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Jan 31, 2012 10:34 AM

restaurants near the ritz carlton?

I have a business trip scheduled for later this month, and was hoping to try a good slice of Chicago pizza and/or some other fine eateries. Any suggestions??

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  1. You can'r really just get a slice of deep dish. Your best bet is to order a baby/small and bring the leftovers back to your hotel room. Lou Malanti's and Pizano's are my favorite. But Uno's and Due's (not the chain crap - this is the original) are closer to your hotel.

    Way too many fine dining experiences. Do you have a price range or food preference?

    I do recommend the Purple Pig. No reservations but a solo diner should be ok. Pork delights.

    2 Replies
    1. re: lbs

      I love it all; I was hoping to try Chicago style pizza, which you helped me with. I was thinking that the remainder of the places could range from BBQ to Asian to Italian or anything else that's worthwhile. Thanks in advance for your help.

      1. re: rring

        I'd skip BBQ. Most of the places are hard to get to from the downtown area and depending on where you are from, might not be as good.

        I would recommend - close to your hotel:

        Sunda - Asian fusian.
        Purple Pig - small plates/pork

        You may want to look at Sable. Further from your hotel is The Publican which I really like. And I like the Rick Bayless places. Frontera doesn't take reservations but if you get there when the doors open, you have a really good chance. Also, if you sit at the bar you can order from both menus.

    2. You have a lot of choices available, near the Ritz-Carlton. Cafe Spiaggia and Coco Pazzo Cafe are a short stroll from the Ritz, and have wonderful Italian food in a festive setting.

      As for Chicago-style pizza, not to worry. Lou Malnati's has a location at 1120 N. State. It's a short and interesting walk from your hotel. Also, Gino's East is only a block or two south of the Ritz, and has a lunch special, $6.25 for a mini-pizza, soup or salad, and soft drink. Purists can argue about the best pan pizza in Chicago, and usually, Uno's, Due's, or Lou Malnati's wins, but Gino's East has terrific pizza, buttery crust, and the quality is tops. It is authentic and delicious Chicago pizza in every way.

      It is probably fair to say that Chicago's best Asian restaurants are not located near the Ritz and the shopping district, but you have many excellent choices. This website, and your concierge, will offer many cafes to choose from. Hopefully you're in town long enough to visit more than one or two.

      1. As others noted, you are close to Malnati's, Pizza Uno & Duo, Giordono's (though I personally would avoid it). You are also reasonably close to Portillo's for Italian Beef. Cafe Spiaggia, Pane Caldo, Heaven on Seven (a bit of a chain feeling though), and the Purple Pig. High end you are reasonably close to Tru and Ria.

        1 Reply
        1. re: HoosierFoodie

          In addition to RIA, there's also Balsan located in the Elysian Hotel. It's far more casual than RIA, but the food is still very good. (In fact, the Paris Brest may well be my favorite dessert in the city!) Sitting at the bar is a great option for a solo diner as the bartenders are super friendly and more than willing to strike up conversation.

        2. I do not like deep dish pizza so can't help there but just east and north of the hotel is a very good Italian restaurant that specializes in seafood located in the Raffaello Hotel called Pellago. All of the pastas are house-made and really excellent. I eat there fairly often and my only gripe is that the menu is pretty static. I had a really fun and tasty meal at Sable recently which is about a 5 block walk from The Ritz. The food is upscale comfort food and they have a great cocktail program. It is a small/tasting plates type place so maybe not your best bet if dining solo. I like Cafe Spiaggia for great Italian and for a big splurge Spiaggia itself but Spiaggia's (not the Cafe) prices so offend me that the only time I go is when it's a Monday and I want fine dining within walking distance. This happens about once a year or so. I haven't been to Les Nomades since the chef left to start a new restaurant but I noticed that Roland Liccione is now cooking there. His food is always special! It is classical French with Asian twists and it is a walkable distance (south and east) during this balmy winter in Chicago.

          As to Ria I have had widely disparate experiences there. I loved the tasting menu and wasn't too offended by the price when all was said and done but had some issues with long waits between courses. I did not enjoy my solitary ala carte experience there and my SO and I swore we'd never go back. I did like Balsan which is also located at the Ellysian Hotel.

          I had a really good meal at Cafe des Architectes a few weeks ago under their new chef. This is located at Sofitel Hotel just west and north of the Ritz. The 3 course prix fixe is a nice deal actually and I like this chef's food better than the former chef's. About a block away is Bistronomic which is headed by the chef who used to run Cafe des Architectes. It is a very lively place with sometimes difficult to get reservations but I am still not wild about his food.

          Just some additional thoughts.

          1 Reply
          1. re: KateBChi

            Totally forgot about Les Nomades.... I have been there since Roland L. returned and it is very good. The food is a little heavier than under the previous chef but still very good. We go on Thursdays when they offer free corkage. Forgot about Sable which we have been to three times and have always been very pleased.

            We were at Ria with another couple that has done more than their share of dining in Chicago and everyone there would easily put it in the top 3-4 restaurants in Chicago. We had the tasting menu with the wine pairings and it was fabulous. The service was perfect as well. It is not cheap.

            I agree with Spiaggia. As bad as the food prices are the wine prices are worse. Every thing is excellent at Spiaggia, I just can't get by the pricing. I understand that they allow corkage and if I were to go back I would only go if I could take my own wine....unless someone else is paying!

          2. Another suggestion for you. The Ritz is only 1 -1/2 block away from Ditka's. This is a steak restaurant with an acceptably diverse menu. Yes, it is in fact owned by Chicago's own Mike Ditka, and he often spends time there. I think the food is very good, and you will definitely get some Chicago ambiance. Yes, its a steak joint frequented by business guys and sports fans, but hey that's Chicago.

            A truly outstanding restaurant is also one block away from the Ritz. NOMI in the Park Hyatt. Its eclectic Asian fusion cuisine is outstanding and nearly as pricey as Spiaggia. If you can afford it, it would be a do-not-miss close to your hotel.

            Also one block away from you is RL. Fans swear by it, particularly one ex-New Yorker I know.

            A spectacular place to eat, with good food, is the Signature Room at the top of the John Hancock Building, across the street from the Ritz. I have found the dinners served at this standard Americanized-continental restaurant to be very good, but the attraction is the incredible view of Chicago from 95 stories up. Only worthwhile if the sky is clear to allow for the view.

            Finally, for moderately priced but really great Italian food, Francesca's is right around the corner from the Ritz. Authentic Italian (even pizza, continental style) with a happy crowd and a busy vibe. Piano music, at least on the weekends.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jcinbt

              Thanks to all for all of your help. I had a chance to try the pizza at Gino's east (very mediocre) and pizanos (simply amazing!!!). I loved pizanos (thin crust cheese) so much the first night, that I had to go back the next night to have it again. I was very impressed with the parts of the city that I saw and hope to return again soon! Best wishes.

              1. re: rring

                I love Pizano's thin crust more than the deep dish. It is really good! Glad you had a good time