looking for a great Thursday lunch
I'm getting sworn into the Illinois Bar and would like to go out to a fancy lunch afterwards with my mom and fiancé. We'll be in the Loop, but can drive anywhere.
For this occasion, price is not an issue. I would like to avoid Tompolobampo (I'm apparently the only person out there who didn't love it) and all chain restaurants, but otherwise am totally flexible.
I haven't lived in Chicago for some time and I'm drawing a blank. Any help would be much much appreciated!
You really don't need to drive anywhere. Some of our very best Italian restaurants are in the Loop itself: Cibo Matto, the Florentine, and Vivere. There are also a couple of excellent contemporary American restaurants in the Loop: Atwood Cafe and Rhapsody.
There are plenty more great restaurants in the neighborhoods surrounding the Loop (and walkable from the Loop - I wouldn't drive). These include Blackbird for contemporary American in the West Loop, Sable and Naha for contemporary American in River North, David Burke's Primehouse for steaks in River North, and Shaw's Crab House for seafood in River North.
If, by "fancy lunch", you're thinking about one of our top expensive high-end restaurants, that won't work; none of them are open for lunch.