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Exposure - South Loop

Hubby and I tried Exposure in the South Loop in October. Not sure how it looks now, but it looked half-finished when we were there - sawdust in the corners, blank spaces on the walls, etc.
The decor: skimpy sheer curtains that looked straight out of Ikea amongst riveted leather chairs and heavy riveted-velvet booths. Mismatched in a way that looked haphazard and silly rather than kitsch.
Drinks: we, thinking we were at a tapas restaurant (which they advertise to be), requested a pitcher of sangria. Our waitress said they didnt have sangria by the pitcher and not only that, they didn't have "traditional" sangria but they had "sangria with a twist" which we could only order by the glass.
"What was the twist?", we asked. She didn't know.
Neither did the bartender for that matter. I 'think' what they served us was cheap red wine, orange sections and tequila - all equal parts. It was disgusting. Undrinkable really, and I can't imagine that the bartender actually tried that concoction prior to serving it.
Secondly, one thing you absolutely expect in a tapas restaurant is a stack of clean plates on the table - if not a stack - severly attentive service to replace your small plate. This place had neither. Actually, asking for a clean 5" plate seemed like a put-off to their staff.
When we ordered: one of the things I ordered was a cheese fondue. I had a choice of cheeses. I asked the waitress if they were mixed or two separate fondues. She didn't know. Anyhow, it was to be served with seasonal fruits, veggies and artistan breadS. What I got was a coagulated muck of cheese - cooked past comprehension - no veggies, brownish grapes that didn't look like they even got rinsed, and a dried-out airy white loaf (one kind, not breadS,). And that cost $16.50.
Hubby ordered from th raw bar. He ordered a shrimp ceviche at a price of $4 per shrimp. The waitress asked if he wanted two orders, or two shrimp, but...wasn't sure how many shrimp might be in an order. Anyhoo... hat he got was shrimp cocktail. And we could have found better if not as good, shrimp cocktail at Costco.
We also tried to order to lobster ceviche, which was $19, and thankfully (hindsight) they were out of it. I think that's steep pricing for tapas so far. Once you break the $8 mark, it's not longer tapas.
Other things we ordered:
Lamb skewers: good and juicy, a Mediterraean flavor
Chicken skewers: most but one prety pink chunk which we didnt touch
Shrimp: charred to rubber - so over-cooked it wasn't even close to funny
Then we ordered a 2nd (replacement) drink : basic: a margarita with Patron. 15 minutes later, the waitress came back to say they were out of Patron. I felt like saying: in the time it took them to figure that out, I could have walked the block to Jewel and back and bought them a bottle.
They completely FORGOT to cook two fo our tapas.
Our final two tapas came out 1 hour and 25 minutes after we arrived. (Which was on a Wednesday night around 6pm.)
One of those was a gorgonzola au gratin which was good. Well, actually those are two of my favorite things so in order for it to be down-graded to average, it would have had to have a hair in it.
The other was crab cakes: seared and crispy on the outside, tender inside with a pesto cream.
So the waitress sent her manager over to appease us since she forgot to put two (or three) of our tapas orders in. Here's the deal: I don't work as hard as I do to go out to eat for a waste of time and to beg off some free food. I go for the flavors, the experience and the fun of it. So the $12 bonus to our bill was under-appreciated. Even more so after we went to the valet and re-noticed the buy-one-get-one-free sandwhich board out front. So really we got no favors.
So. in the scheme of things. This experience doesn't matter. I just wont waste time at it again.
Oh. and on the way out, I stopped by the restroom which was right by the bar. They were NOT out of Patron. Actually I saw 3 versions of it.
Bottom line: this aint tapas: it's over-glorified bar food with bad service.
Sorry!!

Dec 01, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Thanksgiving Weekend in West Palm Area

