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Visiting Chicago tomorrow - Page 3

post #31 of 65
I was in Chicago last week (I'm from Evanston) and had a great dinner at Scylla in Bucktown--delicious, casual, great bartender and concoctions.

Also scored very nice Cornelani wool trousers at Nordstorm's Rack for $12 (from $185) but it's a bit out of your way (unless you visit the Chicago Botanical Garden in Glencoe, which is certainly worth a visit).
post #32 of 65
My last visit to George Greene: they had a leather jacket that weighed like 60 pounds for $5K. Not sure how fast they move those, but it was pretty cool. Also had some choice odd jackets by Luciano Barbera. The Lattanzis were on sale, so were the candy-coloured plaid Kiton sportcoats. What a cool store.
post #33 of 65
Originally Posted by uslexus
Ok Here is my take on food in Chicago.

There are so many choices, just doesn't get any better.

One of my favorites and regular places is Ruth's Chris. I know it is a chain, but the one in Chicago is great. Make sure you try to barbecue shrimp and the lobster bisque. Make sure you ask for Chris the GM, tell him Paul Blackburn sent you, get seated in Matt McCarthey's section...Hes the best.

I like all the big names, but LOVE the smaller ones.

Lincoln Park you have Tarantinos at 1112 W. Armitage, along with Sappori Trattoria (not sure on the spelling) which is at 2700 N. Halsted (East side of the street). Also try Vinci at around 1800 N. Halsted. You can even see a show afterwards down the street.

For big names in Chicago, you have Gibsons, Hugos, Everest...and a slew of others. Carmines is on Rush street, around 1100 N. Rush...right by Gibsons, the prices are not bad for the food and you still get the rush street CHIC. Also try Tavern On Rush.

For breakfast there is a great little place called Mary's Cafe, it is 215 E. Grand. I know the owner, let them know Paul sent you, you might get some $$$ off.

Enjoy your trip to Chicago, in my opinion there is no better place in the country!

--Ruth's Crisp is okay for a chain. Gibson's and Hugo's, use the same kitchen, and they both get 2 stars out of 4 from me. Even Gibson's WR Chicago cut is poor. all are tourist traps, I think Carmin's is pretty average at best. Do not get meat at Carmine's it's horrid. Joe's kick's all their *#*@*@ hands down. It's like night and day.
post #34 of 65
Has anyone tried Mcormick and Schmidt <sp> , I ate at the one in Pasadena and loved it and wanted to try the one I think near Michigan avenue.
post #35 of 65
Originally Posted by Soph
Gibson's and Hugo's, use the same kitchen, and they both get 2 stars out of 4 from me. Joe's kick's all their *#*@*@ hands down. It's like night and day.

Soph, what hyperbole. I'd rate Joe's and Gibson's/Hugo's as equals for cuisine with H/G blowing away Joe's with theater and action. Joe's has a tiny bar with only 8 stools, hardly a classic Chicago establishment
post #36 of 65
Originally Posted by Tomasso
Soph, what hyperbole. I'd rate Joe's and Gibson's/Hugo's as equals for cuisine with H/G blowing away Joe's with theater and action. Joe's has a tiny bar with only 8 stools, hardly a classic Chicago establishment

--- No Gibson's would hold the long standing tradition/classic, but I'm talking about dining/cuisine/ etc. not tradition. How many times have you eaten at both places? I'm talking about food, and Gibson's can't touch Joe's. Period IMO. This is confirmed by several clients, my co worker etc. etc. I've eaten at Joe's over 200 times and they consiently outperfrom on every item. Capital Grille doesn't even get it right. And I put Gibson's way below both Joe's and CG.

The Bar at Gibson's is interesting, I've dated a couple of the hostess'es myself and one from the capital grille I got a thing for hostess's. One girl joked Gibson's Bar is "for dirty old men and hookers." (which has some truth to it)

I've eaten at Gibson's at least 50 times, and the only thing that's great is the lunch time filet sliders and potatoes.

Gibson's is not in the same league as Joe's Not even close. I stand firmly behind that and have the experience to say so in this particular manner.

I'll be there Tuesday night in fact!

I challenge anyone to do a taste test: no contest.
Alinea is also a real treat for something different.

The viagra triangle is for tourists as Carmine's Gibson even Tavern are like the Armani of Chicago dining.

Sadly, I would put Sullivan's and Ruth Crisp above Gibson's for food.
However they do a great lunch time slider.! and you might see a celebrity or a golddigger or two.
post #37 of 65
George Greene is getting Kiton shoes also.
post #38 of 65
How much do people in Chicago weigh?
post #39 of 65
Originally Posted by iammatt
How much do people in Chicago weigh?

We learn to ask for the 'doggy bag' early on.
post #40 of 65
Originally Posted by rssmsvc
Has anyone tried Mcormick and Schmidt <sp> , I ate at the one in Pasadena and loved it and wanted to try the one I think near Michigan avenue.

