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Late Night Cocktail Party for Large Group Help, River North

Could Swissotel make arrangements for the reception? Otherwise, here are some options in the area.

1. One of the bars at Hyatt next door should be able to handle 50 people easily.
2. Sheraton is across the river, but i've never had this kind of event there.
3. The River East Arts Center is a huge event space. Not sure if they have a minimum in terms of headcount.

River East Art Center
435 East Illinois Street • Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 321-1001

4. D4 is an Irish pub that can easily accommodate 50 people.

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Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
151 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601

D4 Irish Pub & Cafe
345 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611

Oct 15, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Saturday night DINNER on the Magnificent Mile

Haven't been there lately, but unless they changed their policy. Tango Sur only take reservations for large groups.

Oct 15, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

24 hours in Chicago - help a foodie!

Thanks for the feedback. It is always good to know how your trip turned out.

Oct 15, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Chicago Foodie Marathon 4 days - big aspirations - need advice!

I see you've gotten good recs on your other posts. So just to reiterate what is on this thread.

Hot Doug's is very memorable. It is not really about the normal hot dog, but the other myriad sausages they have. it is a great value for the money.

Sun Wah BBQ, if you are in the mood for Chinese BBQ, is definitely a good one for the price.

Urban Belly is a great pan-Asian noodle place. It is fast food, but don't think it's Panda Express or even Chinatown noodle houses. Chef Bill Kim brings a lot pf pedigree to the joint.

Oct 15, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Horlick's Malted Milk?

Excellent. I will have to make a trip to Devon too.

Oct 15, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Vertigo Sky Lounge... wow! Has ne one ever been?

Word on the street is that Aja is being morphed into an all-Asian restaurant, instead of the steakhouse. Are they open right now?

Oct 15, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Trip Review: The Gage, Publican, Alinea, etc.

Thanks for your comments. We did end up going to the 4 Seasons.

Oct 14, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Horlick's Malted Milk?

It was my favorite growing up. Do notice that i don't see it anywhere now.

Oct 12, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Loop Italian

Trattoria # 10 is pretty solid, mid level Italian. 312 Chicago is ok too.

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Trattoria # 10
10 North Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60602

312 Chicago
136 N. La Salle St., Chicago, IL 60602

Oct 11, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Near the University of Chicago

55th street is a main thoroughfare and has a variety of restaurants. Woodlawn Tap is a local institution. It is bar food, but the place has so much character. You really see the cross cultural mashup that is Hyde Park/U of C. Another place, if you want fancier is La Petite Folie. It is owned by former U of C students. Great traditional French.

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La Petite Folie
1504 E 55th St, Chicago, IL 60615

Oct 11, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Dinner Suggestion -- walking distance to Sofitel Water Tower hotel

I 2nd Sayat Nova. They have live music certain nights too, always a lot of fun.

Oct 10, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Filipino Food

Um, Rambutan has been closed for many years.

Oct 10, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Columbus -- something casual in the Polaris area

Five Guys is probably the biggest cult chain in the country right now. I'm not normally a burger eater, but i'm hooked. There's one right on Polaris Parkway. http://www.fiveguys.com/index.aspx

Breakfast N. Michigan Ave. area?

I 2nd Yolk. Great variety on the menu.

Oct 10, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Dinner Suggestion -- walking distance to Sofitel Water Tower hotel

Pizano's is literally feets away from your hotel. The Goddess & Grocer too is an excellent deli.

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Pizano's Pizza & Pasta
864 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610

Goddess & Grocer
25 E Delaware Pl, Chicago, IL 60611

Oct 09, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Italian Beef - downtown

I suppose Italian Beef can generate the same kind of debate as deep dish pizza. My vote goes to Mr Beef. Especially glad that they are open early mornings on Saturdays. It is a guilty pleasure to bite into an IB after a night of partying.

Oct 09, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Addison Brownline Recs?

Terragusto is literally right under the El. It is pretty decent comfort Italian. If you venture further north on Irving, there's Sola. When they have lamb chops, get it. East on Irving, Cafe 28 for great Cuban/Mexican.

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Terragusto
1851 W Addison St, Chicago, IL 60613

Sola Restaurant
3868 N Lincoln, Chicago, IL 60613

Cafe 28
1800 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL

Oct 09, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

looking for info on somethings!!