Well, see... my hubby decided last Thursday we needed a weekend away and we went spent the past several days in Palm Beach. So:
Friday night, we went to Cafe Boulud. Being restaurants "snobs" (not purposely) from Chicago we had very high expectations.
We had dinner at Boulud's restaurant at the Wynn in Vegas and they had the best frickin cheese plate that I ever enjoyed, so that being my reasoning, I ordered a beet salad with gorgonzola as my first course. And it was devine. Seriously, though it sounds like an "oridinary" dish, I could have eaten a bushel of it, it was just that good. Hubby had some spring roll/peanut thing which reminded me of Le Colonial on rush street in chicago. anyhoo.
For my entree, I ordered the bone-in pork chop off of the special menu. Hubby ordred the short-rib ravioli (because fatty beef and pasta cant be bad). Hubbies ravioli was great only when paired with the cherry tomatoes that were part of the dish (you really needed some acid to cut that fatty/carb taste).
We met the marketing director for Daniel at the bar after dinner and she shared her foie gras with me and overall, she was very much fun to talk too. She was knowlegeable too.
We ordered desert: he had coconut sorbet which was that. I ordered their "special" chocolate souffle and it was devine. Better than Morton's (original) which prior to that was my fave souffle. Ever.
We had a bottle of dom,. which is always great and the wine service was fabulous.
Overall, best FL dinner ever. Great menu.
So, second night: we did "The Restaurant" at our resort, the Four Seasons. For my first course I had "organic greens" with truffle dressing which looked boring from the top (and I had a choice of dressings, but heard truffle and picked that right off). Once I dug into it, it had very fresh tomatoe, avocado and cuke buried perfectly inside.
My second course, was a great surprise and it was one of my 'top 20' favorite things I have ever ordered, if not in my "top 10". It was goat cheese in paper with a crispy sweet noodle on top, citrus sauce... wow. I could have eaten nothing but that.
Service was great too. Beyond great, actually. We drank cristal, which was my first ever bottle of that and it was good (though I dom better...and if i'm being straight, i like moet's white star just as well!)
Being honest, my main course at "the restaurant" was not so good. i ordered poached lobster with prawns on sage fettucinnni. The lobster was WAY overcooked, rubbery beyond yuck. The prawns were "meh??" . The sage in the pasta tasted like sea-water. .... I'm not trying to be harsh, it was just that. BUT, did I mention that my second course was phenomenal?
I was looking for a trifecta on souffle so I ordered that for desert and it was ... ok.
Overall: great, phenomal sevice. And overall, great food. I'd go back just for the goat cheese!
We later decided to extend our stay and went to Jensen Beach to visit friends. We went to Conch Joe's.
I had Alaskan King Crab which took a lifetime to get, but were done great. My salad was 2 parts "bleu cheese" 1/2 part lettuce (which is good in my book). Great bread basket. I didn't touch my potatoe at dinner though (actually i gave it to my daughter to feed to the catfish which she giggled about like mad). Overall: service #3, food - great greasy spoon seafood shack. Hubby took home his "forgotten appetizer that never got rung in" -- blue crab with mustard (then he asked for marinara) and he really enjoyed it.
Other than that, we ate mostly at the Four Seasons: room service (blah!) or their pool/beach side restaurants (blah!) .
Well I guess we did have "pizza" at a pizzeria on Worth Ave that we biked to with our rentals. Being from Chicago, the Great Land of Pizza, it was not so good. At all.
Overall though, a great place to visit during the winter months!!

Nov 19, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Florida

Upscale Bonita Springs / Marco Island?

Wow. Very interesting question ... and one that I wish I would have asked prior to visiting.
That being said, and not being a "real" foodie, just someone who really likes good food, I'll tell you this:
Went to a corporate event at the Marriott on Marco Island. I thought they did a fantastic job from the logistics side of catering. On the food end, I figured I could have gotten as good in many locations for breakfast, lunch or dinner...though the event I was there for had some fantastic speakers for each meal of the day throughout....
Anyhoo.... we rented a three bedroom house with pool/jac for the first week, spent an evening "spying" at our resort...then went to the Mariott. We were referred from the Marriott (who had shabby food in their "normal" restuarants to their "best" Italian restaurant on the island. Marc, marco, anoton...seriously sorry that i can not remember the name of it. It was less than 2 miles from the resort. Either way, this was seven or eight months ago and I remember saying to my husband: this is the worst ghocchi I've ever had. He had soft-shell crab, at the beginning of the season, and they were quite good. As a matter of fact, that prompted me to order them at several restaurants in my hometown: Room 21 (good), Cuatro (awesome/excellent/great), the Ritz (as lunch, yach). But other than that, service, entree, selection, seasonal, etc was quite blah.
We did a booze cruise out of Naples -- we decided to extend our stay -- and the food was awful but the experience was great. We felt like the illigetimate grandchildren of the rest of the patrons of the cruise. Good Fun!

Nov 19, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Florida

De La Costa

Personally,they have one of my two favorite ceviche menus in the city, the other being Cuatro on Wabash in the South Loop.

