Late Night Eating/Hotel/Bar Combination Recommendation
I'm flying into O'hare on Friday of Labor Day Weekend with my significant other, and our flight doesn't get in until 9pm. We're getting up the next morning to head to Milwaukee to visit my in-laws (hurray?), so we'll only be there for a night.
Looking for a unique, local, place to eat dinner that serves after 10pm, an interesting bar to go to after dinner for a night-cap, and then a hotel that is in the same vicinity.
I was hoping to go to Schwa, but it looks like it stops serving dinner at 9:30, so something similar, perhaps? We like a good/interesting wine list, a place with an intimate vibe that isn't too stuffy, and most importantly bad-ass food. Fine with seafood/italian/continental - even better if it's market to table, but open to ideas and price-points.
As far as the hotel, I really don't care, we'll only be there for a night. So I'd like it be decent (Hilton, whatever) but it doesn't have to be anything special.
And we're early 30s, so the bar should be age-appropriate (I'd prefer not to be the oldest person in the place).
Thanks for your help!
Call up Longman & Eagle -- in addition to being a late-night dinner/drinks option, they have a few hotel rooms upstairs. They might still have availability, even if it's a holiday weekend.
Down the street from L&E is The Whistler, one of the finest places to get a great cocktail in the city (though L&E is pretty good, too).
The Purple Pig is very convenient to many hotels on the Magnificient Mile and serves until midnight. I'm not sure what waits are like around 10pm, but I know they can be long during prime dinner hours. Perhaps another CHer can chime in.
Dinner at the Purple Pig -> nightcap at Sable -> breakfast at Xoco the next day, maybe? That would make me one happy traveler!
Here's my trip report from a few weeks ago (we did lunch at the Purple Pig and pre-dinner drinks at Sable):
My in-laws live near Milwaukee as well. :) Have a great trip!
449 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
>> The Purple Pig is very convenient to many hotels on the Magnificient Mile and serves until midnight. I'm not sure what waits are like around 10pm, but I know they can be long during prime dinner hours. Perhaps another CHer can chime in.
It's next door to the Marriott and across the street from the Intercontinental.
By the time you get out of O'Hare and get downtown, it's likely to be more like 10:30 or so. And even though I haven't been there at that hour, it's almost certain that the long waits will have vanished by then. I've heard that confirmed from others as well.
500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Here are a few ideas.
Lula specializes in local/seasonal cuisine. It's open till 11 on Fridays. And it's right near the Logan Square stop on the CTA Blue Line (subway) which you can catch at O'Hare. However, it's not located downtown, where all the hotels are, so if you're thinking you'd like to dump the bags and check in before walking somewhere to eat, it's not such a great choice. www.lulacafe.com
Sable specializes in contemporary American cuisine as well as artisanal cocktails. They serve dinner till midnight on Fridays. If you don't go there for dinner, it would also be a great place for the after-dinner drink. It's in River North, near lots of hotels (it's actually inside the Hotel Palomar). www.sablechicago.com
Quartino specializes in Italian small plates. The kitchen is open till 1 a.m. It's in River North, near the hotels. www.quartinochicago.com
I know the Chowhound Team frowns upon discussions that aren't related to food and beverage, such as hotel advice - so I'll just mention that you can find really great deals on hotels at Hotwire and Priceline, as long as you don't mind the downsides of those "opaque" websites (mainly that you can't change or cancel your reservation, which you must pay for when you make it). Hotwire calls the area around Sable and Quartino "Magnificent Mile", and Priceline calls it "North Michigan Avenue". Right now Hotwire is offering a 4-star hotel (Hyatt, etc) in that area for 2 people that Friday night for $103 plus tax/fees, which is way less than you'd pay on the hotel or typical travel agency websites. (The best rate shown on the website for the Hotel Palomar, which is a 4-star hotel, is $170.)
I thought of a few more possibilities.
If you want super-creative high-end cuisine, TRU serves till 11 pm. They're in the middle of the Mag Mile hotel district too. www.trurestaurant.com
Two of our newest restaurants specializing in creative Italian cuisine with contemporary global influences are located in hotels in the Loop, Chicago's historical downtown area across the river from River North. Cibo Matto is in the Wit Hotel, which also has a rooftop bar that would be great for after-dinner drinks. The restaurant is open till 11. www.eatcibomatto.com The Florentine is in the JW Marriott on West Adams, which is conveniently just a couple blocks from Union Station, in case you are taking Amtrak to Milwaukee, and is open till 11. www.the-florentine.net
Mercat a la Planxa is in the far souteast corner of the Loop, and is perhaps our best tapas restaurant. It's in the Blackstone Hotel and is open till 11. www.mercatchicago.com
If you're taking the CTA Blue Line (subway) from O'Hare, Cibo Matto and the Wit are two blocks from the State/Lake stop, The Florentine and the JW Marriott are Monroe or Jackson stops, and Mercat a la Planxa and the Blackstone are seven blocks from the Jackson stop.
Thanks nsxtasy! Great information.
And I hope I'm not breaking any Chowhound rules by asking about hotels - I don't really even need specific hotel recommendations, I was just hoping for a great hotel/bar/restaurant location so I wouldn't be schlepping all over the city for one night.
>> I was just hoping for a great hotel/bar/restaurant location so I wouldn't be schlepping all over the city for one night.
Of the places I've mentioned above, two stand out as the best for all three in one place: Hotel Palomar has Sable, which is a great place for eating and for drinks, and the Wit has Cibo Matto for eating and the 27th-floor rooftop bar (named ROOF) for drinks.
Hotel Palomar is run by the Kimpton hotel group which has a "get 2 cocktails OR continental breakfast for 2, for $1 more" deal on its web site right now. Most of the time I'd say that these hotel food/drink deals are ridiculous. But Sable's cocktails, which retail at $13, are some of the best in town, both inside and outside of hotels. If only MORE hotel bars were as good!