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Dinner Recs in Chicago - Page 3

post #31 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoRon View Post
Yeah... for a traditional seafood, Bob Chinn's in wheeling is my first and only choice, although I hear Catch 35 is good, and Shaw's or Joe's would be acceptable in a pinch.

And I think that Tramonto's steakhouse in Wheeling is the best one I've ever been to.
post #32 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoRon View Post
Yeah... for a traditional seafood, Bob Chinn's in wheeling is my first and only choice, although I hear Catch 35 is good, and Shaw's or Joe's would be acceptable in a pinch.

Catch 35 is ok. Not terribly expensive, but if you're looking for seafood and L20 (which, btw, my wife and I went to for our anniversary a couple weeks ago and lived up to every expectation, which is impressive considering we shelled out over $300 for the meal - not an everyday type expense for us), I'd check out Oceanique in Evanston. Creative, well-prepared, thoughtful seafood in the $50-75 a meal range.
post #33 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by adambparker View Post
Catch 35 is ok. Not terribly expensive, but if you're looking for seafood and L20 (which, btw, my wife and I went to for our anniversary a couple weeks ago and lived up to every expectation, which is impressive considering we shelled out over $300 for the meal - not an everyday type expense for us), I'd check out Oceanique in Evanston. Creative, well-prepared, thoughtful seafood in the $50-75 a meal range.
Thanks Adam. Like I said... "I hear" on catch 35 b/c I've never been motivated to go.
post #34 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoRon View Post
Like I said... "I hear" on catch 35 b/c I've never been motivated to go.
I wasn't too impressed with Catch 35 when I went for the first time a couple of months ago. It wasn't bad, but it didn't leave me wanting to return.
post #35 of 248
Thread Starter 
Since everyone was so helpful with the recommendations I thought I would report back with my experiences.

Night one (Thanksgiving): MrsG decided that she had to have traditional Thanksgiving fare, and we didn't want to go too far for dinner. It turned out Harry Caray's was just a couple of blocks from our hotel, and they were serving turkey and the fixings, so we decided to give it a try. She had the turkey dinner, which was good, and I had the prime rib. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much (I'm not a fan of kitschy restaurants), but I was pleasantly surprised. The prime rib was quite good. Good flavor and very tender.

Night two: Dinner at Blackbird. It was nothing short of amazing from start to finish. In terms of meals it was by far the the highlight of the weekend. We each had an appetizer, main course, and dessert, and each was absolutely outstanding. As was noted earlier in the thread, it wasn't the quietest or most spacious restaurant, but it wasn't uncomfortable. I wouldn't go here for a quiet, romantic evening, but I never felt it was too loud/packed. The server was also quite good. He was very informative/helpful and there when we needed him, but he wasn't a pest (which annoys me).

Our orders:

Apps:
Roasted Hudson Valley Foie Gras
Baby Octopus Confit

Main Courses:
Wood-Grilled California Sturgeon
Roasted Wisconsin Veal Chop

Desserts:
Chocolate Dish (I can't remember the name)
Baked Brioche Custard

The chef also sent us a taste of some sturgeon belly and dark chocolate-covered ginger bread.

Day Three: Gino's East for deep dish pizza. This was recommended by a friend, so MrsG insisted that we give it a try. It was quite good. This was my first deep dish experience, so I can't compare, but it was quite tasty.

Night three: Riccardo Trattoria. Very, very good. It's definitely some of the best Italian I've had. We shared an appetizer, each had a main course, and shared dessert. The only complaint I had was the service. I asked our waiter for a wine rec, and he recommended two with my meal. The first was a miss, as it didn't really match my stated preference or pair well. The second was much better. He also wasn't particularly attentive, which is saying something given I prefer servers to only be around when I need them. This, however, was my only complaint, as the food was fantastic. Like Blackbird, it was also smaller and a bit loud, but it wasn't uncomfortable. Though I should note it was louder than Blackbird.

Our Meals:

App.:
Tuscan Style Cold Cut Plate (stated for two, but this was enough for four)

Main Courses:
Veal Ravioli "Massaia"
Pappardelle "Florentine"

Ricotta Cheesecake

So that's our culinary adventure. Everything was wonderful, and, again, I thank all the SFers who gave input. It made tracking down a couple of nice dinners much, much easier.
post #36 of 248
Out of the recs, you made a couple of great choices. Glad you enjoyed them, and hope you liked the city.
post #37 of 248
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
Out of the recs, you made a couple of great choices. Glad you enjoyed them, and hope you liked the city.