Nov 11, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Girls Night Out in Bucktown/Wicker Park

If you're looking for Latin on a Saturday night in that area, go to Coco's (Modern Puerto Rican Cuisine) - 2723 W Division. Great food, great cocktails and at 10 on a Saturday expect a salsa/merenge band in the summer. Going into the winter, normally a band, sometimes a DJ. Weeknights: known to host art gallery after parties. If there's one thing I know, Puerto Rican's love to dance.

Nov 11, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Breakfast / lunch near Sheraton Towers downtown

Breakfast: West Egg - 2 blocks north from the hotel at 620 N Fairbanks (Columbus cross street). Normally a line, but once you get seated, fast service (not overly friendly or anything though) and great granola pancakes, good omelettes.
Tip: Do not eat anywhere in your hotel, specifically the Chicago Burger Company.
You guys will be in walking distance to a bunch of restaurants. There's a somewhat-hidden Italian joint called Volare about 2-3 blocks from your hotel. Small and crowded but tasty. For good Japanese or Thai or Mexican you'll have to cab it out of the loop.
Pizza in Chicago is too complex to discuss in this context.
You mentioned specifically breakfast and lunch however, if you're up for dinner you are within 2-4 blocks of the following fabulous restaurants (in succession): De La Costa (Latin fusion, 2 blocks away), Capitol Grill (the original, typical steakhouse but always elegant and fantastic), Tru (you'll need a reservation way in advance, excellent chef, palette chalenging).

Nov 11, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Memphis - Chicago tourist needs help

Gosh everyone - thank you so much for all of the recs. Unfortunatley, two days before this trip my Grandfather passed away and we nixed our plans and took the next plane 'back home' to be with Grandma and the family. We're planning on doing this trip now later in the fall (October or early November). I've printed all of your review and suggestions and I really appreciate all of your help!!

Sep 07, 2007
frankiewickerpark in General South Archive

Calling Nsxtasy (or someone nearly as good)

I'll second Cuatro - they have a modest atmosphere and their food is outstanding. We've eaten there several times and I've never been disappointed. There's a seafood "stew" dish that I think is called Moqueqa del Mar that is out of this world - it has a cocunut broth. Their ceviche is nice too.

Aug 28, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Spring this past weekend

After reading numerous favorable reviews on this restaurant we gave it a whirl this past weekend. I think the meal I had at Spring ranks in the top ten of the best meals I have ever had and by far the best food I've had in the city in quite some time.

For an appetizer, I ordered a scallop and potatoe "ravioli". The scallop was perfectly seared and sliced into strips. That was layered between very thinly sliced fried slices of potato which were slightly crispy. It was prepared with a black truffle reduction - the mushrooms were pefectly done. I think this is the best appetizer I've ever eaten. I had an urge to lick the plate when I was done! The mixture of textures were perfect. Hubby had short rib dumplings (potstickers). He said he didn't think he could eat potstickers anywhere else after having those.

For an entree, I ordered Baramundi. I've never had this kind of fish before but it was similar, though richer than monkfish. It was super tender and very flavorful. It was served over parmesean gnocchi in a lobster based broth. The piece of fish was quite large and after devouring the appetizer it was more than I could eat (though that didn't deter me from trying a dessert). Hubby had Alaskan King Salmon served over toasted sesame risotto. He said his fish was excellent and he thought the crunchiness of the risotto was really interesting.

For dessert we shared coconut creame panna cotta with blackberries. It was not too-sweet and very creamy. The blackberries were the juciest and sweetest I've had in quite some time. I also had sweet rice flavored pu-erh tea which was very good.

The service was excellent. Our waiter was very knowledgable about all of their dishes and he was very attentive.

Overall, the experience was excellent. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for something "new" or looking for a fine dining experience.

Aug 27, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Things you like slightly burned or burnt?

Fried onions, fried in real butter, left just a little too long, just getting a bit black on the rims of the rings - go good on top of just about anything.

Aug 24, 2007
frankiewickerpark in General Topics
1

Alhambra Restaurant on Randolph St.

Happy B-day to your brother!

Spouse and I have been there twice. Both in their first week or two of operation. They opened around the same time as Room 21. Bottom line: that place is HUGE.

First visit: stopped for a drink after first dinner at Room 21. Drank oodles of their house martini's and smoked two bricks of hookah. Made a dinner reservation for the "Grand Opening". First impression: Chicago invites Epcot Corp. But, the service was outstanding (as well as drinks and the smoke).

