Need help finalizing itinerary. Moto, Spiaggia, TRU, Trotters or Everest?
I will be coming to Chicago for a second visit this weekend. On my first visit back in April I really enjoyed Alinea, Schwa, Purple Pig, Topo and Frontera was underwhelmed with L2O.
For my upcoming trip I have reservations to Schwa on Thursday, Next on Friday and brunch at the Publican on Sunday. I'm still up in the air for dinners on Saturday and Sunday and can't decide between Moto, Spiaggia, TRU, Trotters and Everest. I'm leaning towards Moto and Spiaggia, thoughts?
1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
945 W Fulton, Chicago, IL 60607
2300 Lincoln Park West, Chicago, IL 60614
980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Personally I don't think Moto is in a class with the others you named. It is quirky and call on molecular gastronomy, but IMO does "interesting things" for the sake of them being interesting, not because they are great.
If it were me, I would choose Spiaggia, Everest or TRU. I had a bad experience with Everest service-wise recently, but the food was outstanding. My last visit to Trotters was boooring. He just hasn't kept his edge.
I agree with chicgail on all counts. In particular, her description of Moto expresses my opinion more articulately than I could ever do myself. :)
I have two other comments. One is, are you sure you want to do two more high-end restaurants, since you're already eating at Schwa and Next? That would make your dining itinerary rather single-minded. Even though I enjoy high-end haute cuisine as much as anyone, when I'm visiting another city and trying a lot of restaurants, I try to vary things a bit, with a handful of high-end places, supplemented by others that are more casual (and moderately priced, although that is not a primary concern), and even some "cheap eats" type places. OTOH I have a friend whose main objective is to try as many high-end places as possible, and plans trips where she eats at one after another after another. I think of hers as the "Mae West strategy", i.e. "Too much of a good thing can be wonderful."
The other thing I would strongly advise is to have some sort of backup plan if Schwa cancels your reservation at the last minute, as they frequently do. Not necessarily a duplicate reservation for which you could be a no-show, but at least give some thought to exactly what you plan to do if they do cancel. Maybe you have a web-enabled smartphone on which you can go to Opentable to find openings, maybe you want to keep the phone number of your hotel's concierge handy, maybe you would instead go to a place that doesn't accept reservations anyway - but it's something I recommend thinking about ahead of time, just in case.
Enjoy your visit, and feel free to ask more questions!
Thanks for all your input. I cancelled my reservation to Moto and made one for TRU on Saturday and Spaggia on Sunday.
Regarding Schwa, I'm aware they can be flakey so I made a backup reservation to Blackbird and will cancel that once I'm confirmed with Schwa.
945 W Fulton, Chicago, IL 60607
Blackbird is very good. Not my favorite, partly due to the cramped seating and high noise level, but the food is consistently good. But there are lots of interesting finer dining restaurants in Chicago, and Blackbird is only one of them. For contemporary American cuisine, our best also include Naha, Perennial Virant, North Pond, Boka, Deleece, and Sable. And we have some great contemporary versions of other cuisines, too, such as the contemporary Italian at Piccolo Sogno and the Florentine, and the contemporary Mexican at Mexique and Mundial Cocina Mestiza. Plus there are all the other types of food where you can have a nice dinner, such as tapas at Mercat a la Planxa, Latin fusion at Carnivale, and French bistro fare at La Sardine, just to name a few more. There's lots of great food to be had in Chicago, and you can have an excellent creative meal at any of these without spending as much as at the high-end places.
Mundial Cocina Mestiza
1640 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608
1729 North Halsted, Chicago, IL 60614
111 N Carpenter St, Chicago, IL 60607
2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
Mercat a la Planxa
638 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605
1800 N Lincoln, Chicago, IL 60614
1529 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Deleece Restaurant (on Southport)
3747 N. Southport Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657
464 N Halsted, Chicago, IL 60622
500 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610
702 West Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60661
Sable Kitchen & Bar
505 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60654
151 W. Adams, Chicago, IL 60601