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CorinneM1's Profile

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birthday dinner on a budget

We were in a similar situtation, celebrating my birthday last month. I chose Sun Wah in Uptown to dine with friends and family, a total of 7 people. We had a great meal of peking duck (2 ducks), oysters in black bean sauce, BBQ combo (pork and chicken), a house special shrimp dish, and stir fried veggie. The peking duck is actually a 4 dish course. So you get the duck , duck fried rice, winter melon and duck soup, and a mango sorbet. I didn't order the fish, but I have heard wonderful things about their fish dishes. Add to that beers and tea for the table and the grand total was $150. Seriously.

Now, this place is family run, busy, not at all posh, but the food is solid and the prices are beyond reasonable. The 4-course duck dish can feed 4 people and is $28. Period. Not $28 a person. $28.

Mar 07, 2009
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Suggestions - daughter and daddy wknd

When will you be coming? This would help generate appropriate responses. For example, if you were coming in the spring or summer, I would suggest taking a water taxi over to Chinatown for a meal or a day or suggested to-go eats for a picnic in the park, seaon permitting.

Jan 04, 2009
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Best and Worst Places I ate at in Chicagoland in 2008

1)Elephant Thai in Edgebrook--love the chive dumplings and curry dishes. I ate there for the first time in Feb '08 and I have been going back at least once a month
2)Mercat a La Planxa--I have been there three times, have yet to try the roasted pig...but plan to in '09 with a large group
3)Sun Wah BBQ--$28 for peking duck/4 course meal that fed 4 people with leftovers? One of the best bargins in the city. Yes, and that was $28 total. Not per person.
4)Lao Sze Chaun--love the lamb with cumin, the citrus shrimp, the Tony's 3 Chili Chicken, dumplings...I need to get back there soon
5)Pho 888--wonderful Pho soup. Perfect on a chilly Chicago afternoon
6)Katsu--little storefront with some of the best sushi in town
7)Smak-tac--small clean Polish storefront with great perogis and potato pancakes
8)Burt's pizza in Morton Grove.
9)Pasta D' Arte--the last meal I had there was perfect from start to end.

Want to try in '09
Cajun Connection
Ed's Potsticker House
Mexican from Maxwell Street
San Soo Gab San and/or Hae Woon Dae
Hot Dougs
Cemita's Puebla

Dec 30, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Twisted spoke or other party venue?

Check out Moody's Pub in Edgewater. They have a great outdoor beer garden and good burgers too. You would need to talk to them about the band...

Dec 26, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Peking Duck

As noted below, Sun Wah serves Peking Duck/Beijing Duck but it is recommended that you call at least a day in advance.

I was just there about a month ago. The full duck, with bao, soup, duck fried rice and sorbet was $28. Total. There were 4 of us and we ordered a side of bok choy and garlic ribs as well. With a few beers and tea the total bill came out to be around $60 and we walked away with leftovers.

I wouldn't call Sun wah a hidden gem, but I would call it one of the best deals in the City *and* one of the best meals that I had this year.

Dec 02, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Venues with Party Rooms

Would you be interested in renting out a bar and bringing in appetizers? Glasscott's is a bar in the Lincoln Park area with a large back/private room. Athenian Room (good solid Greek place) is next door and they can bring in appetizers or speak to the manager at Glascotts about other restaurants that they work with.

Oct 27, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Fri Lunch Downtown/Sat Dinner NW

How many is "we"? Is we=2 or we=4? And is this weekend the weekend you are coming to Chicago?

If so, I would make a pit stop over to the Daley Center (weather permitting) I would see what is happening with chicagoween. Check out for details. They usually have movies or performances in the evenings that are free and really entertaining.

If you like tapas, check out Mercat a la Planxa, a new restaurant that opened in the Blackstone hotel. If you have more than 4 people...consider ordering the roasted pig. But needs to be ordered 48 hrs in advance.

For dinner near AH, I would recommend Flamingos Mexican Seafood. Its a cute, little place...the decor is a little like a poor man's disney ocean themed walls..but the food is fall out of your seat fantastic. Portions are huge for the price and you would easily pay 2x the price in Chicago. It should be right around the 10 mile limit/20 min drive that you are looking for.