Second visit: What can I say, it was their Grand Opening. Every service staff member was as frazzled as you would expect them to be. There were well over 1,000 people there. Impressively, they did manage to seat us on the balcony overlooking the stage and dance floor. The menu wasn't "fully developed" so we ordered baba ghanoush and shish kabobs which were fine. There were belly dancers and a fabulous band.

If a Thursday night could be even 20% as packed as the Grand Opening, I'm sure you'll have a great time.

Aug 24, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Memphis - Chicago tourist needs help

We want BBQ!!! We're staying at the Madison Hotel downtown. Where's the best BBQ in Memphis??

Aug 24, 2007
frankiewickerpark in General South Archive

Carnivale

We've stopped by Carnivale a couple of times for a pre-dinner drink but went there for dinner tonight. And WOW! Note that Coco Modern, Cuatro and DeLaCosta are in our top 20 favorite restaurants - we like Latin food!

For drinks, hubby ordered a Pisco Sour. For all practical purposes, this is a brandy sour(which I only drink with Grandpa). This one was served with egg-white foam and cinnamon on top and the sip I had was great. (Don't tell Grandpa though). I ordered the house martini - tequila, pomegrante juice and mango puree in the bottom. It was fine.

For appetizers, we ordered a trio of ceviche - both being ceviche fans. We tried shrimp, scallops and ahi tuna. The shrimp was served with a salsa. The scallops were served in a delicate verde sauce with thinly sliced cucumber and the ahi tuna was served on a paper thin slice of jicama with chile and a great sauce. I thought I'd like the shrimp the best but actually the ahi tuna was devine. The presentation of the ceviche was great and the flavors of each were distinct. We also ordered a fried Manchengo cheese which I expected to be like a Latin form of Saganaki. It actually tasted like a cross between Saganaki and fried mozzerella with some sweetness. Hubby offered up the rest of his share of ceviche in trade for the 3rd piece of the fried Manchengo. They were all so good I can't decide who got the better end of that deal.

We debated entrees because we like to share and with some exceptions have similar tastes. Hubby ordered a special: shredded skirt steak on polenta made with white cheddar. I ordered their rum-glazed pork shoulder served with Puerto Rican rice and beans and plantains. We traded half-way through our meals, because we both ordered great dishes and we also thought each others dish was slightly better. The shredded skirt steak was incredibly tender. I've only eaten polenta in a handful of ways and this was a new one. The preparation of the polenta with the white cheddar was almost like mashed potatoes underneath the shredded beef. I thought it was excellent. The rum-glazed pork shoulder was also very juicy and tender. Mixing a sweet glaze with pork is usually a good idea. The rice that was served with the pork was excellent - complete with a couple of green olives. Hubby said that the dish tasted like something his Grandma used to make.

After all of that, we skipped dessert. The server we had was excellent. She was attentive, friendly and knowledgeable. The decor was typical Kleiner. I said that the chairs looked like Room 21 less the Louis Vuitton handles, hubby said they looked like Opera. But overall, it's a more boisterous restaurant than his others - like you'd expect a Latin restaurant to be.

This restaurant will make our top 4 Latin restaurants in the city. After my aforementioned 3 in that same order.

Aug 24, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Ordering at moto?

We took my sister and a cousin there for dinner last spring and our philsophy was: "go big or go home!" That being said, we did the GTM with pairings. It took a little over 4 hours and we were all impressed by the textures, flavors and temperatures of everything. It was like foods you know prepared and served in ways you couldn't imagine. We were equally impressed by how well the pairings went with each course - definitely do that no matter which tour you go with.

JP: congrats on your engagement!

Aug 23, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Wedding Food Question

Hubby and I got married last December in Vegas and held our reception celebration a couple of weekends ago at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers. We had 100 or so people.
They were more than willing to customize the menu. Their chef sat with us through most of our tasting. We ended up turning one of their 3-course packages into a 4-course meal. We requested that they do something 'without mushrooms' for the orzo that was served with the filet & lobster with the main course and the chef offered to do onion and feta instead - and it was very tasty. We also customized our bar items with specific liquors that we knew both we and our guests would drink (I had to have my favorite rum). Less than a week before, we also asked them to add an hors douvers that would be passed during cocktail hour.
They were very accomodating as I'm sure either venue you are thinking about would be.The price there was around $200 per person.
We also hired their Eved services to take care of all the decorating and details which neither of us had the time or patience to deal with. Overall we felt they did a great job. We basically picked the food and booze and booked a band. Their banquet dept and Eved took care of everything else.

