Items Like Blackbird's Lunch Prix-Fixe (similar food, similar price point)
I'm a student so my spending money is pretty restricted. At the same time, I rarely eat anything I don't make myself (this summer I went ~8 weeks between meals from outside), so when I do go to a restaurant I'd like to eat something that I could not make.
As a result I've been eyeing Blackbird's $22 3-course lunch prix fixe for a while. I'm just wondering if there is anything at a similar price point with similar quality (a difficult combination I know, but I figured I'd ask). If it's available on a Friday or Saturday night so much the better, but I'm sure that's pushing it.
I've been looking at Yusho as well, but it's too far away to be my first choice.
If it helps, I'm not that big of an eater so one entree (or a few small plates) would probably be enough. At the same time I'm reluctant to go somewhere and just order one item.
Thanks in advance.
I think the best bargain in the city for contemporary American food is at Sable. They have the same menu all day (lunch and dinner, including Friday and Saturday dinner), with most appetizers $8-12, most entrees $18-24; even better, most of those items are available in half portions for around half the price, so you can try more things without paying a lot. If you're bringing any companions, even the half portions are easy to share (most of them, anyway). I've got a pretty good appetite and I've left stuffed after ordering food totalling under $30. And the food is absolutely wonderful, some of the very best dinners I've eaten in the past few years. Don't miss the sweet corn creme brulee, a savory riff on the classic French dessert. Check out the menus on their website at www.sablechicago.com Enjoy!
You might also want to take a look at the recommendations in this previous discussion, which concentrate on value for the money:
Where are the best Chicago dinner *values* - the hidden gems? - www.chow.com/topics/697829
If you like seafood, Joe's Seafood & Steak on Grand is not to be missed! They have a prix-fixe lunch for a very reasonable price: 5 stone crab claws, cup of soup, hashed brown potatoes (a house specialty) cold slaw & (the most amazing) key lime pie for $28.00.Ambiance and service is great, and food is top quality. I've been to the Chicago and Miami locations many times, and it never disappoints!
I can't think of anything quite that inexpensive that has similar quality, but here are some places I have dined at that have some great deals on some really good meals.
Browntrout on Wednesday nights has a $35 three course prix fixe where you can choose any of their regular appetizers, entrees and a dessert as part of the deal.
Home Bistro on Wednesday has a $30 three course prix fixe, also you can choose any regular menu items.
Kendall College Dining Room: Weeknights they have a three course prix fixe for $29 or lunch for $18 (entire menu fair game). They have a very small BYOB charge too. This venue is part of a culinary school and students towards the end of their training work as chefs and servers in a dining room resembling a fine dining establishment, but at a fraction of the price a meal like this would cost if they were not students.
Sun Wah BBQ: For $39 per duck (serves two to three people, price is per/duck, not per/person) you can have a three course dinner utilizing an entire duck - this applies any day of the week including weekends. They also have a very small BYOB charge.
LM Bistro on Sundays has a $30 prix fixe (set menu) and select $20 bottles of wine. I have not yet been to this venue, but have heard good things.