Wow you were certainly adventurous. A little about chayote. It is a gourd. Use it similar to summer squash. Peel it with a peeler. It will feel a little slimy, just wash it off. Discard the seed in the middle. The shape is closest to a pear, so cut it like you would cut a pear. I generally just sautee it if i want more crunch, or braise it. It can apparently be eaten raw, but never tried it. I would think too since it is pretty bland, not sure what flavors you'll get out of it raw.

Oct 08, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Sunday Night Chic???

Around the corner from Avec is Sepia. Great modern American cuisine in a fabulous room. On Sundays, wine under $90 are all half price.

A few blocks east of Mercat is The Gage. Wonderful Irish gastropub serving creative comfort food. Always a good time.

And of course, if you want a revisit, Avec has a few new Fall items on the menu. Enjoy.

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The Gage
24 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Sepia
123 North Jefferson St, Chicago, IL 60661

Oct 06, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Private party for 60th bday in downtown

This was certainly a long time coming. Nacional 27 is definitely a far cry from the original options. Glad it worked out great despite some issues.

Oct 05, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

REPORT: Lula Café, early Fall 2009

Somehow I forgot the other dessert we had (there was a non-chocolate eater in the party)

Peach tart tatin with creamy caramel and white peach & creme fraiche ice cream

Peaches, caramel, puff pastry, hmmmm. I have been a fan of cooked peaches since having a surplus of them a few years back, and decided to cut in half and threw them on the grill. The tart tartin was a bit unique, since it used a half-peach instead of peach slices. The bite of the skin gave way to juicy and intensely flavored flesh, and crispy pastry underneath. The crème fraiche provided a richness to the delicate peach flavor in the ice cream. Summer is over, and this was a very appropriate last glimpse of it.

Oct 05, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

We have less than 48hrs in ChiTown----what do you think? Need ideas---thanks!

Publican is a great rec, except 'under $20p for each meal' is going to be very iffy at Publican.

I 2nd Flo. Great local joint, neighborhood place. I go there every Saturday morning, except when i'm out of town, or bedridden. From the Intercon, walk north to Chicago Ave. Take the #66 bus going westward.

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Flo
1434 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Oct 05, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Need help choosing restaurants

It really depends on a lot of factors, like mood, occasion, budget (assuming you are travelling for work), etc. Off your list i would pick Avec, Perennial and Wishbone.

Avec is my #2 favorite restaurant in the city. Great, creative Mediterranean-focused small plates. Loud atmosphere, hipster scene, no reservations. Perennial is an excellent farm to table restaurant. Wishbone is for really casual nights and craving for Southern comfort food.

Close to the Fairmont and fabulous for breakfast/lunch/brunch/dinner is The Gage. Upscale Irish gastropub serving creative comfort food. Generally great writeups here from 'hounds. Read all about it on this board.

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The Gage
24 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Oct 05, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Suggestions for dinner with future French in-laws

Agree about Publican. I LOVE it, but the lively loud atmosphere, and Hogwarts dining hall setup is not ideal for in-laws meeting for the first time. I'd still go with Sepia.

Oct 05, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

REPORT: Lula Café, early Fall 2009

Lula Café is my #1 restaurant in the city. I just realized that I’ve never really written anything in detail about them. With Fall upon us, and the myriad changes at Lula brought on by the opening of Nightwood (sister restaurant in Pilsen), I felt compelled to write this pean to my favorite restaurant.

As you may or may not know, Lula Café has 2 different menus. The café menu carried forth their humble beginnings as a funky neighborhood café. The specials menu continues to feature creative cuisine that made Lula the cult favorite that it is. Both menus champion local farm to table products. I was particularly glad that they are now using City Farm produce. It is a small operation on Clybourn/Division, which has become my alternative if I don’t feel like fighting the crowds at Green City Market. Anyway, on to dinner.

Market salad with chicories, apple, turnip, marcona almonds, fiore sardo, and goat milk yogurt dressing

So this salad was sort of unusual for Lula. On the specials menu, they are usually either very composed or deconstructed. With this market salad, everything was tossed together. Escarole, endive, shaved Nichols farm apples, turnips, marcona almonds spiced with ginger and cinnamon, currants pickled in anise and coriander. The dressing is Swan’s Creek goat’s milk made into yogurt in the kitchen. To top it all off, a generous shower of Fiore Sardo (a Sardinian goat’s cheese) shreddings. The greens were crunchy; fruits and nuts were crunchy or spiced in autumn flavors; dressing was tangy and grassy; and the cheese smoky and rustic. It was damp and cold outside, but the salad made it all go away.

