2 dinners and a lunch - HELP
I love Chicago but have not been to the windy city in years (10+). Have a very quick trip planned in mid-June. (BTW - what will the weather be like? Hot? Humid? Raining?)
I need to know from the high brow (Alinea is on my list if i can find someone to go with me at $300 a head) to the dives. I can food crawl with the best of them....
I like everything. I know i want deep dish pizza. I don't really eat steaks, but love a good burger.
I will be staying near Wrigley Field but have access to a car and can always take a cab.
Also - RANDOM - any glass studios in the city where I can blow some hot glass?
>> I love Chicago but have not been to the windy city in years (10+). Have a very quick trip planned in mid-June. (BTW - what will the weather be like? Hot? Humid? Raining?)
In mid-June the weather is normally very pleasant, with a normal high of 80F and a normal low of 60F. Obviously it could be warmer than that or cooler than that, but that's typical. It can also be slightly cooler if you're near the lake (typically within a mile or so). It could rain but on any given day it's not likely; we really don't have a rainy season or a dry season.
>> I need to know from the high brow (Alinea is on my list if i can find someone to go with me at $300 a head) to the dives. I can food crawl with the best of them....
June reservations at Alinea first became available on April 1 and may be sold out by now. You'll have to call them to ask. I recommend doing so right away, just in case they still have an opening when you're here. You can always cancel between now and then if you need to do so.
If you can't get a reservation at Alinea, there's no real consensus on what's next best in town, but the names most often mentioned are Everest, Charlie Trotter's, Avenues, TRU, Spiaggia, and L2O. You should still be able to make a reservation at any of them on Opentable.com but don't wait till the last minute.
>> I like everything. I know i want deep dish pizza. I don't really eat steaks, but love a good burger.
>> I will be staying near Wrigley Field but have access to a car and can always take a cab.
For deep-dish near Wrigley, here are two options. If you want the classic single-crust "pizza in the pan", go to Lou Malnati's, which has a location at Wrightwood, Lincoln, and Sheffield. For the double-crust "stuffed pizza", Giordano's has a location on Belmont. Either way, you can phone ahead with your pizza order to avoid waiting 30-45 minutes for your pizza to bake.
For burgers, some of the best options include going to David Burke's Primehouse in River North at lunchtime; going to Edzo's in Evanston at lunchtime; or going to Kuma's Corner (be prepared to wait a looooooong time at Kuma's).
For a nice casual dinner in Lakeview, I really love Deleece. They offer contemporary American cuisine in a bistro atmosphere, and the prices are nicely affordable. www.deleece.com I've posted reports at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/757360
Also in Lakeview, I like the creative provincial Mexican cuisine at Mixteco Grill. http://chicago.menupages.com/restaura...
>> Also - RANDOM - any glass studios in the city where I can blow some hot glass?
I don't know but I know the Chowhound Team prefers that discussions here concentrate on food and beverage and not stray too far.
Finally, here are links to two discussions that will give you an overview of what Chicago has to offer. This discussion tells what foods and places are unique or specialties in Chicago, foods that Chicago is particularly good at:
first time Chicago - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/693477
This discussion has an overview listing some of our best in various food categories, as well as advice for getting the best value for your dining dollar:
Where are the best Chicago dinner *values* - the hidden gems? - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/697829
Feel free to ask more questions, and enjoy your visit!
For a good burger and one I like more than Kuma's, try The Bad Apple on Lincoln and Cullen. Parking is usually easy to find on the side streets but it is also easy to get to by public transporation. It is in the Lincoln Square neighborhood. The Black n' Bleu is my favorite with the Edmound Fitzgerald a close second. The beer list is also really broad and the bar tenders know their stuff.
For glass-blowing, check out Lill Street. My sister just took a glass-blowing glass there. Also, the First Slice Cafe in the building is pretty top-notch. Plus, some of the proceeds goes to an organization that provides food for the needy. Check it out.
For high brow (in addition to those already mentioned) I'll give a shout out for Ria at the Elysian Hotel. I ate there after they received a two star rating from Michelin and haven't been back since they changed chefs but the Chicago Tribune food critic gave it a three star (highest) review since the change. Nsxtacy has panned Ria quite vocally but my experience differed markedly with hers. From my limited two visits I find the way to go with this place is to order the tasting menu. I found the food, service and atmosphere sublime and memorable.
I am not a fan of deep dish pizza but am a fan of burgers. In addition to the other places mentioned I recently ate at Urban Burger Bar where I had a decent burger with Brie and onion jam and very good truffle fries. The place has a nice atmosphere and vibe and I might have recommended it if I hadn't been blown out of the water by a small, (no tables only counters) dive in the River North area called Big & Littles. Wow! That place serves a moist and deliciously seasoned, cooked to order burger. The truffle fries were also delicious! Far better than UBB but UBB has it on amenities and atmosphere not to mention a really great selection of beers.
Enjoy your stay!