weekend line up/thoughts, Vivere?
Hitting Chicago next month for a chef's conference, so here's my thoughts and I need some opinions.
we already have Girl and the Goat res. for Sunday
Friday getting in later in the day and was thinking Italian. We haven't been to Vivere since they opened.
is it still any good or has it weathered?
What about La Madia?
For Saturday night maybe Boka, MK or Fontera (I've always wanted to try it)
Again i open to suggestions but don't want to go out to the burbs since we are car less.
We were disappointed by Bar Toma though perhaps they've gotten their act more together since our meal there where the pizza crust was inconsistent, the service surprisingly inept esp for this restaurant group and the setting not particularly special ... all said with real disappointment since I was hoping it would be grand.
La Madia continues to please ... the pizzas are tasty, the entrees particularly good (chianti braised shortribs with vegetable risotto is my current crave dish there), gigantic and really tasty salads and roasted artichokes and a genuinely nice wine list with good selections by the glass. Sit up at the counter to watch the pizza making for fun ... or we also like to grab one of the tables in the lounge area ... a bit of a hidden gem in my book. I've ordered dinner there quite late so that should work.
Frontera is lovely - and while the lines may be long. they basically check folks in and give them a return time so it's doable. Other option for a taste of Bayless is to head into Xoco for lunch, brunch, snacks, superb hot chocolate and churros ... I've ended up preferring Xoco of his places but ymmv on that.
For Friday night, you might consider Bar Toma. Open until 2am on weekends, it could work well for a later meal. Most people seem to enjoy it so far - it's not quite Spiaggia-lite but still uses a lot of traditional flavors.
If you want to try Frontera, just be prepared to wait! I've seen lines forming up an hour before doors open on weekends. The bitter cold of February might dissuade some from lining up but I wouldn't count on it. The bar area can get very cramped, too, though if you can get a seat, you're welcome to order from the Topolo or Frontera dinner menus.