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Mar 10, 2014 09:57 AM

Guidance Requested for a July Visit - 4-5 couples, from LA & NYC

Just starting to scout places for a trip. We are all around 50 and do not know the city at all. One couple is Kosher (they will eat seafood not meat) the rest will eat anything.
For dinner considering:
Girl and the Goat
Gilt Bar
Mon Ami Gabi

Would love some thoughts on those, other ideas, and some lunch spots that scream CHICAGO!

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  1. >> some lunch spots that scream CHICAGO!

    Lou Malnati's, for deep dish
    Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, for contemporary Mexican
    Jam, for breakfast/brunch
    North Pond, for Sunday brunch

    1. I agree with the venues Nsxtasy recommended; those are all really nice venues and good Chicago experiences. Chicago also in recent years has had some great modern Asian venues open. If Juno is back open by then (they suffered a massive fire and are currently closed for repairs) they are outstanding and another great Asian venue is Embeya. Embeya is open for lunch on weekdays and for dinner nightly.

      Boka is one of my favorite venues and should be a great choice for accommodating a kosher diet. They also are going to have a single outdoor table for summertime that I believe sits 8-10 people, so might be a perfect choice for your party for a special evening.

      Girl & the Goat is also a wonderful place; be sure to book far in advance as they do quickly fill up other than very early or very late reservation times (you can book July over the phone with them now - and I also would inquire about the kosher diet issue just to confirm they can readily accommodate this). For a large party advance booking is an absolute must for them. Girl & the Goat can be rather noisy, but still is well worth visiting.

      Gilt Bar I have not been to; while I have heard good things about it, my understanding is that it caters mainly to a young crowd and can be rather noisy; not sure if that type of ambiance is something you are looking for. Pelago I am not familiar with and Mon Ami Gabi I would put in the good, not great category. Blackbird is solid and if you go to for lunch during a weekday an excellent value.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Gonzo70

        >> Mon Ami Gabi I would put in the good, not great category.

        I agree. I would consider La Sardine to be perhaps the best of our French bistros. However, you can find good French bistros in any city. In looking at your itinerary, I would instead substitute a dinner at one of our restaurants featuring contemporary Mexican cuisine, which is a local specialty, better than you'll find in NYC and at least as good as LA. I mentioned Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, which are Rick Bayless restaurants. I'd also consider Mexique as another possibility in this category.

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Thanks for the help.
          I have booked a smaller group at Girl & Goat and seriously considering that Boka table for the large group on Sat night. I am disinclined towards Bayless's stuff, Red O here is much too fussy for me, even though I sure it is a whole other deal there.

      2. For your Kosher friends you may want to consider a stop at Milt's BBQ which won Joy of Kosher's Best Restaurant of 2013 (I'm not a big fan, but they may be).

        Better yet, pack up the whole crew for a trip up to Rogers Park to Romanian Kosher Sausage to get a hard salami to bring back home and a deli sandwich for a quick treat. For your Kosher friends, Romanian's hot dogs are the best around -- anywhere, and their Italian sausage is pretty great.

        2 Replies
          1. re: Ciao Bob

            Second ferret's recommendations - Milt's for a kosher evening - I especially recommend the Milt Burger and the ribs!

            In regards to Romanian's - the salami and Hot Dogs are outstanding - exepcially the garlic dogs for a spicier hot dog - any of the cold cuts are outstanding!

        1. For a maybe not so screaming lunch spot, the French Market offers a decent selection of Chicago restaurants in truncated form. The Girl & Goat's Little Goat Cafe is represented as is Saigon Sisters for banh mi, Fumare for Montreal-style smoked meat and many others. A nice way to get a cross-section of Chicago tastes in one go. (Not to be confused with Taste of Chicago, which is an abomination).

          1 Reply