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Dinner Recs in Chicago - Page 7

post #91 of 246
This has been a really helpful thread. Im in Chicago for work for two months, and my girlfriend is coming in for labor day weekend. My plan is to do Avec on Friday, The Bristol on Saturday, and Sepia on Sunday.

My parents are coming in tomorrow, and we're looking for a place with a casual dresscode that takes reservations on Sunday evening. Any specific recs? Thanks!
post #92 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by BossTweed View Post

My parents are coming in tomorrow, and we're looking for a place with a casual dresscode that takes reservations on Sunday evening. Any specific recs? Thanks!

Osteria Via Stato is right downtown, takes reservations, won't care what you are wearing, and serves up some pretty solid italian food.
post #93 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by BossTweed View Post

This has been a really helpful thread. Im in Chicago for work for two months, and my girlfriend is coming in for labor day weekend. My plan is to do Avec on Friday, The Bristol on Saturday, and Sepia on Sunday.

My parents are coming in tomorrow, and we're looking for a place with a casual dresscode that takes reservations on Sunday evening. Any specific recs? Thanks!

All solid choices. Sepia is a very safe bet. Avec on Friday is going to mean a big wait, and sort of a douche fest to be honest. I'd skip it and go to one of my other many recommendations, especially because you'll just be eating a lot of fairly similar food otherwise.

If you do go to Avec, ask if they have the panna cotta. Do not under any circumstances order the flatbread. Chorizo dates are nice, I'd avoid their "famous" braised pork.. it's watery and kind of sucks. For that kind of wintry food Bristol will beat the living shit out of Avec without all the faggotry.

I guess what I'm trying to say is don't go to Avec.
post #94 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by BossTweed View Post

This has been a really helpful thread. Im in Chicago for work for two months...

Since you're there for some time you ought to check out...

For dogs and sausages: Hot Doug's on N. California in Chicago

For ribs: Hecky's in Evanston

For pan pizza: Bert's Place in Morton Grove

For thin pizza: Great Lake Pizza on W. Balmoral in Chicago

For wings: Buffalo Joe's in Evanston

For American fare: The Silver Palm on Milwaukee Ave in Chicago

For Italian beef: Al's Beef on Taylor in Chicago

For Swedish brunch: Tre Kronor on W. Foster in Chicago

And the legendary Sarkis Cafe in Evanston and Walker Brothers in Wilmette for breakfast.
post #95 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post

I don't understand why people go to Blackbird. Yeah, it's good, but Chicago has much better.

To me it's the fucking Von Dutch hat of food in that city.

Go to Graham Elliot, he's a better chef and the place isn't fucking gay. Go to Boka, it's also better. Go to Alinea. If you have to go to a Kahan place, just go to Avec, although after my last visit I think I'm done going there. Bristol is much, much better.

I'm planning a long weekend and struggling with how seriously to take this post. Is Graham Elliot really a better experience than Blackbird? Dude looks like a turd+TV show with Ramsay+naming a restaurant after himself at that age= hard to imagine it will be a fun place to eat.

Is Bristol better than Avec or Longman or Purple Pig or.... Out of all the small plate, porcine-heavy places, is this the one?

Trying to get in at the horribly named Schwa. Too late? Worth it if my gf has some dietary restrictions (dairy and red meat)? Also tempted by Charlie Trotter's for some old school fine dining, something we don't have at all in Austin.
post #96 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by airportlobby View Post


I'm planning a long weekend and struggling with how seriously to take this post. Is Graham Elliot really a better experience than Blackbird? Dude looks like a turd+TV show with Ramsay+naming a restaurant after himself at that age= hard to imagine it will be a fun place to eat.

Is Bristol better than Avec or Longman or Purple Pig or.... Out of all the small plate, porcine-heavy places, is this the one?

Trying to get in at the horribly named Schwa. Too late? Worth it if my gf has some dietary restrictions (dairy and red meat)? Also tempted by Charlie Trotter's for some old school fine dining, something we don't have at all in Austin.

You might be friendly, but currently I think you're incredibly stupid.

Your metrics for judging restaurants in this post might be a joke, so I'll consider the possibility that you aren't actually some retarded Yelp lemming that is in fact capable of forming coherent opinions.

