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Oct 5, 2010 10:43 AM

Visiting Chicago for a Week

Later this month, I'll be coming to Chicago for a week, meeting a friend from NY. I'm much more of a foodie/cook than she, but she's sent me some recommendations from friends in NY who know Chicago. They've recommended we go to Salvatore's and/or Tarantino's. I don't find anything about these restaurants here and am wondering what the Chicago food community can provide in terms of info about these two places. Thanks!

1112 West Armitage, Chicago, IL 60614

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  1. I think both restaurants are decent middle-of-the road maybe somewhat-better-than-standard neighborhood Italian. It seems to be that Salvatore's specializes in wedding receptions. The food would probably be pretty good, although not one of those memorable silver-box dining experiences.

    I (we) would be happy to provide you with some specific suggestions for your trip if you'd like them. Where will you be staying? Will you have a car or be using taxis and public trans. What is your budget? Is it specifically Italian you're looking for or something else?

    1. If you're meeting someone from New York, I would recommend something other than Italian cuisine, just because that's so predominant there. In particular, our more creative Mexican restaurants, such as Mexique in West Town or Mundial Cocina Mestiza in Pilsen, are outstanding and unlike what she can find at home. (If I had to recommend one Italian restaurant in Chicago for someone coming from New York, it would be Cibo Matto, because it's excellent but the food is contemporary/global rather than conventional Italian.)

      Mundial Cocina Mestiza
      1640 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

      1529 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

      Cibo Matto
      201 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601

      1. I'd like to tag onto this thread. I'll be making my yearly one week trip to Chicago the week after turkey day, and while I have a list of favorites, I'm always interested in hearing new suggestions. I'm finally getting to Alinea this trip. I've been to Tru and to Trotter multiple times. Was disappointed in L20 last year. Enjoyed Crofton on Wells, Naha, Perennial and Sepia very much. Oh yeah, I'm from Santa Monica (SoCal) and will be staying in the Mag Mile area. No car, but love taking the El, long walks weather permitting, or a cab if necessary (I love to take the El to Trotter and then take the 45 minute walk back to our Mag Mile hotel at midnight!) Also, any breakfast suggestions?

        1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

        Crofton on Wells
        535 North Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60610

        500 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610

        1 Reply
        1. re: smgradman

          Since you obviously enjoy contemporary American cuisine, here are three recommendations in the Mag Mile and River North area. Sable is a restaurant in the new Hotel Palomar, and the cuisine from Chef Heather Terhune (formerly of Atwood Cafe) is wonderful, and bargain-priced too. They also feature artisanal cocktails. I've always enjoyed the cooking of Chef Martial Noguier in numerous dinners at Cafe des Architectes (despite a couple of folks here who have had not-so-great experiences in single visits), and on Sundays through Tuesdays it too is a bargain with their "neighborhood friends menu". Finally, MK is a longtime favorite.

          For breakfast, go to the Original Pancake House on East Bellevue. The cafe at Fox & Obel is also very good. For more suggestions, see this discussion:

          River North Breakfast Ideas -