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feedback on recent trip

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Appreciate all the good posts and info--just back from w/end in Chicago and had great time--

Briefly, Fri lunch at Feast, near hotel and pleasant sidewalk cafe. Catch 35 Fri dinner (met friends, they chose)--sea bass was quite good, perfectly cooked, asian-inspired sauce wasn't overly sweet, salmon was so-so but we like ours seared outside, sashimi inside. Hubby reported martinis were good.

Sat lunch at Purple Pig--loved it--but agree might get too noisy for dinner, was quite lively even for late lunch. Particularly liked the hazelnut salad, bone marrow smear, and grilled scallions. Interesting menu, fun atmosphere, good energy, cute helpful servers and ?owners? making sure all ran smoothly--definitely would go back to explore more of the menu.

Couldn't get North Pond reservations for Sat and had made them for Graham Elliot, but decided to change last minute based on concierge at hotel and ended up at Naha. Upscale atmosphere, smoothly efficient service, and they paired wines for us which was nice. Started w/tuna tartare for hubby and fois gras for me, both excellent. Main courses--I forget his but it was excellent too, I had scallops w/vanilla bean glaze--very good but I shouldn't have followed w/another sweet dish, my mistake. Too full for dessert, portions quite decent...

Sun we had brunch at North Pond--so glad we couldn't get dinner reservations since we were able to wander in the park on a beautiful morning--my favorite meal. $32/person 3 course brunch, food all great. Particularly liked his starter of salmon w/teeny melon balls, teeny dark croutons, and some soupy stuff poured around (bad description but worked wonderfully). My smoked salmon starter was also top notch. Main courses--hangar steak and a pork dish (tenderloin slices accompanied by a big cube of ?pork belly broiled and caramelized/glazed on top--another bad description but richly tasty). Desserts: blueberry-lemon mousse layered in parfait glass, tangy-tart, and a very sweet flourless chocolate cake w/raspberry sorbet/drizzle. Both desserts were tasty but fairly heavy (of course we'd had quite a few glasses of nice Viognier by then too which probably filled us up...)

Anyway, thank you for all the great info, we look forwards to coming back!

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Catch 35
35 W. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60601

North Pond
2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614

Naha
500 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610

Graham Elliot
217 W. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60654

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  1. What a great visit. Thanks for the report. You hit a lot of really good spots.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Very helpful.

      Just out of curiosity, do you remember why the concierge warned you against Graham Elliot? Nothing against Naha, which is another good choice...

      1 Reply
      1. re: nsxtasy

        They didn't so much warn us as they said "oh, yess, it's a nice place...." which immediately made me ask a little more :) seems the 3 different concierges I talked to (didn't want to go by just 1) all felt like the food got a little too far out there for their tastes, gave a sense the restaurant is trying a bit too hard to push the envelope. On another night we would have gone for it, but we were in the mood for something a little more conventional.

      2. I'm considering Purple Pig for a Saturday lunch. How long did you have to wait? They don't take ressies, right? I could do it on Friday lunch, but I feel like it my clash with, and and make me too full for, my Girl and the Goat dinner res. thanks.

        1 Reply
        1. re: danna

          It all depends on what time you go and whether there's any large parties. We usually try and go for lunch either right around when it opens or shortly after and you're correct- no reservations. So far, we haven't had to wait, but I've also been there for lunch when a very large party showed up and filled up more than half the place, but luckily we had already been seated. If the weather is nice, they'll have outdoor seating, which helps add to the space since it is so small inside.