We were very happy with the picks, and we loved Chicago as a whole. It's probably my favorite of all the major U.S. cities I've visited, and I think MrsG would agree.
post #38 of 248
cool, you ordered some of our favorites at TR. have to try blackbird
post #39 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
Cape Cod is one of the worst restaurants in the entire world. It is horrific and no one who has ever eaten real seafood should even remotely consider it to be a viable option. I'd rather go to Red Lobster.
Interesting. My parents took me to the Cape Cod Room when I was 16. We'd driven up from St. Louis to visit Northwestern University, and we were staying at the Drake Hotel. One night we ate there. My mother and father played it up, telling me that famous people had eaten there. They told me that my grandparents had eaten there once for a special occasion. It might have been one of their wedding anniversaries or something like that. Anyway, our waiter, or someone associated with our waiter, brought a live lobster to our table and showed it to us, as if to entice us to order lobster. I remember my parents' response. They expressed shock and delight. They laughed. They treated the moment as an important feature or service or entertainment particular to that restaurant. My father might have said, "They won't do this in St. Louis!" At the time, I thought my neutral response was an artifact of being 16 years old, but perhaps I was responding to the stupidity of one of the restaurant's protocols.
post #40 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnapril View Post
Interesting. My parents took me to the Cape Cod Room when I was 16. We'd driven up from St. Louis to visit Northwestern University, and we were staying at the Drake Hotel. One night we ate there. My mother and father played it up, telling me that famous people had eaten there. They told me that my grandparents had eaten there once for a special occasion. It might have been one of their wedding anniversaries or something like that. Anyway, our waiter, or someone associated with our waiter, brought a live lobster to our table and showed it to us, as if to entice us to order lobster. I remember my parents' response. They expressed shock and delight. They laughed. They treated the moment as an important feature or service or entertainment particular to that restaurant. My father might have said, "They won't do this in St. Louis!" At the time, I thought my neutral response was an artifact of being 16 years old, but perhaps I was responding to the stupidity of one of the restaurant's protocols.

The Drake is a very depressing place. It's sad to see a great institution being on life support like that. It's a shell of its former self by all accounts. The world sort of moved on and it never caught up.
post #41 of 248
I was just at the Drake this past Wednesday at a big Christmas party, and I'll be back with some fellow SF'ers on Saturday. I like the Drake for all of its dowdiness, especially at Christmas.
post #42 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrG View Post
We were very happy with the picks, and we loved Chicago as a whole. It's probably my favorite of all the major U.S. cities I've visited, and I think MrsG would agree.
I also think it's a great city, one of my favorites. I never tire of going there, and I go quite a bit.
post #43 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by ld111134 View Post
I was just at the Drake this past Wednesday at a big Christmas party, and I'll be back with some fellow SF'ers on Saturday. I like the Drake for all of its dowdiness, especially at Christmas.

+1 on loving The Drake during the holidays.

Nothing like coming around the corner on Lake Shore Drive and seeing the sign for The Drake, especially on a cold clear night.
post #44 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnapril View Post
Interesting. My parents took me to the Cape Cod Room when I was 16. We'd driven up from St. Louis to visit Northwestern University, and we were staying at the Drake Hotel. One night we ate there. My mother and father played it up, telling me that famous people had eaten there. They told me that my grandparents had eaten there once for a special occasion. It might have been one of their wedding anniversaries or something like that. Anyway, our waiter, or someone associated with our waiter, brought a live lobster to our table and showed it to us, as if to entice us to order lobster. I remember my parents' response. They expressed shock and delight. They laughed. They treated the moment as an important feature or service or entertainment particular to that restaurant. My father might have said, "They won't do this in St. Louis!" At the time, I thought my neutral response was an artifact of being 16 years old, but perhaps I was responding to the stupidity of one of the restaurant's protocols.

yeah, but we all went through something with our parents that we now think was hokey, but the thought was very sophisticated. parents try. my dad used to take me to the king david, he thought it was the coolest, most sophisticated place in the world.
post #45 of 248
ok, I am in town for a couple of weeks (thanks to the earthquake in japan and the riots in Saudi) and I am going to have some meals out with my wife and friend. please give me any recommendations you have.

50 bucks a head more or less (without wine) would be good. any type of cuisine.
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