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Casual, kid-friendly(ish) Italian or other in River North area?

thanks!

May 23, 2013
tpuppie in Chicago Area

Casual, kid-friendly(ish) Italian or other in River North area?

Hi there. We are taking our four kids to Chicago over the Fourth of July. I would like to find a restaurant that is reasonably priced and kid-appropriate but also decent for adults. We are staying in River North. In the past we have gone to Quartino and it has fit the bill just fine, but we thought we'd branch out.

It doesn't have to be the most amazing food ever (will save that for the trip when we leave the kids at home). But a nice atmosphere and decent food would be good. That's why Quartino has worked for us before. Any places like that? Doesn't have to be Italian, though that is usually a crowd-pleaser.

Thanks!

May 21, 2013
tpuppie in Chicago Area

River North Friday lunch with kids

Thank you all for the excellent suggestions. It will be difficult to choose! So many great options. Maybe we will let the kids pick. Definitely going to have to get hot chocolate at XOCO.

Nov 17, 2010
tpuppie in Chicago Area

River North Friday lunch with kids

We will be in Chicago this Friday with our 4 kids, staying at the Residence Inn on Dearborn. Looking for a lunch spot that is not too far from the hotel (so River North), not too expensive, not a super long wait for a table. Other than that, we are very open as far as cuisine. We're doing Quartino for dinner and getting pizza for lunch Saturday so Italian is covered. Suggestions? Did Portillo's last year (great, but like to try new things) and if I ever have to go to Rainforest Cafe again I'll stick a fork in my eye.

Suggestions? TIA!

Nov 14, 2010
tpuppie in Chicago Area

Where to watch football with kids?

Thanks for your replies!

Sep 08, 2009
tpuppie in Chicago Area

Where to watch football with kids?

Our family will be staying at the Residence Inn River North Nov. 20-22. We're Buckeye fans, so we'd like to catch some of the OSU vs. Michigan game Saturday, but we'll have 4 kids with us (ages 3-9). Is there any place in the area we might catch a bite and watch some football?

TIA!

Sep 04, 2009
tpuppie in Chicago Area

Downtown Indianapolis Dinner

My sister and I will be at the Residence Inn Downtown on Canal for 1 night. We are going to a concert at the Murat Theatre. Is there a good place nearby to go for dinner before the concert? Criteria: 1) Not too pricey, 2) No long waits since we have a short window for dinner, 3) Fairly casual, 4) We are flexible as far as cuisine...could be mexican with margaritas, wine with appetizers, a good place to get a fun cocktail....

Thanks!

Jul 12, 2009
tpuppie in General Midwest Archive

Valentine's Wkend Follow-Up

Hi there. I posted here last month requesting V Day weekend suggestions. I thought I'd let everyone know what we did and how we liked it.

We were in Chicago Sat a.m. to Monday afternoon. We had lunch Sat. at Lou Malnati's, which I liked better than the Gino's pizza I had on my last trip, but also reaffirmed for me that I'm not a huge fan of deep dish, I guess. But it was fun to be able to say we had it.

We opted to have our V Day dinner on Sunday instead, just so we wouldn't be fighting the crowds. So Sat. night we went to Lao Sze Chuan for hot pot and are so glad we did. We waited about a half hour for a table, which wasn't bad though we did get there on the early side. Service was good and fun (a few yelp reviews claimed bad service and while I wouldn't call it super attentive it was charming in its own way)....one of the servers came over and gave us a little hot pot lesson and got us started. It was a great winter dining experience--full dining room, great smells, windows all steamed up.

Sunday lunch was Heaven on Seven. That was a spontaneous decision and very tasty. Later in the afternoon we stopped by Pops for Champagne for a bellini. (If we hadn't been so tired Sat. night we might have tried the Pops jazz room, but we figured with V Day it would have been a zoo anyway.)

Sunday night we went to Cafe Spiaggia. We had a nice table, great food, even better service. I loved the mushrooms in polenta we chose for our first course. We had stopped in Sunday afternoon to poke our heads in and the hostess invited us to look around and said we could pick out our own table. We let her pick for us and she picked on facing the lake. Strangely, that isn't where we were seated when we arrived, so we asked to be moved (there was also a large party right next to us that seemed like it might be loud). So we did end up at the table the day hostess recommended, but of course it was night and we couldn't see the lake anyway--just the exit ramp. Maybe she only works days and didn't think about the fact that we wouldn't be able to see the lake anyway. It didn't matter--we had a very nice time. But it was a little weird to sort be invited to pick our table and then be given it when we got there. The bill was only $103...less than I expected and a good deal, I thought.

After that we went to the Signature Lounge for a drink and the view. It was full but not packed and a perfect ending to our evening.

Monday we went back to Lao Sze Chuan for lunch because we just had to try the non-hot pot stuff. We loved Tony's 3-Chili Chicken and Boiled Beef in Szecuan Sauce.

Thanks so much for all the recommendations. I had a great time walking around and recognizing all the restaurant I had researched! I can't wait to go back!

Feb 18, 2009
tpuppie in Chicago Area

River North for Valentine's Day

Thanks everyone for all the great recommendations. I had looked into most of those but your mention of them helps me narrow down the choices. I think I've got it down to Aigre Doux, Cafe Spiaggia and Coco Pazzo. (Brasserie Jo looks great but we had a "bistro" dinner here in town recently so I'd like to do something different.) I think I'll refer the hubbie to the websites and let him pick. Hope to make a reservation today....and if we can't get one, we'll just switch to Sunday. Neither of us cares whether we're actually dining on V Day or not. In fact, it occurred to me that the Sign. Lounge (for drinks only) and all these places might be such a zoo that night that we're better of dining Sunday. I will let you know how it goes!

Jan 20, 2009
tpuppie in Chicago Area

River North for Valentine's Day

Hi there. This is my first post. I've spent all day reading the posts here and now my brain is fried and I still don't know what to do!

The deal:
Husband and I are headed to Chicago for the weekend (first getaway w/o the kids in 3 years--woo hoo!). We are staying in River North and because we only have about 48 hours in the city we don't want to travel too far to eat Saturday night. My first thought was a steakhouse but I'm rethinking that. Honestly, I'm not sure I would enjoy myself spending major bucks on a piece of meat. I'd rather put the money toward another glass of wine. So good atmosphere (cozy a plus), not too expensive (say under $150), and not too far from River North. Ability to make a reservation would also be nice, since it's Valentine's Day and places will be packed. I'm not opposed to something ethnic as long as the atmosphere worked. We do have plans to go to Lao Sze Chuan Sunday night for hotpot though. Had it in China 2 years ago and can't find it where we live.

I'm intrigued by Cafe Iberico, Cafe Spiaggio and Quartino's. Quartino's seems like it might be too loud though. Cafe Spiaggio might be borderline too pricey? Thought about hitting the Signature Lounge for a cocktail before dinner, just for kicks. Is this a good idea or maybe there's a nice wine bar in the neighborhood we should go to instead?

Would love any other suggestions and thanks in advance. We love good food but aren't such gourmands that we need to be super impressed. It will be such a treat just to go out by ourselves that we're going to be happy no matter what!

Tpuppie

Jan 18, 2009
tpuppie in Chicago Area