How is my Chicago plan?
Headed to Chicago in a week and here is what I planned for my group. I wanted good food, drink, and fun places.
Saturday and Sunday nights we are staying in River North
Saturday night-- Carnivale 9:30
Sunday Brunch -- SushiSamba
Sunday evening -- Sailboat evening cruise
Sunday night--Girl and the Goat 10:30
Monday and Tuesday nights we are staying in Wicker Park
Monday Lunch is open---
Monday Afternoon drinks at Big Star and Violet hour
Monday dinner at The Bristol -- 8:30
Tuesday all day is open. Might try to go to dinner at Longmen and Eagle, Telegraph or somewhere in Logan Square, Wicker Park.
Need some ideas for anything else in the area---drinking and eating.
Violet Hour opens at 6pm I believe.
Maybe some beers and snacking at the standing bar at The Publican before GATG. Too bad The Aviary is closed Sundays. Maybe some whimsical cocktails at iNG?
In River North, maybe a nightcap at Sable or the bar at Frontera. Maybe Purple Pig.
You would have a great time with you current choices. Since you are asking for input, however, here is my $.02: For just a few days in town, I wouldn't do both Carnivale and Sushi Samba. Both are fun and festive, but you are duplicating the Brazilian/South American theme, which is not a cuisine Chicago is known for or does better than other places, and there are more original places to go. On the other hand, you are also being directed to several places that are snout-to-tail, gastropub, small-plate types, and those can also start running together within a few days. I might recommend Yusho, Takashi, or Slurping Turtle for Asian. I might also throw in Italian or Mexican for some diversity.
that makes sense. may try to change SushiSamba. Their brunch menu doesn't look as south american. I thought about Pump Room, but don't want to get dressed up for that meal. May change to Perinnial Virant. Is it pretty casual at brunch? Figure after eating the guys will head to to Cubs game and girls will go shopping.
I may change The Bristol for something Italian or some other in Wicker Park/Bucktown area.
Just like to have a plan before we go.
How big is your group? Particularly for places that don't accept reservations and are generally always crowded (Big Star, Violet Hour, L&E), if your group is any larger than 4, you might be looking at long waits. Just something to keep in mind!
Other options in the Wicker Park/Logan Square corridor could include Owen & Engine (delightful British-inspired comfort food -- while you can go in an drink as long as they're open, check the kitchen hours before heading over if you're looking specifically for food); Revolution (the city's best brewpub -- lively, fun atmosphere with amazing beer and solid food, though I would avoid mixed drinks (I love the bartenders there but cocktails are rarely worthwhile)); The Whistler (fantastic cocktails, though the space is tiny and you might be waiting a while - they also tend to have an eclectic mix of live acts and the music may not be to your taste so I'd consult their online calendar just in case); and as already mentioned, Yusho (Japanese street food-ish from a 20 year vet of Charlie Trotters with a really impressive drinks program).
If you did want some Mexican, consider Mexique - it's in West Town, which is just south/southeast of Wicker Park. It's French/Mexican but hardly gimmicky (I think). Leopold is nearby, too, for something Belgian-ish. I would stick to beer and wine here, as well.
SmallBar, a few blocks south of Big Star, has a really nice patio out front and a newer chef that's been working hard to revamp the food menu. Good cocktails and a great (albeit slightly over-priced) beer list make it a nice spot to hang out for a bit.