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Oct 24, 2013 02:01 PM

Quiet (reasonably priced) Chicago restaurant

Hi, all. Parents are in from out of town, and I'm looking for a quiet place to take them. There are some hearing problems in the family, and I don't want anyone feeling isolated from the conversation. I'm thinking North Pond vibe, but Mott Street price-range. Any ideas? Thanks.

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    1. I wonder if the Kendall College Dining Room would fit the bill. The chefs and servers are advanced culinary students and the dining room (and menu) is set to be that of a fine dining venue. Nice view of downtown, elegant vibe, quiet, high end cuisine yet because it is operated by students pricing is much less expensive for the type of meal one receives (especially if you dine on a night other than Saturday as they have $29 three course prix fixe other nights). You do have to realize that there may be some gaffes with service as they are inexperienced (but they do try hard) and the cuisine may not be perfectly executed - but I had a wonderful experience here and it really is close to a fine dining experience at a low price point. I am not sure if they still permit BYOB at a low corkage point, but when I went I think it was just like $10 per/bottle (or you could purchase wine there).

      Here is a link to the website:

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gonzo70

        Gonzo, so glad you mentioned the KC Dining Room. We ate there last Saturday and I've been meaning to post about it.

        We had a delightful time although there were some unpolished moments with the wait staff (including our very nervous busboy spilling an entire glass of water, which fortunately landed entirely on the floor, missing the table and diners entirely -- and to which the staff responded very promptly and graciously).

        The food is pretty ambitious in its preparation, uses quality ingredients, and generally tasty. Overall we really enjoyed the selections. My husband had a white trout entrée that he absolutely raved about. I had duck that was good, but not remarkable. For our starters, I had a sweetbread appetizer that was fabulous but very spicy. Desserts invariably involve plating of 3 or 4 discrete elements -- pastry, ice cream, various garnishes.

        It was our second visit to the KCDR and we came away saying that we should go there more often.

        In terms of the OPs concerns about the acoustics, the tables are set quite far apart, so you do not overhear your neighbors' conversations at all. And, if you need to speak a bit louder for your dining companions (I've got older family members with hearing impairments), you will not be intruding on your neighbors' conversations either.

      2. Lbs: We're open to anything in the city; northshore suburbs would be ok, too. Thanks, Gonzo70 & Masha. We've been meaning to try KC's place. To clarify, tho, we're open to a variety of cuisines -- doesn't have to be fine dining. I just meant the volume level of North Pond. Sorry, I wasn't clear. Thanks again!

        2 Replies
        1. re: millers

          I like Bistro Campagne in Lincoln Square.

          1. re: millers

            For decent, inexpensive Chinese in a quiet setting, I'd recommend Moon Palace in Chinatown.

          2. For a nice quiet French dinner, consider Cyrano's Farm Table. I was there last weekend with my wife and step-daughter and it was one of our favorite meals of the weekend. They had live Jazz in the basement if that is something you might be interested in as well.