Yes, Graham Elliot is considerably better than Blackbird. If you're a name dropper, kindly consider that he did Avenues before he opened GE. There are plenty of chefs that open restaurants in their own names. Have you ever heard of Joel Robuchon or Alain Ducasse? You're from Austin so I'm guessing your fine dining experience is incredibly limited. In fact, if I knew someone was from Austin, the #1 place I would recommend would be GE. Why? Because it's a 1 star michelin restaurant serving probably 2 star food where you can wear whatever you want, it plays loud rock music and serves you popcorn when you enter, and he has one of the city's best mixologists on program and will pair cocktails with your meal in lieu of wine. It's the most austin restaurant in Chicago.

Yes, for the 1000th time, I and several other people who actually eat out in Chicago regularly rather than just read about it on the internet, Bristol is the best anglo-food "small plate" restaurant, possibly in the country.

Also, who the flying fuck cares about Schwa's name? It is some of the best food you'll ever eat in your life, and should also be very acceptable to someone from Austin. Try to go to Alinea.

Dietary restrictions are catered to by these places. Let them know in advance. Your girl can eat the vegetable tasting menu at Trotter's, which I'd recommend for you as well because it is quite phenomenal. But if you aren't on an unlimited budget, I'd rather do Alinea than Trotter's if I had to pick one.
post #97 of 246
SField - I know you replied when I talked about my dinner at Ria - I have to say ... drink pairings there far surpassed what I've had at GE, although GE's drinks are fantastic as well.

And why shove the Bristol down anyone's throat? Now that I travel full time again, I need to be able to get in with reasonable wait on weekends.
post #98 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post


You might be friendly, but currently I think you're incredibly stupid.

Your metrics for judging restaurants in this post might be a joke, so I'll consider the possibility that you aren't actually some retarded Yelp lemming that is in fact capable of forming coherent opinions.

Yes, Graham Elliot is considerably better than Blackbird. If you're a name dropper, kindly consider that he did Avenues before he opened GE. There are plenty of chefs that open restaurants in their own names. Have you ever heard of Joel Robuchon or Alain Ducasse? You're from Austin so I'm guessing your fine dining experience is incredibly limited. In fact, if I knew someone was from Austin, the #1 place I would recommend would be GE. Why? Because it's a 1 star michelin restaurant serving probably 2 star food where you can wear whatever you want, it plays loud rock music and serves you popcorn when you enter, and he has one of the city's best mixologists on program and will pair cocktails with your meal in lieu of wine. It's the most austin restaurant in Chicago.

Yes, for the 1000th time, I and several other people who actually eat out in Chicago regularly rather than just read about it on the internet, Bristol is the best anglo-food "small plate" restaurant, possibly in the country.

Also, who the flying fuck cares about Schwa's name? It is some of the best food you'll ever eat in your life, and should also be very acceptable to someone from Austin. Try to go to Alinea.

Dietary restrictions are catered to by these places. Let them know in advance. Your girl can eat the vegetable tasting menu at Trotter's, which I'd recommend for you as well because it is quite phenomenal. But if you aren't on an unlimited budget, I'd rather do Alinea than Trotter's if I had to pick one.

Jesus Christ. I'll ignore the retarded ad hominems. Thanks for the substantive info. There was nothing disrespectful or stupid about asking for the basis of your stated, vague opinions - like "Blackbird is the von Dutch" of restaurants." What does that mean about what's on my plate or an evening spent at the restaurant. It's impossible to tell if I would agree with you or not, even if I take at face value your imprimatur of correctness.

Most of the posts in this thread are from 2009, and there have been many openings since then; things change.

My uninformed impression of Graham Elliot's media persona is unfavorable, whatever.
post #99 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by airportlobby View Post


Jesus Christ. I'll ignore the retarded ad hominems. Thanks for the substantive info. There was nothing disrespectful or stupid about asking for the basis of your stated, vague opinions - like "Blackbird is the von Dutch" of restaurants." What does that mean about what's on my plate or an evening spent at the restaurant. It's impossible to tell if I would agree with you or not, even if I take at face value your imprimatur of correctness.

Most of the posts in this thread are from 2009, and there have been many openings since then; things change.

My uninformed impression of Graham Elliot's media persona is unfavorable, whatever.

It's because the value judgements you make in your posts are fairly consistent with annoying "foodies" with blogs and elite Yelp accounts where the reasons for their fairly strongly held opinions are often pithy or non-existent.

Anyway, Blackbird has been talked about a lot. I don't like the scene, I don't like the space itself, I think the food is dependable but not of the same standard as quite a few restaurants which are equally priced.
post #100 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoRon View Post

SField - I know you replied when I talked about my dinner at Ria - I have to say ... drink pairings there far surpassed what I've had at GE, although GE's drinks are fantastic as well.