Oct 21, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Bday dinner but dont want downtown

If you adventure out to the burbs, I recommend Flamingo Mexican Seafood in Mount Prospect. The decor is boring but the food and margaritas will knock your socks off. If you love fish, go here. You can thank me later.

Oct 05, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Shotgun Wedding Dinner

I would try Mercat a la Planxa if you are thinking of tapas, plus they have a small private room for 16 people that sounds perfect for your group.

Sep 25, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Best Value in Chicago

For Indian, try Khan's BBQ. Its on Devon and not a buffet. The chicken boti is wonderful and addicting. I also really enjoyed the naan and the tandoori fish. Three of us ordered 3 different dishes and had left overs for days. One dish with naan could have fed all 3 of us.

Sep 12, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Hawaiian Sea Salt

I remember seeing it at Trader Joes about a year ago. I would check with them directly though as they discontinue products at times.

What do you use red sea salt on or for? Does it have a different taste than regular (white) sea salt?

Aug 23, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Mercat a la Planxa gets 3 stars from Phil Vettel

Chef Jose Garces was on Iron Chef America last night against Bobby Flay. The secret ingrediant was melon and they had to have a frozen element in each dish as well. The replay is on this week (Aug 21) on the food network *and* I just read that Mercat is going to have a special dinner showcasing the dishes prepared by Chef Garces from his Iron Chef battle on Sunday Aug 24 evening.

Aug 18, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Need recs for 3 group dinners

The Atwood Cafe in your hotel is another choice. The entrees are btw $19 and $33.

Aug 07, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Chicago dinner for 20 near Art Inst

Mercat a la Planxa is near your hotel and can accommodate a private party of your size. The reviews here have been very positive. When is your dinner? They have a private room upstairs and I believe they were supposed to have outdoor dining this summer.

Aug 06, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Wagner's Ribs in Porter, NW Indiana

Can you please explain why kids are not allowed? Is that policy still in place?

Jul 24, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Chicago Recommendations.

Don't discard Mercat so quickly. It is not mexican. It is a tapas place.

Jul 15, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Chicago Recommendations.

Check out the recent reviews here for Mercat a la Planxa. I believe that this would fit in well with your price range, cool atmosphere and quality food. The I believe that the tapas tasting with wine parings is right around $70 and they also offer a roasted pig for a party of 4 or more people for $42 per person. Its located in the Blackstone hotel. Comfortable, not snobby or stuffy but upbeat and fun.

Jul 15, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Need Delivery Ideas for Mt Prospect 60056

Would they be willing to go out to dinner? I would recommend Flamingo's Seafood in Mount Prospect and perhaps you can work something out with the owners and have the bill paid by you (by giving them your credit card # in advance).

This is a wonderful place, great food, recently reviewed by "Check Please" and gets really good reviews here as well.

Jul 15, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Good Grocery Stores in Niles

I second the recommendation for Super H Mart. Its produce and fish/seafood selection is the best in the area it is off of Waukegan Road. There is also a Costco in Niles off of Touhy Ave.

Also, there is a Whole Foods in Edgebrook/Chicago that is not far from Niles. There is also a Trader Joe's in Park Ridge off of Touhy. I am on the NW side of the City (very close to the Niles border) and I rotate btw Dominicks for staples, Super H mart for seafood, Costco for parties and larger pcs of meat and Trader Joes for dairy, cheese, wine and quick frozen entrees for the family.

Jul 14, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Visitors looking for Chicago Seafood and Latin American restaurants this weekend.

I know that you stated that it would be difficult to take them to Flamingos due to the time and distance....*BUT* I have to put in my two cents here. We went last night due to reviews here. This was our first time and I could not be happier. This was one of the best meals that I have had in a very long time. This far outweighed any fish dish that I have had in the city. "Frezen" as it may be, I don't care. It was flavorful, wonderful and the dishes were unlike anything that I have ever seen offered. I can't wait to tell my friends and family and I am looking forward to bringing people here in the very near future. And yes, I can compare this to Nick's and McCormick and Shmick. Agreed the fish is fresher at places. But they are nowhere near as creative as Flamingo's offerings.

