then re-opened. www.theberghoff.com
You have named some specific cuisines, but not others, and I'm not sure if you would consider other types of food. If you'd consider Italian, Cafe Spiaggia is always a great choice. www.cafespiaggia.com We have some excellent French bistros, including several in River North: Brasserie Jo www.brasseriejo.com Kiki's www.kikisbistro.com Bistro 110 www.bistro110restaurant.com Or, to get away from River North, the West Loop, where La Sardine is located, isn't far. www.lasardine.com
Some other types of cuisine you may not have thought of include tapas, for which I'd recommend Mercat a la Planxa in the South Loop. www.mercatchicago.com For Pan-Asian, consider Sunda in River North www.sundachicago.com or Red Light in the West Loop www.redlight-chicago.com I suppose you have Latin fusion places back home, but if you'd like to try one of ours, I'd suggest Carnivale in the West Loop www.carnivalechicago.com or Nacional 27 in River North www.n27chicago.com
Feel free to ask more questions, and enjoy your visit!
Many thanks for your reply. Yes, I enjoy almost all cuisines and upscale to dives. Any restaurants with unusual wines? I especially like Alsatians and wines from the Loire and Jura in France. Any recs for Asian places on Argyle? I want to explore Hyde Park on this visit. So, any restaurants in that area?
>> I especially like Alsatians and wines from the Loire and Jura in France.
Then Everest is perfect!
>> Any recs for Asian places on Argyle?
Most are Vietnamese, and the most well-known is Tank Noodle.
>> I want to explore Hyde Park on this visit. So, any restaurants in that area?
There is a huge discussion that has been frequently updated over the years; check it out at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/119212