Late summer tomato bisque with smoked trout, pickled green beans, currant tomatoes, and brioche

Tomatoes from City Farm were either roasted, or smoked, and pureed with cream. Accoutrements included smoked Rushing Waters trout, pickled Nichols farm green beans, tiny currant tomatoes the size of bubble tea tapioca balls, and house-made toasted brioche croutons. The bisque was earthy; fish smoky; green beans tangy; and again, wiped away all the damp and cold outside. Oh, and the currant tomatoes exploded as you bite into it. It’s like little bursts of sunshine.

Lake trout with sweet potato pommes anna, caramelized broccoli, chorizo, and px sherry vinaigrette

The Lake Superior trout was pinkish, and very meaty. When they brought the plate, I didn’t think it was trout because of the way the fillet was cut. It was roasted in butter, chorizo, and garlic. The pomme anna had layers of sweet and wax potatoes cooked in a celery root and pear butter (in place of regular butter as the traditional French recipe calls for). The fish sat on top of browned broccolini, and on the flip side, was topped by a salad of beauty heart radishes, caperberries, and chorizo in a sherry vinaigrette. It was such a colorful and flavorful dish. Also, the trout definitely stood up to the heartier than usual flavors. Magnificent.

Heritage pork with shell beans, hazelnut butter, pancetta, and brussels sprout choucroute

Pork shoulders from Gunthorp Farm is cured in caraway, thyme, and garlic. It is roasted, and then turned into a roulade with a stuffing made of red cabbage, dried cherries, and hazelnuts. Fresh shelled cranberry beans were cooked in hazelnut butter. A choucroute of brussel sprouts, currants, and pancetta cooked in a mélange of seasonings (including gin). The pork was salty and sweet; the beans and veggies had pops of nutty flavors; and crispy pancetta, well, what else can one say about crispy pancetta?

2008 Couly-Dutheil “Les Chanteaux” Chinon Blanc

With all the strong, earthy flavors and fall notes of the dishes, we decided on a French white as a counterpoint. It was a bold move approved by Lula’s wine goddess. Honeysuckle, stone fruits, Loire soil. I don’t normally go for chenin blancs, but this was a great choice. The wine was creamy, viscous, and bold.

Dark chocolate gianduja torte with salted caramel butter cream and Frangelico ice cream

Gianduja is perhaps gussied up nutella, my favorite sweet spread in the world. I’m generally not a dessert person though, but this was my niece’s birthday. The torte was dense and studded with chopped hazelnuts. The salted caramel butter cream breaks up the density, complemented by the luscious Frangelico ice cream.

Frangelico is one of my favorite digestives. But I decided it was overkill, as we were all beginning to turn into Chip & Dale and sprout cute little furry tails. A nice sherry though rounded out the evening perfectly.

Halloween

BTW, every Halloween, Lula completely transforms itself into a different restaurant. One night only. The restaurant itself is playing dress up. Always so much fun anticipating what they will turn out to be. Can’t wait for Halloween.

Oct 05, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

First time visitor-- need rest. info near south loop area

Cafe Bionda is an old school Italian place catering to a yuppie crowd. Think chicken parm the size of the plate, pasta, and tomato sauce. That kind of place.

If you are already venturing to Mercat, also try The Gage a few blocks north. It is an Irish gastropub with very creative comfort food. Great atmosphere. It is excellent either for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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The Gage
24 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Oct 03, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Marathon weekend questions

I think what is ironic about Silver Spoon is that it does share an alley with the Thai consulate. In that case, you would think it ought to have knock out Thai food. But sadly, it is decent at best. Also, since they moved from the first floor to the basement, it always gives me pause walking those few flights of stairs down.

Oct 02, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Looking for Italian joint for Biz dinner near the Loop

Another vote for Trattoria 10. This is off topic, but they also have a great bar buffet for pre-theater nosh.

Oct 02, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Pumpkin Dish Craving

Try the pumpkin ravioli at Yoshi's. A very rich dish with the goat cheese sauce, but thank goodness it is only an appetizer.

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Yoshi's Cafe
3257 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657

Oct 02, 2009
ms. chow in Chicago Area

Make our Vacation Great: Tuscany/Umbria (Oriveto), Florence, Como/Tremezzo, Milan

Check out this thread. I did not write about Grom, but we were there almost everyday either during the day or at night.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/623044

Oct 02, 2009
ms. chow in Italy