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Chicago Solo

jinet12 Aug 15, 2012 02:57 AM

First time to visit Chicago early this Fall. Staying
at Park Hyatt. I would love some recommendations
close to my hotel for lunch/dinner spots with
delicious food. I know that the best food is probably
not downtown. Also would love some feedback
on the following eateries...
Maude's Liquor Bar
Nightwood
The Gage
Bistronomic
The Portage
Girl and a Goat
Due Lire
I know these aren't near my hotel just would
like feedback if anyone's eaten there.
Would welcome any and all recommendations.
Thanks!

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  1. camusman RE: jinet12 Aug 15, 2012 07:24 AM

    On your list, Nightwood and GATG are quite good.
    Gage would be good for lunch and is not far from you. Other good lunch choices near the hotel are Pastoral, Oasis Cafe, and Heaven on Seven.
    A bit farther away are Xoco and Purple Pig.

    1. f
      ferret RE: jinet12 Aug 15, 2012 08:26 AM

      Stop in at Longman & Eagle, you will not be disappointed (20 minute cab ride).

      5 Replies
      1. re: ferret
        nsxtasy RE: ferret Aug 16, 2012 04:21 PM

        Don't be so sure. I stopped at Longman & Eagle and I thought it was dreadful, the worst food I have eaten in Chicago in the past five years.

        1. re: nsxtasy
          g
          grimaldi RE: nsxtasy Aug 17, 2012 03:16 PM

          Agreed. People need to get over themselves about L&E. Unless you're in that neighborhood, absolutely no reason to go out of your way to eat there.

          1. re: nsxtasy
            f
            ferret RE: nsxtasy Aug 17, 2012 08:23 PM

            Just had a second visit in a month and that's simply misguided. I wouldn't b quick to forgive an off night, if that's what it was, but unless you're basing your experience on more than one meal then I'd suggest you resist generalizing. I went with two different groups in a 4 week span and teh food was simply spot-on teriffic. And I ran innto a friend who was there with a group and they all had a similar assessment. I'm looking forward to a return visit.

            1. re: ferret
              chicgail RE: ferret Aug 18, 2012 06:13 AM

              I totally agree with ferret. We've been there several times - the most recently about 10 days ago and it was a delight. Really perfectly executed food. Casual atmosphere. Reasonable prices. It's on our a-list. Delightful in every way.

              1. re: chicgail
                d
                danimalarkey RE: chicgail Aug 18, 2012 07:23 AM

                I was there the other weekend after seeing a movie at the Logan (which is great since the renovation -- really nice bar area, too) and had a lovely late lunch/early dinner. Asparagus with a one-hour egg was well balanced and thoughtfully plated was my first course -- I followed that with (from the menu online) Kentucky Fried Quail, Foie Gras Enriched Corn Bread, Country Gravy, Red Beans and Hamhock. For $17, I won't say it was quite as much food as I would have liked -- but it was quail and I should have known better. The quail was superb, though, and thankfully, the coating didn't just slough off while eating. The cornbread was great. The bartender who was taking my order was friendly and chatty (as much as he could be with how busy he was) and helped guide me through some of their whiskies I was unfamiliar with.

                As an aside, I was also introduced to a new, local gin -- Letherbee, made by one of the chefs at Lula's. Strong woods-y and anise flavors, it's also unfiltered. It's at better cocktail bars/restaurants now and should be on store shelves soon. The Reader profiled the company a few months back here: http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/...

        2. j
          jbontario RE: jinet12 Aug 15, 2012 08:39 AM

          If it's not too chilly, a few drinks on the terrace at NoMI in your hotel is one of my favorite things.

          Couple comments, I would switch Au Cheval for Maude's which is the same restaurateur and on of my favorite new places. They're both on W Randolph a couple blocks from each other (and across the street from Girl and Goat) and a 10 minutes cab from your hotel. Also consider another of my newer favorites, Slurping Turtle about 5 minutes from your hotel for some great Japanese noodles and yakitory.

          1. nsxtasy RE: jinet12 Aug 16, 2012 04:23 PM

            May I ask how you came up with that list? Not that any particular place on it is good or bad, but it seems like a very random selection of restaurants, without anything distinguishing them. They vary in location (most are not near your hotel), in style, etc.

            And whoever told you that the best food in Chicago isn't downtown is just plain wrong. Granted, there are plenty of excellent places in outlying neighborhoods and the suburbs, and there is a bit more variety, particularly in terms of ethnic cuisine and price points, due to the high rents in the high-rent district ;) but much of the very best food in Chicago can be found in the various neighborhoods comprising "downtown Chicago".

            Here are some terrific restaurants near your hotel (all are within a 10-minute walk and most are within five minutes):

            Spiaggia (expensive Italian) and Cafe Spiaggia (moderate Italian) - www.spiaggiarestaurant.com
            David Burke's Primehouse (steakhouse) - www.davidburkesprimehouse.com
            Sable (contemporary American small plates, artisanal cocktails) - www.sablechicago.com
            GT Fish & Oyster (seafood small plates) - www.gtoyster.com
            Quartino (Italian small plates) - www.quartinochicago.com
            Pizano's (deep-dish pizza - 864 N State) - www.pizanoschicago.com
            Lou Malnati's (deep-dish pizza - 1120 N. State) - www.loumalnatis.com
            NoMI Kitchen (contemporary American - in your hotel) - www.nomirestaurant.com
            Purple Pig (Mediterranean - go at lunchtime to avoid long waits at dinner) - www.thepurplepigchicago.com
            Topolobampo/Frontera Grill (contemporary Mexican) - www.rickbayless.com/restaurants

            There are some cities where the downtown doesn't have much nightlife and the best restaurants are away from downtown. Chicago isn't one of them.

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