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Mom's Birthday Dinner in Chicago

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Going to be in Chicago in a couple weeks for a long weekend to celebrate my mom's 60th Birthday with some of my family. We have never been to Chicago before and I was looking for some help with dinner recommendations. She does not like anything too "fancy" or upscale, so something that is more casual to get the Chicago food experience.

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  1. North Pond, Blackbird, Boka or Naha if you want to stick to "western" food served in nice but not pretentious surroundings.

    The Bristol, Publican, or Longman & Eagle if you all are ok with a more casual experience that is focused on "nose-to-tail" food.

    GT fish & oyster if she likes that kind of thing (you should probably give us more hints about what she and you all like). Frontera Grill if she's willing to do Mexican—Rick Bayless has earned the mark he has left on the city as well as American perceptions of Mexican cuisine.

    1. We need more information to help you. For example, where will you be staying and/or spending time? (Name of hotel or nearby intersection, for example). There are terrific restaurants all over the downtown area (which is quite large) so you might want to choose one that is convenient as well as excellent. What day of the week will this be? Some places are closed Sundays, some Mondays, some other days of the week. What kinds of food does she like? I assume you will want a place for which you can make a reservation, rather than risk the possibility of a lengthy wait to be seated, correct?

      Just to give you some idea of places you might consider, the "small plates" places are mostly casual and not overly expensive; the best of these include Sable and Perennial Virant for contemporary American, Province for contemporary global, GT Fish & Oyster for seafood, and Mercat a la Planxa for tapas. Or you could have our local specialty of contemporary Mexican cuisine at Salpicon or Mexique.

      There are lots more places here, of course. More information from you will help us make more specific suggestions, as well as let you know how close by they are.