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Advice/reviews for an upcoming weekend trip!

s
sbon28 Jan 4, 2012 05:53 AM

Hi all!
We are planning on heading down to Chicago for a quick weekend trip and are trying to figure out where we are going to eat... We will probably end up checking out Floriole and Ruxbin at some point during the trip and are thinking about getting carry out from Great Lake one night
We were very excited to go have a massive brunch at the four seasons but we just learned that neither the four seasons nor the ritz carlton are offering buffet style brunches anymore. We made reservations at the peninsula and were wondering if anyone has had their brunch before? Or if there are any other buffet brunches with quality food to check out? We love the novelty of a buffet brunch but if the food isn't good we'd rather head over to M Henrys or Jam
Also wondering if you guys knew anything about Lula cafe's brunch? We were thinking about going there for Saturday morning
We were also quite upset to find out that neither the ritz carlton or four seasons offer afternoon tea so I was wondering if you had any recommendations for a tea?
Also looking for soft serve/ice cream (was thinking Margie's or Scooters) and sushi (thinking about Katsu)
Thanks so much!

  1. s
    Siun Jan 4, 2012 09:24 PM

    You might also look into the brunch buffet at Sixteen in the Trump building. I haven't had it but was there for a business breakfast and the view is astonishing. The breakfast foods were quite good. Given the pricing of their dinner menu, I'm not sure I'd spring for a dinner there - Chicago just has much more interesting places in that price range for dinner - but I'd love to go to brunch there. Service was stellar as well.

    For your Saturday brunch, consider Perennial Virant - they are doing a great interesting menu and it's lovely to look at the park.

    And for sushi, I'd toss in a suggestion for my favorite overlooked and quite wonderful sushi spot, Mizu on North Ave.

    1. nsxtasy Jan 4, 2012 07:24 AM

      >> We were very excited to go have a massive brunch at the four seasons but we just learned that neither the four seasons nor the ritz carlton are offering buffet style brunches anymore. We made reservations at the peninsula and were wondering if anyone has had their brunch before? Or if there are any other buffet brunches with quality food to check out? We love the novelty of a buffet brunch but if the food isn't good we'd rather head over to M Henrys or Jam

      Last year I happened to be near the Peninsula on Sunday morning, so I took a look at the brunch buffet in their Lobby restaurant. I didn't eat there, but I can tell you that it looked very upscale, with things like mountains of shrimp cocktail, etc. It was also pretty expensive ($70ish). There are also special buffets on holidays at several of these places, with prices in the $110 range (no, I am not kidding).

      My favorite buffet brunch, still operating, is at Shaw's Crab House. It has some of the best anywhere of various types of foods, including breakfast foods (wonderful thick-cut caramelized bacon, benedicts, etc); seafood (terrific crab cakes, Alaskan king crab legs hot or cold); desserts (outstanding creme brulee and chocolate pot de creme). It's around $45 and you can make reservations at Opentable.com or over the phone.

      >> Also wondering if you guys knew anything about Lula cafe's brunch? We were thinking about going there for Saturday morning

      I've been there. It's an a la carte brunch, and very good. Also worth considering is Jam, which you already mentioned and is only a block or two from Lula. And of course M. Henry and M. Henrietta, and Southport Grocery, which are among the best in the city. Saturdays are iffy as far as waits to be seated; you may encounter significant waits at any of these places (and it's even worse on Sundays). I'd take a look at the menus on their websites, also consider where you'll be (since these are in different neighborhoods across the north and northwest sides), and choose what seems best to you.

      >> We were also quite upset to find out that neither the ritz carlton or four seasons offer afternoon tea so I was wondering if you had any recommendations for a tea?

      They serve afternoon tea in the Lobby at the Peninsula. (The Lobby is the name of a restaurant there.)

      >> Also looking for soft serve/ice cream (was thinking Margie's or Scooters) and sushi (thinking about Katsu)

      I don't know about soft serve, but for ice cream, check out these three articles that appeared in the Chicago Tribune:

      Weird yet wonderful ice cream flavors - http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-08-19/entertainment/ct-play-0819-ice-cream-flavors-20100819_1_ice-cream-signature-sunset-margie-s-candies

      5 new Chicago ice cream makers worth seeking out - www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/dining/chi-100721-chicago-artisanal-ice-cream-pictures,0,4365672.photogallery

      The rebirth of the cool - http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-07-22/entertainment/ct-live-0722-ice-cream-20100722_1_black-dog-gelato-pastry-chef-cream-puff

      And I don't eat sushi, but here are a couple of sushi discussions:

      www.chow.com/topics/362763
      www.chow.com/topics/612007

      -----
      Lula Cafe
      2537 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647

      Southport Grocery & Cafe
      3552 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

      Shaw's Crab House
      21 East Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60611

      M. Henry
      5707 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60660

      The Lobby
      108 E Superior, Chicago, IL 60611

      M. Henrietta
      1133 West Granville, Chicago, IL 60660

      Jam Restaurant
      3059 W. Logan Blvd., Chicago, IL

      1 Reply
      1. re: nsxtasy
        d
        danimalarkey Jan 4, 2012 07:42 AM

        One point about Lula that may be helpful -- they now accept reservations via phone or OpenTable. Though... checking briefly, I don't see any slots open for brunch (maybe they only accept brunch reservations over the phone?). So not necessarily so helpful for the OP, but other folks might be excited to learn you can now make dinner reservations.

        And as far as Great Lake, I love taking pizzas down to Simon's (5210 N. Clark). They don't serve food and don't have a problem with folks bringing food in. Simon's is an old bar, too, with lots of character.

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