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Anniversary dinner with an infant on Oct 10

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The wife and I will be in chicago for our anniversary this year and need your help in selecting a restaurant that has great food and is infant (6m) friendly.

Food: Anything goes but SO is vegetarian so veg options would be best. Ideal would be a restaurant with chef tasting menu that also caters to vegetarians
Price: $150 - $250 (all in drinks+tip included)
Location: prefer a location with ample parking around so we can take the stroller and not have to walk that much

We have had our eyes on Topolobampo for a while but I think it will be tough to get a reservation.

Thanks!!

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  1. Have you considered Green Zebra? It's all vegetarian with a $55/person tasting menu. Really quite wonderful for vegetarians or omnivores. The parking is on the street, but it's not that busy a neighborhood so you should have mo problem with the stroller and the baby.

    4 Replies
    1. re: chicgail

      Thanks chicgial...I will take a look

      1. re: foodie179

        Thoughts on North Pond, Naha or Girl and the Goat. I'm assuming reservations for Girl and the Goat will be hard to come by this late in the game

        1. re: foodie179

          Along with Green Zebra, North Pond and Naha would be my top picks if the toddler were not present, or if he/she were *extremely* well behaved. Otherwise it seems like you're trying to match two incompatible objectives (a place that is upscale enough to offer tasting menus, but casual enough that a typical infant wouldn't be out of place).

          1. re: foodie179

            GATG is casual, quite loud, and crowded. I'm not sure they'd even have space for a stroller next to the table. The noise might be good for a baby (crowd noise lulling them to sleep or cries getting lost in the din if the baby is fussy) but not for the adults trying to celebrate a special occasion (yelling across the table to be heard).

      2. What day of the week are we talking?
        I love Naha and would throw in Lula Cafe.

        1. We did a tasting menu at Green Zebra on a Sunday night and found that it drew the neighborhood family set, including toddlers crashing silverware onto the plates as harmoniously as toddlers can, more than traditional foodies or folks wanting a celebratory evening. It is possible the crowd might be different on Sundays compared to Fridays or Saturdays, and I share this only as a cautionary tale. We found the vegetarian tasting menu to be not enough food, even with an upcharge of requested bread, and please trust me when I say this has never happened before. I am totally not in the crowd of "I went to (name your Michelin-starred restaurant) and had to stop at (name your fast food joint) on the way home." Because GZ is the only vegetarian tasting menu in Chicago I know, now that Charlie Trotter's closed, it is still frequently recommended. I would advise to order a la carte if you go, but I think you would get better-tasting food for your dollar at another place, such as an Italian restaurant.

          2 Replies
          1. re: GourmetWednesday

            Not exactly a tasting menu, but Lula's (suggested by Camusman) offers a 4-course prix fixe vegetarian option. Or, at least, they used to -- I don't see it on their online menu at the moment so it might be worth a phone call to see if that's still an option. Not sure how celebratory Lula's would be (for me, it would be) and while families are common at brunch, I don't recall seeing too many at dinner.

            1. re: GourmetWednesday

              GZ is family friendly and its focus is innovative vegetarian selections, but like the above I found the portions to be small (altho I was pleased with most of the flavors of my selections). It probably is a good idea to order a la carte as suggested above to best control the price/portion dynamic of the meal.

            2. Folks, we've removed some off topic posts from this thread. Discussions on the topic of whether or not young children should be brought to restaurants almost always ruffle feathers and lead to a lot of off topic discussion which doesn't help anyone eat better. Unless you have comments on the child-friendliness of specific Chicago restaurants that meet foodie179's criteria, we ask you to keep general comments on whether or how to dine with children off the table. Thanks.

              6 Replies
              1. re: The Chowhound Team

                Thanks everyone...dining with babies is always tough and strikes up strong opinions.
                We called Topolo and spoke with them about dining with infants. They were extremely accommodating. We are doing an early dinner so our encroachment on other diners is limited.

                Thanks again for all the responses and we are looking forward to spending our week in your town :)

                1. re: foodie179

                  Good choice. Enjoy your celebration.

                  1. re: foodie179

                    Enjoy! You'll have a wonderful time. Definitely consider giving Green Zebra a whirl in the future - I've dined there with THREE kids before and the staff was sweet and accommodating ;)

                    1. re: tiffeecanoe

                      Thanks tiffeecanoe. We are in Chicago for a week so will definitely try :)

                      1. re: foodie179

                        another recommendation if you're there for a week - Karyn's Cooked, it's completely vegan and casual. My ex husband was a very big meat eater and I went through a year long vegan challenge and we fell in love with the place! Their "steak" wrap is strangely delicious. :)

                        1. re: foodie179

                          Another good veg place is Mana Food Bar. The mushroom saute is great comfort food on a chilly evening.

                  2. So I did something similar, but for brunch with a 4 month old on my anniversary last year. We chose North Pond and it was perfect. Beautiful location, food was excellent and they were wonderful with the baby. They take reservations and didn't balk at all when we told them we'd have an infant with us. Happy anniversary!