Henri or Table 52 for Sunday Dinner
We will be in Chicago this weekend for a family reunion and staying on Michigan Avenue.
Coincidentally, our anniversary falls on Sunday night, and we want to celebrate at a restaurant in the area as we won't have a car and will need to walk or take a taxi.
The two restaurants I have found that are open on Sunday for dinner in our vicinity are Henri and Table 52. Any opinions on which to choose would be greatly appreciated.
We are open to any other suggestions as well!
Table fifty-two Restaurant
52 West Elm Street, Chicago, IL 60610
Huh? First of all, Henri and Table 52 are not in the same area; they're over a mile from each other, with Henri in the Loop and Table 52 in the Gold Coast. Second, most of the nicer restaurants in the greater downtown area are open on Sundays, so there should be plenty to choose from. (I'm not sure what in the world you were looking at that only mentioned these two...?)
Where, on Michigan Avenue, are you staying? There are hotels all along the stretch from Oak Street at the Gold Coast south two miles to the South Loop. Tell us the name of the hotel or the cross street and I bet you we can tell you the names of at least half a dozen great restaurants that are open Sundays and within a five-minute walk of your hotel, and are suitable for your special occasion!
My top two recommendations, considering that it's your anniversary, would be North Pond or Spiaggia. But there are a lot more choices in the immediate area of the Four Seasons. Here's more info about them!
Let's start with Italian. I don't know how fancy you want to go, but Spiaggia is only a block away. It's one of Chicago's top high-end restaurants, nationally recognized for its high quality, and the only high-end restaurant in Chicago that features Italian cuisine. It's fancy (jackets required for gentlemen) and expensive (very). It's not to be confused with Cafe Spiaggia, its casual restaurant next door, which is an excellent choice for moderately-priced Italian cuisine. Pane Caldo is another Italian restaurant only a block away and is in between, a bit more expensive than Cafe Spiaggia but not as expensive as Spiaggia. Some people here have recommended Pelago, another Italian place nearby which I haven't been to. Obviously there are several nice Italian places in the immediate area.
If you'd like a good steak, Saloon Steakhouse and Gibson's are both close by, but Gibson's typically books up well in advance. Bistro 110 is a nice French bistro, and Le Colonial is a Vietnamese restaurant in a converted townhouse. Cafe des Architectes is a nice contemporary American restaurant in the Sofitel. deca is a new contemporary French restaurant in the Ritz Carlton. Balsan is a casual Mediterranean bistro in the Elysian. Hugo's Frog Bar is a seafood restaurant next to Gibson's.
I'm going to add one more choice, which is NOT within walking distance; it's about two miles north, so it's a short cab ride. It's called North Pond. The cuisine is contemporary American, from James Beard finalist Chef Bruce Sherman. What makes it extra special and uniquely Chicago is its exquisite setting in the middle of Lincoln Park (the park itself, not the adjacent neighborhood of the same name). It faces its namesake pond, with the city skyline looming over the opposite shore. The renovated building once was a warming shelter for ice skaters on the pond. You can ask for the front dining room with the full-length windows facing the pond, but even if you're in the rear room with the open kitchen along one wall, it's very nice, elegant.
All of these except North Pond are within five minutes walk from your hotel, all are open for dinner on Sundays, all except Spiaggia are no dressier than business casual, and any of them would be suitable for your special occasion. Spiaggia is the only expensive one, where you can expect to spend $175-250 per person with wine/tax/tip; all the others are moderately priced ($75-110/pp or so). Also, all of them accept reservations on Opentable.com You might want to let them know that it's your anniversary when making your reservation (you can do that in the comments on Opentable).
Here are their websites, where you can check out their menus to see what appeals to you:
Spiaggia (click on DINING ROOM) and Cafe Spiaggia (click on CAFE) - www.spiaggiarestaurant.com
Pane Caldo - www.pane-caldo.com
Pelago - www.pelagochicago.com
Saloon Steakhouse - www.saloonsteakhouse.com
Gibson's - www.gibsonssteakhouse.com
Bistro 110 - www.bistro110restaurant.com
Le Colonial - www.lecolonialchicago.com
Cafe des Architectes - www.cafedesarchitectes.com
deca - www.decarestaurant.com
Balsan - www.balsanrestaurant.com
Hugo's Frog Bar - www.hugosfrogbar.com
North Pond - www.northpondrestaurant.com
Congratulations! Hope you enjoy your anniversary dinner in Chicago. And feel free to ask more questions!
>> It sounds like the perfect place to celebrate our anniversary....
I agree, it really is! I just wanted to also outline other options nearby, in case something else struck your fancy.
There are directions on their website about where to have a cab drop you, and then you'll need to walk to the restaurant from there. For the way back the restaurant can call you a cab to pick you up at the valet parking stand. (It really IS in the middle of the park!)