Aug 23, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

The Signature Room at the Hancock

We've been trying all sorts of different places this spring and summer rather than our same old, same old. I've got reservations for our Saturday "date night" booked out until November (seriously...lol).
The previous two weekends we went to onesixtyblue and Spiaggia respectively and after two perfect 10's, that probably made this all the more disappointing.
We're trying Spring in Wicker Park this weekend so I'll try to remember to post something about it.

Aug 22, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

The Signature Room at the Hancock

Haven taken countless out-of-town guests to the Signature Lounge for an afternoon toddy and a view, my hubby and I decided to try the restaurant last weekend. It was extremely disappointing.

I ordered grilled prosciutto wrapped buffalo mozzarrella for an appetizer. They were kind of cubed and served on a skewer over a dessert bowl which made it extremely awkward to eat. The prosciutto was pretty much cold on three sides and overly grilled on the other. Hubby ordered lobster bisque which was average and a little on the salty side.

For an entree, I ordered broiled pork belly which was way over-cooked. When I asked the server for a suggested wine pairing, she looked befuddled which I thought to be odd for a restaurant serving $30-50 entrees. Hubby ordered a filet. We both ordered white cheddar potatoes for a side. The potatoes were nearly raw and the cheddar sauce had the consistency of broth. We sent both orders back (sending food back is a rarity for both of us - I can't remember the last time I did that). We traded those in for the saltiest mashed potatoes we've ever eaten. I started to call it the Salt Room by the end of the meal.

The service was not what you would expect for a higher-end restaurant. The server seem uninformed and disintersted. Little things like not refilling waters glasses or folding napkins when either of us left the table for a break.

Picky I know - but when we're spending $200 on dinner, we expect more of an experience. Perhaps we were so diappointed in the quality of the food that the lacksidasical service was the icing on the cake. In a nutshell, other than the view, this pick was one big belly flop.

Aug 21, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Jerry's Sandwiches - new in Wicker Park

"But my question is, is it more of a casual restaurant or more of a late night spot with booze?"

Casual restaurant for sure.

Jul 11, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

The Best Sunday Brunch?

In the winter: Biscuits & gravy along w/ beer & football at Stanley's Kitchen.

Jul 09, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

New locations of great Chicago places

I must have been typing while you were posting this. re: Jerry's - I didn't realize this was a second location for them. I thought it was fantastic.

Jul 09, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Jerry's Sandwiches - new in Wicker Park

Spouse and I tried this new sandwich shop in Wicker Park tonight. We didn't realize that they were open until this past weekend when we wandered by then in for a glass of sangria.

Love this concept - there are over 100 sandwiches on the menu - every combination you can think of. Or if none of those tickles your fancy, you can make up your own combination. There were at least a dozen bread choices, over two dozen fillings (standards like turkey/ham/roast beef, to hummus, smoked salmon, fried eggplant, marinated skirt steak, you name it), over a dozen types of cheese, and too many condiment choices to count.

I went for the Iris D, which is: portabella mushrooms, giardenera, provolone, southwest mayo - and I chose to put it on a pretzel roll which was super fresh and chewy and it also held the sandwich together nicely. I thought the flavor of the giardenera was a perfect match with the mushrooms. Hubby went for a Louisianna fried shrimp sandwich. He enjoyed his as well.

The service was very friendly. The atmosphere feels organic, relaxing and warm. And they unwrapped a highchair for our 15-month old daughter. (There were several kids meal selections too.)

Definitely a casual place to check out. I think I've found my new favorite lunch spot in the neighborhood.

Jul 09, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Suggestions for Ukrainian Village / Bucktown/ Wicker Park Restaurants

Living over here for a couple of years, we've determined our local favorites:

Coco's - Puerto Rican restaurant on Division "between the flags". Usually has a salsa band on Friday/Saturday nights. And it's upscale PR food - really innovative menu. My faves: their asapos with camarones or vegetarian (stew, basically) and their El Rico (raisin stuffing in a pork chop). Spouse always gets the Churasco Caqueno (skirt steak). If you go there, try their Coco martini - it's delish.

Bravo Tapas - good tapas, excellent sangria, huge outdoor patio, great service and a lounge downstairs. Great place to hang out with the girls.