Prices are comparible to downtown, but the portions are easily 2x the size. If you are able to sway your team to go, I highly recommend the seabass with a macadamia crust entree, the traditional gauc and crab cake appetizers. The 3 leches cake was very good as was the coconut flan.

Yes the decor is boring, but the service was spot on and food was solid and therefore it was a very comfortable dining experience.

Jul 11, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Opinions on Red Light

It think that you will get mixed review here...but I like it. I like the green beans and don't forget to save room for Jackie's chocolate bag (dessert). Its rich and ample enough to be shared by at least 2 people.

Edited to add...other options are

(1) Lao Sze Chaun in Chinatown. They have a private room upstairs. But this is a no frills--not sleek or posh like Red Light--place. Considered by many to be the best Chinese in the City and truly authentic. If you group is adventous and willing to step away from "American/Chinese" you have a winner. Also, many dishes are very spicy, so if you have people that cannot handle heat or if you have food allergies, I would not recommend this place. The prices are fair, if not cheap, so you would be able to have a complete feast to share at bargin basement prices. Highly recommend Tony's 3 chili chicken and bean curd with peanuts.
Parking may be difficult as well. No valet.

(2)Vermillion for Latin/India fusion. The only one of its kind in the city, beautiful room, great food, nice service. Same posh-like atmosphere as Red Light. I also recommend this if you are looking to stay within the fusion realm. I enjoy the fish with 16 spices and their lobster dish (I have yet to try) is the signature dish and the most popular.

Jun 21, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Restaurant in downtown Chicago that can accomodate a large group

I second the greektown recommendation for large parties at the last minute.

Jun 19, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

coming to chicago with girlfriends, where to dine before a show?

What show? What time is the show?

Jun 14, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Best fried chicken in Chicago

I have yet to go to the Great Sea, but we recently had Korean fried chicken from Super H Mart's Toreore Chicken and Joy. Fantastic. Does the Great Sea offer it in various flavors (garlic, sweet and spicy etc...). I got the plain and it was wonderful, but I want to try the garlic next time.

I think that this was the best fried chicken that I have had in Chicago in a loooong time.

Jun 12, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Where can I find Menudo

Where does your cousin live? On the Northwest side of Chicago, there is a placed called Tanzitaro where Milwaukee and Elston meet. They serve menudo on the weekends.

May 30, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Short girls visit to chicago

That is true, you do need a reservation for AG. But I think that it is worth it if you are with a little girl...the room decor, service, quality of food and price is actually very fair and good for the area.

But I forgot about the Water Tower food court which is also a good idea. I have not taken my little ones to Bistro 110, but I have heard that they are accommodating to children albeit from the reviews the food is okay at best.

May 30, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Short girls visit to chicago

Did you check out the dinner options at American Girl? I have had lunch and tea service there with my little girl, and the food was actually very good and the view is great.

There are plenty of fun pizza places in the area as well...Gino's East being a little more "fun" you are allowed to write on almost everything in the place.

Heaven on Seven is not terribly far either and that generally has a fun atmosphere and is child friendly.

May 29, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Restaurant For My Birthday Dinner

On the board under the Mercat heading, there are a lot of pictures of the roasted pig option as well as other tapas dishes.

May 27, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Restaurant For My Birthday Dinner

We are going to have a birthday party at Mercat a la Planxa in a couple of weeks. Its upbeat, great food, fun atmosphere...more loud/friendly than subdued/upright with a great view. It is in the Blackstone Hotel on South Michigan Ave. We went with a large party about a month ago and it was very conversation friendly.

If you have meat eaters in your party and all can/will eat roast pig, you can request one 48 hrs in advance. Figure approx $50 a head with one glass of sangria.

May 16, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area

Anyone been to Arun's Thai?

I was there about 2 years ago. I was very impressed and we really enjoyed the meal. I believe (at that time) it was $85 or $90 a person without tax, tip or wine. We went with another couple, and the final bill was close to $600.

May 16, 2008
CorinneM1 in Chicago Area