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Dinner Recs in Chicago

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by MrG, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. SField

    SField Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  2. SField

    SField Well-Known Member

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    All good recs.
     
  3. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Well-Known Member

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    I endorse this post.
     
  4. Tooch4321

    Tooch4321 Well-Known Member

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    Ruxbin or Arami have both been my go to as of lately, I never understood the super love for Blackbird, it's good, but not great. Another solid and authentic Italian restaurant is A Tavola on Chicago Avenue in Ukie Village, I think the only downside is the menu hasn't changed much over the years, but their gnocchi is like eating little pillows of heaven.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Well-Known Member

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    Arami is great. ChicagoRon and I spent way too much money there in a short period.
     
  6. Tooch4321

    Tooch4321 Well-Known Member

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    I dream of their ramen some nights, I used to live right around the corner and I too spent a pretty penny. The girlfriend and I have a thing for Maude's Liquor Bar these days, we actually went there again last night and I am still full...
     
  7. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I lived on Racine/Ogden, so just over the freeway. It was dangerously close. Maude's Liquor Bar is awesome too. God Chicago is just full of great restaurants. I miss that.
     
  8. Tooch4321

    Tooch4321 Well-Known Member

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    Reading this reminds me that I need to stop by Twisted Spoke soon, I haven't been there in forever!
     
  9. privateer

    privateer Well-Known Member

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    Easy there tiger - I'm not saying Blackbird isn't my favorite restaurant in the city. However, I have to say - Girl and the Goat - it was good, but everyone talks it up bigger than it was. I think its somewhat overhyped. If we are keeping things in a similar price range to Blackbird:

    I really do like Longman & Eagle, and recommend that as a great restaurant. I enjoyed myself at Avec. I would recommend Topolobampo but I think your timeline is too short to get a reservation. I could probably throw out a few more places but I'm braindead right now.
     
  10. SField

    SField Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, none of the restaurants you mentioned are really that fantastic. Girl and the Goat is a good place, but quite overhyped. Bristol is better.

    Longman sucks. It is without a doubt, one of the worst 1 star restaurants I have ever been to in my entire life. The location is brutal, the prices for what you get is a joke. Bristol is better.
     
  11. BossTweed

    BossTweed Well-Known Member

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    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!
     
  12. otc

    otc Well-Known Member

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    Osteria Via Stato is right downtown, takes reservations, won't care what you are wearing, and serves up some pretty solid italian food.
     
  13. SField

    SField Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  14. curzon

    curzon Well-Known Member

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    “Curzon understands the cultural nuances of our ti
    

    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  15. airportlobby

    airportlobby Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  16. SField

    SField Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  17. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  18. airportlobby

    airportlobby Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. SField

    SField Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  20. SField

    SField Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

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