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May 10, 2012 11:44 AM

Fish-friendly restaurants on a budget DOWNTOWN

Looking to help out my parents who will be downtown on a Saturday.

My father eats only fish and vegetable dishes, while my mother loves her meat. Can anyone suggest a delicious place to accomodate them with mains around $20, in the downtown area?

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  1. Most places accomodate both fish and meat eaters, even steakhouses. But it's the entrees in the $20 range that may be tricky.

    When you say "downtown," do you mean in the Loop?

    1. The price point is the tough part. I'm assuming the "eats only fish" isn't literal and he'll eat things that aren't meat (although I could be wrong) which might allow for someplace like Quartino or Bar Toma (small plates, non-meat pastas, pizzas, veggie dishes as well as some fish and shellfish options).

      Whenever we go to Quartino we can get out at about $35/per person for food, and that's ordering a healthy amount so you can probably do it at $30.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ferret

        What might work really well - if "downtown" include North Michigan Avenue - is Grand Luxe Cafe. They have a huge menu that covers everything from salads to steaks (and includes fish). Entrees start at around $18 and go up to $32, but you can find options well around your price point.

        1. re: chicgail

          Another option would be Wildfire. The steaks and seafood are quite good, though not phenomenal, but I think they're a terrific value for what you get. Steaks in the high 20's, seafood in the mid-to-high $20s. They all include sides, including their amazing creamed spinach. Also, one plus vs. Grand Lux is that Wildfire takes reservations.
          Other than that, I'm not sure you would find any place that's measurably better without a significant increase in price.

          1. re: katewh

            To me, coming downtown to eat at Wildfire is just wasting an opportunity. If the OPs parents are from the Chicago area but just "coming downtown" then it's really a waste.

      2. Another suggestion is La Madia. They have really delicious pizzas that you could share (such as the parmesan artichoke pizza) but also have entrees that are priced in the $20s and that include scallops, short ribs etc. They have a great wine selection as well and you can make reserv on opentable.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ms. mika

          I'd consider bistros such as Bistronomic, Maude's Liquor Bar, or even Bistro Zinc. Any bistro will have at least a couple fish options and a few meat options. Sprout in Lincoln Park (I have suburban friends who considered my old place in Lakeview "downtown" so not sure if you want to meet that far north or not) is a more modern option. Some Italian places, such as Carmine's, would also fit your criteria. The Pump Room is getting good buzz since their re-opening, and seems to have the hip factor for the younger generation and nostalgia for the older (no, I did not call anyone old) set, although the meat entrees will run high $20's or low $30's.

          1. re: GourmetWednesday

            Finding the right combination of fish and non-fish entrees is not the difficult part here. It's finding them - in the "downtown" area priced around $20.

        2. Given your price point, the best I can think of is a restaurant in Greektown, such as Greek Island or Parthenon, which offer a number of fish & seafood entrees, as well as various meats, especially lamb.