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Chriskoo's Profile

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Aviary Kitchen Table

Hi All!

I'm looking for feedback from anyone who's previously experienced the kitchen table at The Aviary.

My mom and I are heading down to Chicago for a long weekend over Easter, and we scored a reservation for the kitchen table at Aviary for our first night. We've previously dined at Alinea but besides that experience we really have no idea what to expect.

How generous are the food pairings? Our Aviary res is at 6PM, should we plan on eating dinner after or will we be too full/drunk?

How long should this experience take? My guess is at least two hours, but we really have no clue.

What are the chances (if any) of scoring a key to the Office for after our tasting? I'm hesitant to book a reservation for dinner after on the off chance we have the opportunity to check out the Office, although I know it's very exclusive and I'm not even sure that more drinking will be appropriate after the 10 cocktail tastings lol.

Thanks in advance for any input! :)

Jan 23, 2013
Chriskoo in Chicago Area

Eating it all in Chicago...but where?

It looks like you've finalized your itinerary, but I'd like to suggest Carson's if you like slow smoked BBQ ribs. It's a very 'Chicago' place, close to the mag mile, and the ribs are fabulous.

Jun 20, 2009
Chriskoo in Chicago Area

Looking for a special dinner

Just thought I'd update everyone on our experience. We ended up at Tru for the afternoon Kitchen Experience, and stayed for dinner afterward. It was exactly what we were looking for. We had a great time helping in both the savory and pastry kitchens, and had an unbelievable meal. They let us do a ton of hands on prep, and we were able to get to know the kitchen staff and chefs.
We were impressed with everything (especially the food) and we truly enjoyed it. :)

May 30, 2009
Chriskoo in Chicago Area

Comments on Cafe Iberico

mmm... the baked goat cheese is SO good!

May 14, 2009
Chriskoo in Chicago Area

Sushi all you can eat?

I've had great experiences at Sushi Para II, and a terrible experience at House of Sushi and Noodles. The selection at House of Sushi and Noodles as far inferior (only basic rolls), and I found it crowded and unpleasant. Sushi Para II has a far better selection, and they have an open sushi bar so you can see them freshly preparing it. Not sure about the previous poster saying they don't always use whole fish... I haven't noticed that but of course I haven't tried the whole menu.
I'm not saying Sushi Para II is better than a la carte places by any means, but if you are looking for an all you can eat sushi place in the city, I've found it FAR better than House of Sushi and Noodles.

May 14, 2009
Chriskoo in Chicago Area

Good Cheap Places to Eat in Downtown...

One more recommendation for near McCormick Convention Center. If you're not in the mood for Chinese, head two block west and two blocks north to La Cantina (near 19th and Michigan) for some mexican food. It's fairly inexpensive and there's a little patio for eating outside if you'd like. I'd especially recommend the margaritas, at $6.95 they're a little pricy but they're huge and not shy on the tequila.

May 13, 2009
Chriskoo in Chicago Area

Comments on Cafe Iberico

I've been to Cafe Iberico several times lately, and I always have a nice time. Fun atmosphere, cheap pitchers of sangria, and really great food. I've only been to one other tapas place in Chicago (Nia's Mediterranean Tapas) so I can't really say if Iberico is one of the top tapas in the city, but it sure beats Nia's in terms of price, food, and atmosphere.
I always order one or two item off their specials menu, and a couple of favorites from the regular menu (spicy potatoes -- yummy!).

May 12, 2009
Chriskoo in Chicago Area

fried cheese curds

Kroll's has fried cheese curds. It's a sports bar / restaurant in the south loop. There are two locations, the original is in Green Bay, WI across the street from Lambeau Field.

May 07, 2009
Chriskoo in Chicago Area

Looking for a special dinner

Ok here's an update.
We've made some decisions and I'm going to call for reservations tomorrow. Friday night (the birthday night) we're going to go to North Pond. We are going to attempt to get a reservation at Schwa for Saturday night, and if that doesn't pan out, no big deal, we'll head to Avec.
For lunches we're definitely going to RJ Grunts in Lincoln Park for the awesome salad bar, and also possibly Blackbird and the Urban Belly.
Thanks for all the help everyone! This was a very hard decision. My mom doesn't come to Chicago very often and we really appreciate trying world class restaurants while we have the chance. Last time it was easy, we wanted to go to the best in Chicago, Alinea was the clear winner so we went there and it was amazing. Now that we've had Alinea there are a lot more contenders!

May 03, 2009
Chriskoo in Chicago Area

Looking for a special dinner

Thanks for all the great input everyone! Right now it's a toss up between Spiagga and North Pond. Tru is still a contender too but we think that the experience may be really similar to that at Alinea (which was amazing) so we may try something different this time.
Also, I'm curious, has anyone had good/bad experiences at L2O? The concept looks promising but I'm interested to hear what people think of it.

May 01, 2009
Chriskoo in Chicago Area

Looking for a special dinner

Thanks for the response! :) We need to decide in the next couple of days so we can nail down a reservation.

Of those restaurants mentioned above, do you personally have a favorite? If you were only in town for an evening and had to choose one, which would it be? I realize that they are all fabulous places, just wondering if there were any personal standouts for you.

We are willing to shell out for another high-end spot like Alinea, if it's worth it. On the other hand, we don't want to rule anything out just because it's more casual.

Apr 30, 2009
Chriskoo in Chicago Area

Looking for a special dinner

I need some advice on where in Chicago to go for a unique, can't miss dining experience. I live in the city, but my Mom is coming to visit from Canada for her birthday and we're looking to go to a really great restaurant to celebrate.

We've been to Alinea and Moto before, and had wonderful meals at both places. Tru, Schwa, and Avec are all frontrunners for this next trip, but we're having trouble deciding. We're looking for someplace with outstanding food and a unique atmosphere, without being too stuffy.

Any advice? Any restaurants that I'm not thinking of that we just have to try?

Apr 30, 2009
Chriskoo in Chicago Area