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Oct 12, 2012 12:05 PM

Concert at City Winery

We have concert tickets coming up at City Winery but have been reading about how bad the food is. So...thinking of before concert restaurants in the area. We're going to Girl & the Goat the next weekend so that's out. I don't want anyplace too dressy (like Nellcote?) or too casual like a diner. Anything in between? Great food a must.

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  1. iNG is one of my favorite restaurants in the West Loop area. The current menu (Scorsese theme) is a lot of fun and extremely tasty. iNG is a really cool, unique venue. They have two tasting menus (six course for $80 and ten course for $99) and the price includes alcohol pairings (mixture of wine, beer and cocktails). One of the courses uses Miracle berrys to make a dessert taste sweet even though it has no added sugar or artificial sweetener. Great service too. Upscale, whimsical food and experience, but laid back atmosphere and definitely to not need to be dressed up.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Gonzo70

      Oops. Should have mentioned the concert is on a Sunday night (iNG closed unfortunately).

      1. re: mousse

        Publican may have something open early in the evening, but is a bit similar experience to Girl & The Goat. If you are open to nearby River North neighborhood that would open up some more options without having to travel too far from City Winery. GT Fish & Oyster is excellent and fairly casual. Sable would be another nice option.

    2. A couple of blocks west of City Winery, BellyQ is the new modern Asian barbecue restaurant from Bill Kim, whose stable includes Belly Shack and Urban Belly. It just opened in the space that formerly housed one sixty blue. And it's open Sundays.

      Restaurant website:
      Phil Vettel review in the Tribune:

      1 Reply
      1. Us too, but on a Saturday. Thanks for the kick in the rear. We're going to Maude's @ 5:30.

        1. I had not heard of City Winery until a colleague mentioned it today, and said she really enjoyed the food in addition to the music. Perhaps you want to try it for yourself, rather than making a decision based on online opinions. If you do like the collective perspective, however, and of course we all do or we wouldn't be on CH, my experience is that Nellcote can be as casual or as dressy as one wishes to make it. I find the room gorgeous, but the overall vibe on a recent weeknight was not at all stuffy or formal.

          6 Replies
          1. re: GourmetWednesday

            That might be true if the on-line reviews were being written by 19 year old Yelpers. The reviews I read were all by professional food critics and no one had good things to say. You are also correct in saying that I should try it out for myself but with the outstanding number of dining options in Chicago, even just in that neighborhood, and then you factor in the cost of eating out....
            I would like to see someone say something good about the place. Publican, GAGT, Maudes, Avec and others all have proven track records and will get my hardearned dollars first, everytime.

            1. re: hoppy2468

              I was at the Bebel Gilberto concert at City Winery and the food was a real negative with the $17 hamburger completely mediocre. I was also decidedly unimpressed by the wine.. This is not the place to count on for anything other than the talent you wish to see .... And it was hellish trying to get a cab post event though maybe that's improved now that they've been open a while.

              1. re: Siun

                That's bad to hear about the wine. Do they have beer?

                Have switched our pre-concert dinner from Maudes to Bavettes.

                1. re: hoppy2468

                  I believe they have a full bar - folks near me were into *fancy* martins.

                  I will go anywhere to see Bebel but I was so immensely disappointed by this place - hate to say that as I really loved the idea. Bad overdone sevice, tables so crowded you can't move and dull to bad overpriced food. Sorry to say this ...

                  Eat elsewhere and when booking seats avoid any midway down a long table.

                  1. re: Siun

                    Got two reservations actually. GT Fish & Oyster and Bavettes. That way, depending on what we feel like eating we can go either way, surf or turf. I haven't heard one good thing about the food there. Drinks only for us. Hope the service isn't so bad that they screw that up! I don't think we're at a long table. Guess we'll find out.

                    1. re: Siun

                      I forgot about that factor too. We were crammed in at the tiniest tables. I don't know how they expected us to eat and drink. It was a really bad experience.

            2. A burger and a salad at Au Cheval would be my pick. It's kind of a diner, but a very cool one and the burgers are highly addictive. They also have about thirty beer taps.

              800 West Randolph Street
              Chicago, IL 60607
              (312) 929-4580