I'm coming to Chicago for 5 days over Labor Day visiting friends/family around Chicago but will be staying in the Loop. I'll probably be dining solo for 2-3 lunches and a couple of dinners so I'm looking for some ideas where I can get a good meal at a good price and a good taste of what Chicago has to offer. Definitely want to explore some of Chicago's neighborhoods so as long as its accessible by a CTA train, I'm game to try things out. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
This morning, I noticed that the SE corner of 3rd Ave and 21st St there's a small place (used to be Blimpie?) that's being renovated. A small sign in the window says "Defontes of Brooklyn" - are they branching out from Red Hook and expanding to Manhattan??
I'm trying to find orange bitters (and maybe some other interesting flavors) here in Manhattan. I know that Marlow & Sons and LeNells are options, but I'd rather not shlep to Brooklyn if I don't need to. Any sources for bitters in Manhattan?
I totally agree. Last night, in honor of a dear friend's birthday, we went to Giano (Giano is Italian for Janus, the two-faced Roman god of beginnings and endings.) The menu is made up of two sides: one side with classic Italian cuisine, the other more contemporary. Both sides work well with one another.
We started with an order of gnocchi with four cheeses while we perused the menu. The gnocchi were light and moist with the sauce from the four cheeses supplying a rich, silky contrast. They disappeared within minutes. Next we ordered mixed green salads with a thick balsamic dressing. Simple and delicious. We also ordered the grilled beef wrapped in panchetta with a whipped horseradish mousse. An excellent combination.
The breaded pork chop was quite a sizable portion, crisp yet not greasy and moist. The hanger steak with date puree and roasted potatoes was grilled perfectly with the sweetness of the puree adding a nice balance. The pasta with truffles was very good, with the earthy flavor of the mushrooms and the smoothness of the sauce providing a pleasing experience for the palate. The sea breem with grilled vegetables was moist and well seasoned.
The desserts were quite good. The chocolate souffle was moist, warm and oozed dark, reach chocolate upon opening. A strawberry angel food cake with strawberry jam was also very nice as was the panna cotte with pistachio and strawberries.
The wine list provides for a good choice, mostly Italian, at reasonable prices. The decor is inviting, with a modern front bar and more rustic main dining area. The newly opened garden area was very pleasant and quiet. The service was attentive and friendly.
One should not be "two-faced" about visiting Giano. An enjoyable experience awaits.
A few years ago, a friend hosted his 40th at Philip Marie down on Hudson St in the west Village. It was a good size crowd of 30+ people. They've got a private room downstairs. I'm not sure how much he shelled out but it was great food, good ambiance and the chef bent over backwards to make sure everyone was happy.
Philip Marie at 569 Hudson has a good, traditional 3-course turkey day dinner for $40. Everyone even gets a bag of leftovers to go home with...just like at grandma's! I've done it a couple of times with family. Bocca at 39 East 19th has a turkey day dinner for about $45. It's turkey with an Italian twist (I saw the menu last week when I was there for dinner).
Maracas on Greenwich (betw 6th and 7th) has unlimited margaritas at their Sunday brunch. Bone Lick Park at 75 Greenwich is a bbq place that has unlimited mimosas, margaritas or bloody marys at brunch. Borough Food & Drink has a $10 make-your-own Bloody Mary bar at their Sunday brunch. I think its unlimited, but not 100% sure on that.