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Feb 6, 2011 07:14 AM

Vegetarian Birthday Dinner

Hi Chicagoland folks,

I plan to take my boyfriend out to dinner next Friday. We are staying at Hotel Allegro. We have visited Chicago a number of times and tried Avec, Blackbird, Bayless establishments, HB bistro, Green Zebra and Spring. I would love a suggestion for a spot with at least one excellent veggie entree on the menu. (We aren't always so impressed at veggie only places.) We are willing to travel to surrounding neighborhoods. (no suburbs). Ideally it would end up at around $150 for the two of us including tip and a drink. We enjoy the smaller chef run places!

We aren't opposed to rest. week options!
Thanks from Minnesota!

Avec Restaurant
615 W Randolph St Ste A, Chicago, IL 60661

Green Zebra
1460 W Chicago, Chicago, IL 60622

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  1. Just about any restaurant has at least one vegetarian entree on the menu, so that really doesn't narrow things down very much.

    Here are a few of my favorite restaurants in the price range you mention, and the vegetarian entrees on their website menus:

    North Pond (contemporary American, chef Bruce Sherman, Lincoln Park, ) - (1) Squash, Cranberries: Roasted Kabocha Squash-Uplands Cheese Mezzalune, Grilled Leeks, Bourbon Cranberries, Candied Pecans, Brown Butter

    Sable (contemporary American, chef Heather Terhune, River North, ) - (1) Roasted Butternut Squash-Apple Soup, pumpkin seed oil (2) Local Artisan Cheese Board, candied kumquats, pistachio crackers (3) Sweet Corn Crème Brûlée (DON'T MISS!) (4) Roasted Beets, pistachio crusted goat cheese, honey (5) Crispy Red Lentil Cake, coconut curry broth, peanuts, zucchini salad (6) Roasted Acorn Squash, almond-apricot quinoa, saffron sauce (7) Cauliflower Gratin, taleggio cheese, white truffle oil (8) Pumpkin Ravioli, wild mushrooms, brown butter, sage, walnuts

    Atwood Cafe (contemporary American, chef Derek Simcik, Loop, ) - (1) Wild Mushroom Orzo, oven roasted organic mushrooms, root vegetables, mushroom broth (2) Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper, quinoa, tofu, sautéed spinach, cumin tomato sauce

    Deleece (contemporary American, chef Brandon Canfield, Lakeview, ) - (1) Poblano pepper stuffed with Spanish rice and Chihuahua cheese with black beans, salsa, sour cream, pimenton tortilla strips

    Cibo Matto (contemporary Italian, chef Evan Percoco, Loop, ) - (1) capellini, fava beans, broccolini, pomodoro (2) ricotta agnalotti, spinach, preserved lemon, ricotta salata

    Vivere (contemporary Italian, Loop, ) - several pastas (I can't copy from their menu, sorry)

    La Sardine (French bistro, West Loop, ) - (1) Les Raviolis Vegetariens - Ricotta and Herb Raviolis, Vegetable Broth

    All of these accept reservations on except La Sardine, which accepts reservations on its own website but not on Opentable. Cibo Matto, Vivere, and Atwood Cafe are all around three blocks from your hotel; Sable and La Sardine are a bit further but still under a mile. All of these are excellent, but if I had to pick just one, it would be North Pond or Sable. North Pond has its exquisite location in the middle of the park, but it's a bit more expensive and you might not be able to get a reservation (it's worth trying though); Sable is less expensive and rather casual, and offers artisanal cocktails too.

    There are lots more great restaurants around town, and again, almost all of them have at least one vegetarian entree.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Thanks! I have been to North Pond and enjoyed it! We are looking for small places that use local ingredients and are chef operated. I'll look into these are report back.

      North Pond
      2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614

      1. re: chadradchad

        Smaller places tend to be away from downtown. Deleece is a perfect example. Although North Pond isn't all that big, either. And while Sable isn't quite as small, the last time I had dinner there I saw Chef Terhune working away in the kitchen along with her staff.

        As for using local ingredients and chef operated, as I just noted in another topic, you can see a list of local chefs who support the Green City Market, the city's largest and best known farmer's market, at One of them is the chef at 312 Chicago, which is located in your hotel.

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Thanks! We are willing to travel outside of downtown. MK looks nice, but I'll check Sable and Deleece.

    2. You may also want to try Perennial.
      They always have a few vegetarian apps, as well as at least veg. entree. Definitely locally sourced and creative.