Club Lucky and Silver Cloud come to mind as two of our other local faves - their menu's are more casual but very good. Club Lucky was serving up soft-shelled crab on their app menu a few weeks ago, though their homemade mosticiollo (I know I didn't spell that right) is really good. Silver Cloud has a diverse menu for a bar. But it's a bar.

Crust is the newest restaurant in the area. We've been there a few times. The first time was great but a bit disappointed in subsequent visits. Plus it's flatbreads (imo, pizza), salads and samiches - better for lunch than dinner.

Jun 22, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Chicago Style Pizza - Wicker Park/Buckhead

Oh my! Thank you for mentioning this one. First of all, you're dead-on with the generalization about the preferred pizza style (at least in my book): We're not fans of chewey crust or deep dish.

We've lived in West Wicker Park for over 2 years and I have to say, delivery is somewhat limited around here. We were Sonny's and Bella's fans for awhile (Sonny's being the better of those two by far), then one day, rubber banded to the front gate was a flyer for John's.

I don't think we've ordered a pizza from anywhere else since. Their thin crust is the best. They don't over-do anything either.

And it holds up well in ziplocs overnight in the fridge for a cold breakfast, which in my book, is the defining definition of good pizza. Doesn't get too hard or too rubbery like so many do :-)

Jun 22, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Where to get the best Bigos

Wow. No idea what that even is. Soup, right? However, when I think Polish food, I think of Kasia's Deli in Ukranian Village. (Don't be discourage about the Polish joint in the Ukrainian neighborhood -there are actualy quite a few Polish restaurants in that area). You'd probably have to give them a holler to see if they have bigos.

Being originally from Minnesota, where there are tons of Pollacks amongst us bland-food-loving Swedes, the Catholic churches in the area all did Boujia "fundraisers". Maybe the same thing? It was a big old batch of soup. Great stuff. They made it but you bring your own ice cream bucket to bring it home in. Nobody makes soup like the church ladies :-)

Jun 13, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Need a recommendation for a great dinner downtown for a group of 10

I'm going to throw in De La Costa in the River East arts building. First off, they have great Latin/Carribean food. They run in-season specials, great selection of entrees, IMO the best ceviche in the city, tapas. Atmosphere is trendy and very upbeat, yet you get can seated at an intimate round-booth or toward the back by the river. Service is great too. It's one of my favorite Latin restaurants in the city.

For groups: Hubby and I took a group of 8 there for dinner about two months ago. Ordered a variety of ceviche plus some regular apps, sparkling sangria. Halibut that night was the special and it was done perfectly.

And I had my one year old in a stoller next to the table and there was a 15-year-old in our group as well. Not your typical kid-friendly restaurant - but the teenager was very impressed with the whole experience.

Jun 13, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Just got braces and EVERYTHING hurts, need ideas for softer foods...

I'm adult with braces too. I go on The Beer Diet whever I get an adjustment. It fills me up and I find I really don't give a hoot about the pain after a couple ;-)

Jun 05, 2007
frankiewickerpark in General Topics

Ethic - worth a trip from NYC

I'm going to throw in Coco - "modern Puerto Rican cuisine" - in Humboldt Park. About 2800 West Division. Their mofongo is the best and their raisin-stuffing chuleta is delish. It is off the beaten path though. They have some interesting Puertican art throughout the restaurant (the owner hosts gallery receptions on a regular basis). Most weekends you can find a salsa band - which is great fun in their intimate setting. If you go, make sure you try one of their coconut martinis (makes a great starter or a great dessert).

Jun 04, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

looking for restaurant with unusual food combinations

If you're throwing in Vietnamese/French fusion - Le Colonial is a great place too.

Though I thought of Opera in the South Loop with their Asian fusion right off. They are most definitely in my top 3 favorite Asian restaurants in the city.

Jun 04, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Soft Shell Crabs for Lunch

Saw them at 2 places over the weekend (but didn't have them at either place): Club Lucky in Bucktown and at the Cafe at the Ritz in Watertower Place. Last place I had them for dinner was at Cuatro in the South Loop and they were excellent there.

Jun 03, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area

Best Tapas in the City?

Try Bravo - on Division, just west of Damen. Great sangria, they run really good specials menus (in season, etc), there is a blue cheese on the cheese list that is phenomenal (served with papaya paste and sweet bread). Their patats bravas are a little on the spicy side, they have a trendy atmosphere, HUGE outside patio, and service is great.

Jun 01, 2007
frankiewickerpark in Chicago Area