nsxtasy's Profile

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Fine Dining Kansas City

>> Bluestem
>> Rieger Hotel and Exchange
>> Novel
>> American

None of these four is open for dinner on Sundays, when the OP will be dining.

about 5 hours ago
nsxtasy in Great Plains

Fine Dining Kansas City

Go to Story! And not just because it's open on Sundays. :)

I visited KC last month. In addition to the obligatory barbecue (at Jack Stack - yum!), I did two fine dining dinners. One was at the American, the longtime haute cuisine restaurant, but it is closed on Sunday nights. The other was at Story, in Prairie Village, which is open on Sunday nights. I had heard about Story because the chef-owner won Food & Wine Magazine's "Best New Chef" award (nationwide - see www.foodandwine.com/blogs/2014/4/2/me... ). I also thought their website menu was amazing; I think I checked out the website menus of 30-40 restaurants including all the recommended ones in town, yet Story's stood out. But of course, what you read doesn't tell you how good it is; you have to experience it for yourself. And I thought Story was absolutely terrific - I LOVED LOVED LOVED every dish I had, and the décor is classy, contemporary, and whimsical. I posted a detailed report, with photos, at www.chow.com/topics/920267#9030717 The restaurant website is www.storykc.com

Did I mention that I LOVED Story? :)

about 5 hours ago
nsxtasy in Great Plains

Staying near O'Hare without a car; how can we see/do/eat it all?

Tortas Frontera recently opened a third location at O'Hare in the international terminal (Terminal 5) next to gate M12.

about 5 hours ago
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Too Late for Reservations. Now What?

I'd go to Mexique. They serve delicious contemporary Mexican cuisine with a French influence. It's really terrific. It's in West Town on Chicago Avenue just east of Ashland, so it's right on your way. They're open for brunch on Saturdays 10-3, and availability is wide open on Opentable.com You can get an idea of their cuisine from their website at www.mexiquechicago.com - they don't have their regular brunch menu posted there (only a special menu from Easter) but they do have their lunch menu.

about 5 hours ago
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Too Late for Reservations. Now What?

Here's another recommendation for you. It meets everything you're looking for except it's not downtown. So bear with me and see if this is a place you'd like to go.

I'm referring to Anteprima, an Italian restaurant in the Andersonville neighborhood, six miles north of downtown. It's a neighborhood bistro kind of place, a little bit cramped, a little bit noisy, but oh the food there is absolutely stellar. Everything they have is prepared just perfectly, from the homemade breadsticks (best anywhere) and bread, to the appetizers (the grilled octopus is wonderful), to the pastas, to the main dishes, and the desserts (I love their lemon panna cotta). The prices are very reasonable as well, even on weekends (although they have an even better deal during the week, when almost any three courses are $29). They also have a lovely outdoor patio in the rear, which tends to be quieter than the main dining room. There's also lots of nightlife in the vicinity, in case you were thinking of that for after-dinner drinks. I know you mentioned the downtown neighborhoods, but since you have a car, Anteprima is really worth considering. Parking on Clark Street in front of the restaurant can be tough to find (make sure you pay at the pay boxes), but if you go one short block west to Ashland, or the side streets just west of Ashland, street parking is easier to find and free. Right now they have openings on Opentable for this Saturday for 7:00 or earlier, and 8:30 or later. How highly do I think of Anteprima? I don't live nearby, but I eat there every couple of months, more frequently than any other restaurant. www.anteprimachicago.net

So there's one more choice for you to consider. As usual in Chicago, there are lots and lots of great choices, and the dilemma is choosing just one!

about 13 hours ago
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Too Late for Reservations. Now What?

Blackbird is good and worth considering; good on you for snagging that 7:30 res. (It can be very loud, though.)

I actually like and recommend all of the places I've listed above, depending on what kind of food you're in the mood for, etc. Which is why I listed times for those, out of the 529 places available on Opentable.

I haven't been to Table 52. Hopefully those who have, can provide input for you.

about 14 hours ago
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Too Late for Reservations. Now What?

If you don't mind eating on the early or late side, Piccolo Sogno has openings at 5:00 or 9:30, Sable at 5:45 or 9:15, and GT Fish at 5:30 or 9:30.

