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2nd Visit.....What should we not miss this time around?

excel Feb 11, 2012 08:59 AM

Hello Chicago CHs!

The last time we were in Chicago (Thanksgiving 2010), we had an AMAZING time! See our post: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/742610

We mentioned at the end of the post that we didn't have enough time to make it to: Girl and the Goat, Blackbird, Avec, Graham Elliott, Al's Beef, and Hot Doug's. Are these still contenders under the "must go" category?

We are only here for 3 nights, so we want to avoid fine dining places. Any new "must go" places?

Thanks for all your help in advance. All your suggestions last time were spot on!

So excited!

  1. e
    excel Feb 13, 2012 04:22 PM

    How about steak? Where's the best place to get steak? (Rib-eye being my favourite cut!)

    We are definitely considering Avec and Blackbird. If we want to go to Graham Elliott too, shall we skip Avec or Blackbird?

    4 Replies
    1. re: excel
      lmonitz Feb 23, 2012 07:59 PM

      Hey there, Al's beef is a quick stop, more of a snack than a meal... Hot Dougs I personally think is overrated (foie overload), Kuma's Corner though, def not- best burgers in the city. I'd say pick either Avec or Blackbird, they're very similar (and next door), Avec is more small plates, Blackbird is fancier, just depends on your preference. If you want Paul Kahan's newer restaurant, Big Star is a retro whiskey/gourmet taco bar in wicker park- delicious and across the street from Violet Hour, a must see speakeasy which has been rated one of the best cocktail lounges in the country. If you want to stay in the W. Loop area- Sepia and Maude's Liquors are also really good and pretty close to girl and goat (def go). I'd say Tavernita, GT Fish and Oyster and Guliana Rancic's new restaurant are on the hotlist right now.

      1. re: lmonitz
        TrishUntrapped Feb 23, 2012 08:17 PM

        I just googled Rancic's restaurant based on your post, RPM Italian...and what do you know, the P in the name stands for Doug Psaltis. So that's where this guy went. Wow, he was one of the most controversial chefs with a lofty string of failures in New York....

        I may just have to dine here now and check him out.

        1. re: TrishUntrapped
          lmonitz Feb 23, 2012 08:25 PM

          Hmm interesting, I knew they partnered with the Melman sons of Lettuce Entertain you they have that klout behind them, but hadn't heard about the chef. Let me know if anyone checks it out, I haven't heard much from the soft opening, will be interesting to see if it's more star power behind the name or if it's legit. Allium is also getting good new hype (new restaurant in the Four Seasons)

          1. re: lmonitz
            camusman Feb 24, 2012 05:29 AM

            Hot Doug's is worth the stop; you don't have to get foie gras. Kuma's has become overrun by tourists and is almost always a long wait. Go to the Al's on Taylor -- other locations are less reliable. Although "must go" might be a bit of a stretch for the other places on your list, each one of them is worth checking out.
            You should try to get out to one of the ethnic neighborhoods as well. The Beijing Duck dinner at Sun Wah in the Argyle neighborhood is always a big hit.

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