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ms. mika's Profile

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Chicago with a baby

Other spots we frequent with our baby include Frontera Grill (with a reservation ahead of time) and Sienna Tavern- especially if it's nice and can sit outside. I personally wouldn't suggest Purple Pig with a baby as it's a very small space inside and depending on if you have a stroller etc- might be a tight squeeze.

Jun 24, 2014
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Family August trip to Chicago - need some help and direction please

For sushi, I love Sunda which is in River North. They have a lot of non-sushi items as well so you can take a look at the menu and see if that works for your daughter- they have a really good brussel sprout side etc.

On your tacos question, I really like Mercadito, but don't usually have their fish tacos so can't comment on those specifically.

Jun 11, 2014
ms. mika in Chicago Area

First Time in Chicago, Staying at Sax Hotel

I would agree- I would skip Heaven on Seven and Quartino. Quartino is fine and a fun place, but not that remarkable. Would swap in GT Fish and Oyster, Frontera Grill, Purple Pig, Sunda etc. If you want Italian small plates, RPM has some good food and is a fun spot as is Sienna Tavern. Make reservations in advance as the popular spots get full. For a steak house, most that I can think of, which there are countless in the area, have the sides a la carte. Or you could go to a regular restaurant and have steak as your entree where it comes with sides.

Jul 15, 2013
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Small plates big glasses

There's also RPM (Italian) GT Fish & Oyster (seafood) Purple Pig (gastropub) Tavernita (spanish) Mercadito (Mexican)

Need a reservation for most of these, except Purple Pig, which doesn't take them but is also open for lunch.

Jul 09, 2013
ms. mika in Chicago Area


Would agree Sunda would be a fun spot and has both sushi and other small plates to share. Also if you want somethng a little quieter- for nice Chinese there's Shanghai Terrace at the Peninsula. And Lao 18 just opened as well.

Jul 09, 2013
ms. mika in Chicago Area

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

Would also suggest La Madia (Italian, pizzas), Portillos for a quick lunch, Xoco, Hub 51- may be better at lunch or an early dinner.

May 24, 2013
ms. mika in Chicago Area

First time visiting Chicago - Need suggestions

Between Sable, Publican and G&TG- would definitely say G&TG is the best of the 3 and a must visit. I like both Publican and Sable but would rank Sable third out of that group. For small plates, I also really like GT Fish & Oyster, which is all seafood small plates.

Feb 18, 2013
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Drinks at Signature Lounge... Dinner?

+1 on the Hugo's rec. Would also suggest Table 52- Upscale southern food in a cute and cozy restaurant

Oct 29, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Help! Trapped in the Conrad!

Within walking distance from the Conrad, would suggest Frontera Grill (no reserv/ Mexican), Purple Pig (no reserv/ small plates), GT Fish and Oyster (small plates seafood), Sunda (sushi and Asian). Since you're alone, you may be able to still grab a spot at the bar at one of these spots. Also second Naha, for upscale American.

Oct 09, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Bakery between Airport and Lindstrom

I will be going from the airport to Lindstrom to visit family and I'd like to stop at a great bakery along the way to pick up a cake and some pastries to give them. Any suggestions of something that won't be a detour?

Sep 08, 2012
ms. mika in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Looking for Laguna Casual Lunch & Dinner Spots

We're heading to Laguna for a long weekend and will be staying at the St. Regis in Dana Point. I think we have most of our meals planned but wanted to get input on some casual spots for lunch and one of our dinners.

Places with an ocean view tend to have sub-par food, so a view would be great, but delicious food, even better.

-Casual lunch spot- do you like House of Big Fish or Nick's? Or something else? Would love to have some great seafood.

-Thoughts on best casual fish taco spot in Laguna? Baja Fish Tacos?

One of our more casual dinners we were thinking of trying K'ya Bistro. Thoughts?

Appreciate any help you can provide!

Aug 13, 2012
ms. mika in Los Angeles Area

Low-Key Quick Saturday Lunch, Higher-End Sunday Lunch

You could also just go to Xoco, Rick Bayless' torta place. The only catch is sometimes the line can be long, which might make your wait a bit longer but it is really good.

Jul 25, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

In Chicago for the weekend. Looking for good food and kid-friendly.

Great to hear you had some good food during your visit. It's always nice to hear how things turned out!

Jul 11, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Chicago Birthday Trip

Just wanted to add- I was just reading something about a new bar that just opened - Untitled- in a write up it mentions the following, which I thought might interest you-

American whiskeys available: 279 (making it the largest American whiskey selection in the world)
111 W Kinzie St
(between LaSalle and Clark)

Jun 21, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Chicago Birthday Trip

>>4. Bars. I love a good bar, especially the ones with great cocktails, both classic and modern. My preference is dark spirits (bourbon and whiskey primarily) but I'm not opposed to the lighter spirits

For something unusual that you won't find in any other city- there's Aviary.
Other cocktail bars that are well known and are favorites- Violet Hour and Drawing Room
There is also Sable, which has some a looong cocktail menu and you can get some bites to eat.
Lastly- this place is new and I haven't been there yet- but thought this rooftop bar- Drumbar might be of interest to you- supposedly they focus on whiskeys and bourbons-

>>2. Several ideas for mid-level restaurants to fill out the week. Still loving tasty food, but I'd love to see what some of the local chefs are doing at places that we can do on a relative budget ($100-150 for two people including perhaps a glass or wine or cocktail


Might be helpful to hear more about what you're looking for once you do some research but a couple thoughts would be to hit up some places like Frontera Grill, Girl & the Goat, GT Fish & Oyster and as mentioned- Publican. Once you look into some of the other threads you'll prob find some spots that interest you and can follow up with more questions.

