Dinner Downtown this sunday
Its been a long time since I have posted here, but have always gotten good advice, so I am going back to the well once more!! My wife and I are treating ourselves to a last minute overnight / night out this sunday, and have a few diverse places on our list of possibilities-
Place one- The Boarding House... Menu looks good, I have read mixed things online (yelp, etc) has anyone been here, and what do people think??
Gilt Bar- Have not been here, but we love this type of place, the drinks look great, and a good beer list as well.
Bar Toma- Again- menu looks interesting, but is it worth it for a place that mostly focuses on well made Pizzas and Gelato??
Frog N Snail- We ate at his other place (sprout) and loved it-- has anyone been here.. Its sort of far from where we are staying.
Anyplace I am missing that also might be good that might fit onto this wide ranging list.
I like Gilt Bar, yes very good drinks and nice food to match. I might suggest you try Au Cheval instead (also owned by Brendan Sodikof) and more casual than Gilt Bar. I really really like the cheeseburger (yes you need to get it baconed and egged) and everything else I've ever eaten there.
I like Bar Toma. It's Tony Matuano's "bar." But you probably knew that. I was there only once and for lunch, but everything we ate was surprisingly good and well worth it. We didn't have a pizza - but again, it was lunch.
But I've not tried any of the others. If it were me, I would choose the Boarding House from your list.
Or I would go to Wicker Park for Savoy (updated turn-of-the Century French bistro featuring absinthe) or Carriage House (southern comfort food) or The Bristol (gastropub).
The only venue on your list I have been to is Frog N Snail; it is pretty good, but nothing worth traveling to from another neighborhood.
From your list it seems like you want a nice blend of good food and drinks in a moderate price range. A couple of options with availability for this Sunday (some good options are closed Sundays) are in the River North neighborhood (right near downtown). This would include GT Fish & Oyster (seafood heavy menu, so would not be good choice if you do not like seafood), Sable (craft cocktails and upscale gourmet bar type food) or MK (upscale but not stuffy, contemporary American cuisine). In the West Loop there is Publican (pork and seafood heavy menu with nose-to-tail focus). In the South Loop is Mercat a la Planxa (tapas) and Acadia (fine dining, but not overly expensive).
We have been to sable; the food was good, but we felt because of the small plates, and the low price point, it was best enjoyed in groups. MK we have been to as well, though not in ages--publican we have been many times, it is one of our faves, and in fact, the last place we had a nice date night meal at! Ill take a look at Acadia and Mercat, a place that I know we have thought of going to for a long time, but have never gotten around to.
For tapas, Mercat a la Planxa is very good indeed. And of course it's accompanied by the usual festive atmosphere.
If you're staying near the Mag Mile and you don't want to go quite that far, you could also consider Cafe Iberico, which also has very good tapas. Cafe Iberico doesn't accept reservations, but waits aren't likely to be all that problematic on a Sunday night.
Acadia, as mentioned above, is fine dining, and not terribly expensive. (I recently spent around $100/pp there, including moderate alcohol and tax/tip.) The immediate area is kind of funky - not unsafe, but just not a lot of activity around there at night. If you go there, be aware that Acadia has no outside signage.
If you're interested in another fine dining place that's not overly expensive, I'd also consider North Pond, in Lincoln Park. If you've never been there, in addition to the great food, it's in the middle of the park, facing its namesake pond and the city skyline. It too is typically in the $100-120/pp range. (Naha is another place worth recommending in this category but is not open on Sundays.)
If you enjoy moderately-priced contemporary Italian cuisine, there are several excellent places worth considering, and there's probably one close to where you're staying downtown (which you didn't mention) - including (south to north) Gioco, in the South Loop; tesori, in the Loop near the Art Institute; Piccolo Sogno Due, in River North just north of the river; and Cafe Spiaggia, at the north end of the Mag Mile.
As always, the problem with dining in Chicago is, there are so very many great places to choose from that it makes deciding on only one extremely difficult.