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Oct 29, 2013 01:52 PM

Seeking Input on Weekend Dining Choices

Hi Chicagoans! A group of friends and I are all heading to your wonderful city this weekend and, because life is busy and hectic, we weren't able to put as much advance planning into the trip as usual. What we'd love is some feedback and suggestions for a bit of dining this weekend. I am in Seattle, and others are in Minneapolis, Orlando, DC, and NY. All enjoy good food, but I don't think any of us is drawn towards an offal menu. Also, we are staying at the hotel monaco in the loop.

The one advance planning thing we did manage to do was snag a reservation for Friday night at Topolobampo! I am super excited about this, as I've been to Frontera and enjoyed it, but have been dreaming about something more. So, the below is to balance against the price and culinary experience of Topolo.

Saturday Brunch: Priority is bottomless mimosas (or other brunch drink deals), but still need pretty decent food! Prefer reservations, because we hate waiting for hours. Right now have a reservation at Bistronomic. Input?

Saturday Dinner: I've read all sorts of threads, and investigated the great suggestions made elsewhere, but haven't stumbled on the right fit. We are looking for something really lively, more of a casual price point (approx $20/entrees), and somewhere that either takes reservations or doesn't have super long waits. We are seeing a late show at Second CIty, so are looking for dinner around 8 and where we can eat, drink, then head over to laugh (hopefully).

Sunday Breakfast: Looking for a good and simple bakery and coffee shop. Don't worry, I'm not too much of a coffee snob :)

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Balena might be an option for Saturday; not too expensive (not cheap either) and good quality food and nice cocktail program with a lively atmosphere. They take reservations and are located not too far from Second City.

    In the West Loop Carnivale might fit the bill; they also take reservations, very lively and festive, also in your price target, good but not great food IMHO.

    Before your dinner at Topolobampo I'd recommend heading in to the Berkshire Room for a cocktail (or two). Short walk away and it has become my favorite spot for cocktails in the city. Outstanding beverages, good people working the bar and nice atmosphere (especially earlier in the night; weekends can be a bit too crowded for my taste there later at night).

    Have a great trip!

    1. Tony's should do the trick for you Sunday morning.

      1. Thanks for the good suggestions! It looks like Balena is already booked for the night (next trip ...), and we were checking out Toni's so glad to hear its good!

        Any input on the following places for Saturday dinner: The pump room, farmhouse, or boarding house? Personally, I'm leaning towards the farmhouse menu.