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Heading to Chicago from Boston for the Cubs v Red Sox game in June NEED Excellent Restaurants

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Like Italian, French American, and Steakhouses. Will be in town for three nights. Would really like to see what the locals suggest. Thanks in advance!!

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  1. Where "in town" will you be staying? A lot of real estate here. Will you have a car or be using public transportation? Any budgetary concerns?

    14 Replies
    1. re: chicgail

      That's funny, I didn't realize it was so big. When I stay in Manhattan, location is a non-issue, same here in Boston. We are staying off of N Lakeshore an E superior. No car, no budget.

      1. re: MKLDBoston

        Italian:
        Spiaggia is the top of the line. Superb farm-to-table Slow Food. A favorite of the Obamas (we've been there when they were - just try to go to the bathroom without the Secret Service) Some think it''s not worth the money. I'm not one of them
        Cafe Spiaggia - Spiaggia's little sister. Same kitchen; same website; same address; lower prices
        Piccolo Sogno - highly regarded. We had a very disappointing meal there during Restaurant Week
        Coco Pazzo - similar to PS above. Also has a more casual cafe in a different location.

        French
        Le Sardine in the West Loop
        Some like Kikis Bistro
        Outside the tourist area I am partial to Bistro Campagne and Le Bouchon (Le Sardine's sister)

        Steakhouse
        David Burke's Prime House
        Chicago Cut Steakhouse
        Gibson's (for the scene)
        Capital Grill (a good chain)

        You're missing one of Chicago's best unique cuisines - Regional Mexican. We're not talking about tacos and burritos. check the website menus
        Topolobambo - Rich Bayless' top of the line
        Frontera Grill - takes few reservations so get there before they open at 5:30
        Mexique (French/Mexican fusion) in "West Town"

        -----
        Cafe Spiaggia
        980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

        Topolobampo
        445 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60610

        Coco Pazzo Cafe
        636 N St Clair, Chicago, IL 60611

        Coco Pazzo
        300 West Hubbard, Chicago, IL 60610

        Piccolo Sogno
        464 N Halsted, Chicago, IL 60622

        Spiaggia
        980 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

        Chicago Cut Steakhouse
        300 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60654

        1. re: chicgail

          To add onto chicgail's excellent post:

          Topolobampo is on OpenTable:
          http://www.opentable.com/topolobampo
          http://www.rickbayless.com/restaurant...

          Given that you're coming in June, Frontera Grill may still have some reservations left, call ASAP:
          http://www.rickbayless.com/restaurant...

          ...and by restricting yourself to only French/Italian/American/Steakhouses, you're missing the most excellent of them all, Alinea.

        2. re: MKLDBoston

          One more thing.

          Manhattan is 33.77 square miles. Boston is 48 square miles. The City of Chicago is 234 square miles. I asked where you were staying and how you were getting around because many of our finest and most interesting restaurants are well outside the main tourist area and located in neighborhoods.

          1. re: chicgail

            Chicgail,
            I'm impressed with your post. Since you mentioned that many of Chicago's better restaurants are outside of the main tourist area, I would be most appreciative if you would name several. Thank you!

            John

            1. re: jdbeck

              There are many. To name a few Schwa, El Ideas, North Pond, Longman & Eagle, Bristol, Bonsoiree, L20, Alinea, Mexique, and goosefoot.

              1. re: Gonzo70

                Good List. I would add Sprout, Charlie Trotter, Sola, Antico, and Browntrout. There are almost certainly more.

              2. re: jdbeck

                Nightwood, Great Lake and Yusho also come to mind!

              3. re: chicgail

                That's what I want to avoid, tourist traps. Given that Chicago is so vast, I guess I don;t have an option??

                1. re: MKLDBoston

                  You totally have an option, but you may have to use public transportation.

                  1. re: MKLDBoston

                    You are already getting out of the main tourist area to go the Cubs game. Sprout, Solo, Goosefoot and Browntrout are not that far from Wrigley. It's not like these restaurants are on the far flung edges of the city/suburbia. Chicago is a city of neighborhoods and that is where a lot of the amazing places to eat are.

                    You can plot out distances and how to get to them using www.hopstop.com or http://www.transitchicago.com/travel_...

                2. re: MKLDBoston

                  I'll throw a few others into the mix already suggested because I have had great meals there recently and convenient to where you are staying which is basically near north. Tru (French with modern twists), I had a really superior meal here after not having gone for several years because I found the food not much bang for the buck. Under a new chef now it was terrific, elegant and tasty. NOT cheap but we've already booked our return visit.

                  Spiaggia (Italian) is great but I always leave feeling slightly robbed. I prefer Cafe Spiaggia.

                  I really liked my diner at Sable (American) recently but it seems to draw a huge bar scene (deservedly as the cocktails are great) so it is not the best option for a tete a tete but is fun if small plates and sharing is what you have in mind.

                  Pelago (Italian) has outstanding house-made pastas, wonderful fish and great meat main courses. We go there a lot. My only gripe with the place is the menu never seems to change. It is also a lovely, intimate restaurant.

                  I am not a huge fan of Picollo Sogno (Italian) but if the weather is fine it is a great place to dine in the side garden and the prices are quite reasonable.

                  1. re: KateBChi

                    Blackbird, Boka, Graham Elliot, Naha, Ruxbin

                    1. re: camusman

                      Thank you everybody for all of the suggestions. I will start with these suggestions, research, and pick. I REALLY appreciate it fellow foodies!!!