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One 39th Birthday dinner... and I can't decide.

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I am the most indecisive person ever. It's probably because I'm a pisces. Anyway, I am trying to find a place to surprise my husband for his 39th, next Thursday.

I was originally thinking Sable. We like good, casual, flavorful food. We celebrated our anniversary at North Pond a few years back. And even though it was fine, we can't seem to remember anything about it. Where as, we remember a simple burger we had at Kuma's years ago. Last year, I took him to Xoco, which he likes. We've been to Frontera a few times too.
So, I thought I was set on Sable. Went back to look at the menu again and couldn't quite find what I liked the first dozen times I looked at it.

Then today, while reading the boards, I read a few good things about Sprout. I know I can get an early dinner reservation which is fine with us since we tend to be early birds. But, now I am having second thoughts about Sprout too. It's a lot more money...
Is it worth it? Is there something else that I should be considering instead? We love food but we aren't the most adventurous eaters(no organ meats). As for cost, Sprout would be on the top end of what I want to spend.
Please help me pick some place my husband will love.

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  1. As another possibility, have you considered Deleece, on Southport in Lakeview? I ate there last year and was so impressed we went back for New Year's Eve, and loved it (see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/757360 ). The food was excellent, and the style was casual bistro, very neighborhood-y and friendly. It's moderate in price, with entrees in the high teens to low twenties. www.deleece.com

    Since you like Frontera Grill, you might also try one of our other creative Mexican places, like Mexique in West Town or Mundial Cocina Mestiza in Pilsen. Both are also casual bistro in style, and not quite as crazed as Frontera. Prices are similar to Deleece, with entrees in the high teens to low twenties. www.mexiquechicago.com www.mundialcocinamestiza.com

    (I really do love Sable too, though.)

    2 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Any mention of Deleece merits a shout-out for Sola (the restaurants are separately owned by sister-chefs). Sola is lovely and I've never had a bad meal there (we went three times in one week after our first visit). Like Deleece it's off the beaten path (which I find to be a good thing).

      http://www.sola-restaurant.com/

      1. re: ferret

        Sola is good too, but it tends to be somewhat more expensive than Deleece. Whereas entrees at Deleece are in the upper teens and low twenties, they're mostly in the upper twenties at Sola. Sola has a three-course prix fixe special Mondays through Wednesdays for $30; Deleece does the same thing on Mondays and Tuesdays for $20 (and has half price bottles on Wednesdays).

        Incidentally, I believe Carol Wallack, Sola's owner, is still a working chef at Sola. Her sister Lynne and her (Lynne's) husband own Deleece, but most of the culinary direction comes from Chef Brandon Canfield, who is awesome.

    2. Thank you both for your advice. My husband is the most laid back, happy with anything, type of guy. I am putting pressure on myself for no reason because regardless of what I choose, he's going to love it. Deleece and Sola sound great... especially their weekday prix fixe. Perfect for a tuesday evening.
      I think I'm going to skip Sprout and go back to Sable.
      What are your thoughts on Lunch vs. Dinner at Sable? We both have the day off and were thinking of spending the day in the city anyway.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gelato_in_Roma

        >> What are your thoughts on Lunch vs. Dinner at Sable?

        Either should be good. I haven't had lunch at Sable but the website menu sounds similar to their dinner menu, just with a somewhat smaller selection.