Jun 20, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

In Chicago for the weekend. Looking for good food and kid-friendly.

What about GT Fish & Oyster? It gets a bit crowded later in the evening, but I would think a 5pm dinner would be ok with a baby. Also thought of Frontera Grill or Xoco for lunch. Frontera does take limited reservations- so you could try and call and see if you could get in for brunch or an early dinner on Saturday.

Jun 18, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Please help me choose our 1 dinner in Chicago

We've had good luck at Publican getting a private table if we request it in advance. Between Publican and Naha, it depends on what type of experience you want- Publican is much more casual but the food at both is great.

Jun 18, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Seeking comments/input - Bar Toma vs La Madia and also considering the Pump Room

I really like La Madia- their artichoke pizza is amazing and it's a great casual atmosphere to have a glass of wine and some good food. I've only been to Bar Toma once and was not impressed with the food. It's also in a very large space, which made the atmosphere a little less appealing to us. I don't think either would be empty at night and not sure how you narrowed it down to these 2 options but I think of both places as somewhere for lunch or a casual dinner.
On the steakhouse front- there are lots of choices- right now my favorites are Chicago Cut (on the river), Hugo's (where you can have seafood and order steaks from Gibsons) or Joe's.

Jun 18, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

need good steak-seafood restaurant

I would agree- I really like Joe's. Also would second the suggestion on Chicago Cut - we had a really great meal and fantastic steak and it's right on the river, so has a very nice view. Another idea is Hugo's Frog Bar- where you can also get steaks from Gibson's. It can be a little loud there though.

Jun 05, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Help me choose a restaurant for dinner.

I would also pick Hub 51 if you want a bit of a scene. Other spots in the area that are popular and have a bit of a scene- Sunda, GT Fish & Oyster, RPM and as mentioned Tavernita. Since they are popular they are also spots I would make reservations in advance for as they can be difficult to get into on the wknds.

May 16, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Friday Lunch w/Dad - Delicious, not heavy, passable wine list?

If you want Frontera- try calling for a reservation- slim chance, but they have some. Otherwise, I would get there 10-15 min before they open and line up. You can also grab a seat at the bar and order food there.
I second Purple Pig as another option - they do not take reservations, but if you go close to opening time, you shouldn't have a problem.

May 15, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Brunch River North - or not too far.

Frontera Grill- either call ahead and see if you can get one of the few reservations or show up 10-15 min before they open and get in line....

May 14, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Fish-friendly restaurants on a budget DOWNTOWN

Another suggestion is La Madia. They have really delicious pizzas that you could share (such as the parmesan artichoke pizza) but also have entrees that are priced in the $20s and that include scallops, short ribs etc. They have a great wine selection as well and you can make reserv on opentable.

May 10, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

GT Fish & Oyster and NellcĂ´te, stylish and sceney but both a bit hit and miss.

Just a warning- I like GT and we actually had a really nice dinner there the other night- but they have downsized the lobster roll. It is good but I wouldn't necessarily go there just for that- it's not a full sized lobster roll any more, although it used to be when it first opened.

May 08, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

2 meal slots but geographically challenged

Saturday brunch- Publican or Frontera grill

May 04, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Two day Chicago visit in May

would agree on Publican over North Pond for brunch.
On Frontera- I don't think they do reservations on open table (only Topo does)- you have to call the restaurant to see if they have any reserv avail, but it's worth a shot.
Lastly on your question for fun cocktails- may depend on where you're having dinner and if you are looking for a destination cocktail place or just somewhere to stop that's nearby where you are having dinner. For destination cocktails- I would say Aviary, Violet Hour, and the Drawing Room. Another good spot in River North is Sable.

Apr 30, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Torontonian seeking a reasonable special occasion restaurant - Cafe Spiaggia or other?

I would recommend Naha- consistently delicious food and is a bit of a calmer atmosphere. Price wise, entrees range in the $30s, so not sure if that is out of your price range?
Also would throw out North Pond as another option.

Apr 23, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

Chicago Visit

Yes definitely still go- G&TG has some great food. I've eaten there several times and have really enjoyed the food. There is a reason why it has sustained its level of popularity.

Apr 20, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

How's My 5 Day Eating Agenda Looking? Help Make My Trip Awesome!

Couple quick thoughts

>>Friday May 11th(arriving at 10:00pm need a late night spot)
Dinner: Longman and Eagle, Owen and Engine (pub menu), Purple Pig (near hotel)
Avec (close by)
I assume you are asking for which to go to? Avec is not close by the Dana. I would pick the Purple Pig
-Frontera (as well as Topo and Xoco) are closed on Sunday and Monday- so those won't work on those days.
-Another snack/dessert- pick up some Garrett's popcorn- the Chicago mix of caramel and cheese
-If you want to try a variation of Slurping Turtle and Xoco- try the food court 7 on State at Macy's- they have a Noodles by Takashi- which if you're getting miso ramen- is better than Slurping Turtle- and Rick has a spot there too with tortas. The tortas at Xoco are better but they have a couple good ones here. The atmosphere isn't great - and it is closed on Sunday- but if you're looking for a snack and in the area- might fit
-I also would skip DMK Burger Bar- not that exciting

Apr 18, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area

MSP Chowhound needs help: Dinner in downtown

I would suggest Naha in River North. Consistently great food and is a quieter atmosphere where you can enjoy the food and celebrate.

Apr 17, 2012
ms. mika in Chicago Area