Mid July Visit
A little background. Born and raised 60 miles from the city and a Cubs fan since Nicholson, Cavaretta and Hack. Will fly to the city from 11 - 14 July to see the Cubs destroy the Braves. And staying Near North.
One evening will be North Pond and the other two are open. My wife and I travel to Italy a couple times a year so we, I guess, lean that way. And since I can only faintly recall the sublime taste of the great local river fish (bass, walleye, etc.) I'm looking that way, too. I can get salmon, halibut, et al at home, but hope to find someplace with a local catch.
Ceres' Table (used to be in the Uptown/Andersonville area) just moved to Lakeview and is in walking distance of Wrigley Field. If you are in the mood for Italian this might be a great option to head to after a day game (they are open nightly for dinner). I have already been twice since they moved to Lakeview and was extremely impressed both times by the quality of the food, drink and service (and the space is really nice too). http://www.cerestable.com/index.html
North Pond generally has fish from the Great Lakes, so you should be able to get your local catch fix there. I am sure there are other venues if you want to add a second featuring local fish, but off hand I am struggling to think of something that would fit the bill - I generally prefer salt water fish, so have not paid to much attention to who is serving more local fare. GT Fish & Oyster is my favorite seafood restaurant, but am not sure specifically about their tendency to have local fish.
North Pond is a great choice. I ate there a few weeks ago and my dinner was outstanding. Save room for dessert, as the desserts were some of the very best in the city.
Italian and seafood are the two big trends in Chicago dining, comprising the two most frequent types of food among notable restaurant openings.
My favorite Italian restaurant in the Chicago area is Anteprima. It is located in the Andersonville neighborhood, seven miles north of the Loop. It's very much a neighborhood bistro type of place. Everything there is simply wonderful, even the bread service. Sundays through Thursdays they have a special deal, $29 for any three courses (app/entrée/dessert or app/pasta/entrée), almost anything on the menu. And it's not that much more expensive on weekends, either. It's a quick ride up Clark Street from the ballpark, two miles on the #22 bus (or by cab).
If you want to stick to downtown, I recommend Piccolo Sogno Due in River North. It's excellent Italian, with more of an emphasis on seafood than its sister restaurant, Piccolo Sogno, in River West. Spiaggia, Tony Mantuano's high-end Italian in the Gold Coast, is scheduled to re-open a couple of weeks from now, supposedly slightly less formal. Other excellent Italian restaurants in the greater downtown area include Café Spiaggia in the Gold Coast, Tesori and Vivere in the Loop, and Coco Pazzo in River North.
I'm not sure which seafood places are most likely to have local fish. Keep in mind that some of our local fish is lake fish (e.g. lake trout). Like gonzo, GT Fish & Oyster is my favorite place for seafood; they serve it in a small plates format. Shaw's Crab House is also still excellent after all these years.