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(last minute) Chicago restaurant ideas

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'm visiting Chicago for the weekend, and some of my friends and I have spontaneously decided we'd like to have dinner at at least one high quality restaurant. Below is a list of guidelines to help narrow us down from the myriad Chicago dining options:

- Getting a reservation on short notice must be feasible (obviously we have no reservations at the moment, and I imagine we're too late for some of the most popular places).
- Our preferred restaurant types include steakhouses and Chinese (think more authentic than P.F. Chang's style, but not to the point where we can't get by speaking English), and Italian and seafood options are also being considered. We absolutely do not want any continental European cuisine or trendy fusion cuisine, but other brands of cuisines not mentioned haven't been ruled out. Places with tasting menus or fixed course lists aren't our cup of tea either.
-We'll be staying near Midway and the University of Chicago, so the closer to that general area, the better. Don't put too much stock in location, as we are willing to drive the necessary distance for a quality place.
-Food quality is #1. We have no problem going to a place with a less ritzy ambience if it means better food. Similarly, we're not interested in having an "experience" or hitting up a reputed hotspot if the food isn't that great.
-The following restaurants have already been ruled out: Gibson's, Gene and Georghetti's, Morton's (and any other chain place that we can eat at outside of Chicago), N9ne, the Rick Bayless restaurants (Frontera/Topolobampo), and Charlie Trotter's.

I'm flying out tomorrow afternoon, so if anyone can throw me some ideas on short notice, it would be great.
post #2 of 8
I have a friend who used to teach at the University of Chicago, and when I visited, he took me to a small Thai restaurant in Hyde Park. It was excellent and authentic.

Check out this list:

http://chicagolife.uchicago.edu/city...ing.shtml#thai

Restaurant reviews throughout Chicago:

http://chicagolife.uchicago.edu/city...taurants.shtml
post #3 of 8
One of the best meals I ever had in Chicago was at an east Indian place called Bukhara, 2 East Ontario Street (312-943-0188).
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnapril
One of the best meals I ever had in Chicago was at an east Indian place called Bukhara, 2 East Ontario Street (312-943-0188).


john, what kind of food, and did it strike you as authentic?
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
john, what kind of food, and did it strike you as authentic?

I had Pakistani-style lamb kebab that sent me right back to Dakka.
post #6 of 8
Tapas are fun with friends. Cafe Iberico would be a bit of a drive, but it's well worth it. There might be other worthwhile tapas restaurants around your area. I remember one in not the best of neighborhoods, south of downtown, but I wasn't driving and I can't remember the name.

Avoid the little Vietnamese place called Le Colonial in downtown Chicago. Fancy and all, but bad, unauthentic dishes.

Going all the way to the Indian neighborhood (along Devon Avenue) would be too much of a drive, perhaps? Or one of the Polish neighborhoods. There is one that wouldn't be too terribly far from where you are, along Pulaski, near Archer and 50th, but I don't know it as well as the one along Milwaukee.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnapril
I had Pakistani-style lamb kebab that sent me right back to Dakka.


mmmmmm.....
post #8 of 8
Shawn McClain's Spring is very innovative and good. Also a good bar for a drink and an App before going somewhere else.


MPM
The Guide to Getting More Out of Life
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