I took some customers there last year. I am not a big fish eater, but what I had (cod and chips, I think) was good, and everybody liked what they had. the customers were pretty serious eaters from italy, so they would have been critical if they didn't like the fish.
post #41 of 65
WOW! It is amazing how defensive we all get about the places we eat at. Not many cities can say that.

I'll chime in once more with my thoughts

I have actually never eaten at Joes, not really sure why, but just haven't. I've heard it is really good.

As far as Gibsons go, I've been there on several occassions and the same with Hugos. I like the food at both, but agree, that you are mostly paying for the hype and the name. I do enjoy rush street as the energy there is unique to Chicago. When I want to go out for a great dinner, Gibsons may not be on the top, but when I want to go out for a good dinner and a great experience, then Gibsons is right up there. And their sliders for lunch are great. I actually ate several at the Katrina Charity Cookoff at McCormick place and then went for some more the next day.

I love Ruth's Chris because it is different. I enjoy the appetizers (Smoked Salmon is superb along with the shrimp) and I know the managers and my waiter so service is of course out of the world.

I've only been to sullivans for lunch. They have a decent priced bussinesman's lunch special with a filet and two sides, plus a salad for only 16.99. Filet is not the best cut though.

One of the best things though about Chicago, I think, are the small places you'll find in Bucktown, Lincoln Park, Old Town and even now the up and coming Logan Square. Those places provide a great meal, typically pretty good service, at a really good price.

For suburban locations I love The Clubhouse out in Oakbrook. It's pretty trendy for a suburb that is not Naperville.

Interesting thread...lets keep it going!

PS. SOPH! What are your favorite places outside of the big names? I'm always looking to try something off the beaten path!
post #42 of 65
Yes, The Clubhouse is decent and the only place I eat at in Oakbrook. Been there many many times.

I'm very spoiled, as I don't personally pay for these meals, I get alot of award points and deals from the owners, but I'd say the most intriguing fun places are:

Alinea--the most prefectly designed/prepared in Chicago!
Moto-- really artsty presentation but a blast, very entertaining
Heat-sushi although they do eel, osterich

--All 3 above I do the Chef's Selections/Tour etc. 8 to 12 courses with matching wine pairings.

Tru,Trotters are all overrated imo.

There are alot of holes in the wall in Chicago, alot. But for an entire dining experience you've got to do the whole package, like a custom suit and there are few places that can do it all well consisently.

Shaw's is decent.
Gibson's does have great sliders.
Bucktown etc. has alot of decently priced average meals so its kinda of unique but the food is not up to par with these names I mentioned.
post #43 of 65
McCormick and Schmick was a favorite spot for me in college, as they have a great after-hours menu with certain menu items and drinks for something really cheap, like $3. I have never had a real dinner there, however, so I have no idea, but they are supposed to have good seafood.

I will agree with other reviewers about Carmine's, in that it is overpriced/overrated, however it has a nice atmosphere. Tavern on Rush should be for drinks only, IMO. Unlike other posters, I always have a good experience at Gibson's, but it may be because of the atmosphere.

The Clubhouse at Oakbrook mall is a great restaurant if you are visiting the western suburbs, but I wouldn't make a special trip.

I have eaten at both Frontera Grill, and Topolobompo (sp?) and they were pretty good, however I recommend another mexican restaurant, Chilpancingo, but apparently is closed at the moment.

I wrote about some of my favorite restaurants in Chicago on the stickied restaurants thread so you may want to check that out for some other suggestions.
post #44 of 65
My last experience at Gibsons was pretty horrific. One dinner companion's steak was still cold in the center and it was ordered medium. They sear the outsides well and make it look pretty, but I've had a better steak at Weber Grill.

Personally, I'm more of a Mr. Beef guy. Authentic Chicago. Bullshit free dining. Great people watching.

post #45 of 65
I live pretty close to Oak Brook and I tried the Clubhouse once and it was not a good experience. WildFire there use to be outstanding and I was there yesterday and it was terrible in cleanliness and friendliness. There is a Weber Grill restaurant down the road, and better than both is a Greek Island.

The Reza's in Oak Brook is not as good as the one downtown.

Try Parker's SeaSide grill down the road, very nice and clean and great food.

There is a Capital Grill opening which I remember someone mentioned (I think Soph) and I am looking forward to trying.

There is a great sushi place down the road next to mangnum's called something like momentaro. Next to that is the "Living Room" , which has some really nice items if you can catch it for lunch (sometimes they are closed for it) they had some great foods. At night the Oak Brook Living Room is .... uncomfortable. If you are single it might be ok, but having had 2 great lunches I tried them for dinner twice and the first time a swinger couple was clearly looking for something not on the menu. I didn't realize their particular life choice until the wife "dropped" something and gave me a view of her world.<g> The second time I figured the first was a fluke and tried again because the food was that good, and a female friend and customer had almost the same experience. We quickly got of there and went to Magnum's next door and had a good steak.
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