And why shove the Bristol down anyone's throat? Now that I travel full time again, I need to be able to get in with reasonable wait on weekends.

No one is shoving it down anyone's throat, but the question gets asked fairly often, and it gets overlooked for far lesser restaurants in the same vein. BTW I've never waited more than 15 minutes there.
post #101 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post


No one is shoving it down anyone's throat, but the question gets asked fairly often, and it gets overlooked for far lesser restaurants in the same vein. BTW I've never waited more than 15 minutes there.

Never waited more than 15 when I have actually eaten there...but there have been times where I was told that the wait was long enough for me to just eat somewhere else.

Think I will to back the day after labor day for my birthday....shouldn't be a wait like that on a Tuesday.
post #102 of 246
Oy... considering that the Bristol is a good 15 minute walk from any major train the city, and about 20 minutes from downtown, I think it does pretty fucking well for itself. For god's sake, it's a James Beard winner, and was mentioned in the Michelle Guide for Chicago this year. How in any way is the place overlooked? I do enjoy the Bristol a lot, but I think it has gotten pretty inconsistent over the last year. Their bone marrow (which was the best in the city for some time) was nearly inedible the last time I was there, and their "rotating" menu is anything but. I mean, do you know how many times I've seen their "today only" pork meatballs on the menu? Frankly, I'm starting to worry that their resting on their laurels, and bowing to a less adventurous and less critical clientele (which I think is due to the increasing amount of yuppies in the neighborhood).

I have no idea why Longman and Eagle polarizes people so much. It is easily the most consistent restaurant I've been to in the city, and the location is hardly "atrocious" unless you get scared when you see a single Hispanic walking down the street. Christ, the New York Times even devoted an entire article to the neighborhood. I never hesitate to recommend the place to anyone, and not a single person has been disappointed. They have better ideas and execution than almost any other restaurant in the city IMO, and here's a nice pictorial of why I will keep coming back:

lnk
post #103 of 246
To judge a restuarant based on the name is stupid. Schwa might just have been my best overall dining experience that I've ever had. Everything about it was amazing. That said, I've heard the owner/chef is a little weird and has been known to just cancel reservations with barely no notice. A colleague of mine planned his birthday dinner there with a small group and was notified of the cancellation about 6 hours prior to his reservation.

As others have said, GE has amazing food and cocktails. Girl and the Goat and Longman & Eagle are 2 restaurants that weren't around when this thread was started that are also amazing.
post #104 of 246
Agreed about Schwa. I guess part of the appeal for some people is the erratic behavior of the chef/owner. For me, I simply didn't think it was quite good enough to warrant a second visit, but the pea soup and quail egg ravioli were phenomenal.

For general recommendations in the city, the Eater 38 is pretty much spot-on, and their "Heat Map" is worth a look for newer, but still noteworthy restaurants:

Eater 38

Chicago Heat Map
post #105 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasec View Post

Oy... considering that the Bristol is a good 15 minute walk from any major train the city, and about 20 minutes from downtown, I think it does pretty fucking well for itself. For god's sake, it's a James Beard winner, and was mentioned in the Michelle Guide for Chicago this year. How in any way is the place overlooked? I do enjoy the Bristol a lot, but I think it has gotten pretty inconsistent over the last year. Their bone marrow (which was the best in the city for some time) was nearly inedible the last time I was there, and their "rotating" menu is anything but. I mean, do you know how many times I've seen their "today only" pork meatballs on the menu? Frankly, I'm starting to worry that their resting on their laurels, and bowing to a less adventurous and less critical clientele (which I think is due to the increasing amount of yuppies in the neighborhood).

I have no idea why Longman and Eagle polarizes people so much. It is easily the most consistent restaurant I've been to in the city, and the location is hardly "atrocious" unless you get scared when you see a single Hispanic walking down the street. Christ, the New York Times even devoted an entire article to the neighborhood. I never hesitate to recommend the place to anyone, and not a single person has been disappointed. They have better ideas and execution than almost any other restaurant in the city IMO, and here's a nice pictorial of why I will keep coming back:

lnk

ok A) Bristol is overlooked in favor of Avec and Longman

B) Most consistent and "better ideas and execution than almost any other restaurant in the city "

I am dying to know where you've eaten in the city that you've come to that conclusion. Like I am totally blown away by a statement like that. If Longman were in like, St. Louis or Indiannapolis, maybe... but in Chicago? You're seriously going to say it's one of the best restaurants in the country? It is without a doubt, the single WORST michelin restaurant I have never been to. Sorely disappointed every single time.
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