FWIW, I had dinner at Sepia a few months ago, and I wasn't impressed. It wasn't awful, but not a single dish was all that great, either. For upscale contemporary, IMHO you're better off at Naha, TRU, or Acadia, all of which are wide open for availability. Or, if you want to keep the price down, Perennial Virant.

about 14 hours ago
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Too Late for Reservations. Now What?

Here are times that are available right now on Opentable for a party of two this Saturday, at some really great places, including some of our best:

Acadia (contemporary) - wide open
Blackbird (contemporary) - 9:00
Boka (contemporary) - 6:45, 9:00
Brindille (French) - 9:00
Café Spiaggia (Italian) - wide open
Carnivale (Latin fusion) - wide open
Coco Pazzo (Italian) - wide open
Davanti Enoteca (Italian) - wide open
David Burke's Primehouse (steaks) - wide open
Everest (French fine dining) - wide open
GT Fish & Oyster (seafood) - 5:30, 9:30
L2O (contemporary/seafood fine dining) - wide open
Mercat a la Planxa (tapas) - wide open
Mexique (contemporary Mexican) - 5:00, 9:00
MK (contemporary) - 6:30, 9:30
Moto (contemporary) - wide open
Naha (contemporary) - wide open
NoMI (contemporary) - wide open
Perennial Virant (contemporary) - wide open
Piccolo Sogno (Italian) - 5:00, 9:30
Piccolo Sogno Due (Italian) - wide open
Sable (contemporary) - 5:45, 9:15
Salpicon (contemporary Mexican) - wide open
Shaw's Crab House (seafood) - wide open
Sixteen (contemporary fine dining) - 8:30
Tesori (Italian) - wide open
The Florentine (Italian) - wide open
TRU (contemporary fine dining) - wide open

If I had to narrow it down to just a few, my top picks would be Naha for contemporary finer dining, any of the Italian places, or - if you don't mind eating on the early or late side - GT Fish or Sable for small plates.

about 14 hours ago
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Recs for dining solo in the Loop?

There's one more place three blocks away worth considering, and it's one of the most popular restaurants in Chicago for solo dining: Miller's Pub. It's one of those places where the food (steaks, ribs, burgers etc) is quite good, but you go for the history and atmosphere. It's been around since 1935, and many folks who have worked in the Loop (especially working late) have been there numerous times. So if you're in the mood to experience Chicago's favorite old-time pub, head to Miller's.

The phenomenon noted above is that the Loop, where you're staying, is home to numerous theaters and the symphony. As a result, many of the restaurants are very busy between 6:00 and 7:30, serving those attending a performance afterwards. It's true that the crowds seem to depart en masse around 7:15, so that the restaurants are somewhat quieter and less frenetic after that time. But most of them are hardly deserted, just do a more normal business; that's why some of us do what masha mentions, booking seatings when the theater crowd is departing. You can decide for yourself whether you would prefer to dine during the pre-theater rush or afterwards; either may be more appealing to you. And some of these (Miller's and Pizano's) are open till the wee hours of the morning; in case you get hung up with work until late, they will still be open.

Again, these are all good choices, including the places in the Loop, as well as the ones in surrounding neighborhoods mentioned by gonzo. Some of the places he mentions (Sable, GT Fish, Frontera Grill) are among my favorites in the city, and there is nothing quite like them closer to your hotel. By all means, consider all of these. Just keep in mind that if you do feel like grabbing a bite close to the hotel, there are good options to do that as well.

1 day ago
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Recs for dining solo in the Loop?

Don't sell those excellent Loop places short. Atwood is very good indeed; it's as good as ever, and too often overlooked by those who only look at the newest places. (Also, Atwood is in the Hotel Burnham, which is probably the hotel where you're staying; if so, you can charge it to your room bill, order from their menu for room service, etc.) Pizano's is pretty darn similar to Lou Malnati's - not a surprise, since their founders are brothers, both of whom grew up working with their father, Rudy Malnati Sr., the main guy in the early decades of the original Uno and Due. And in my experience Tesori and Vivere are both every bit as good as Piccolo Sogno Due. (Tesori, in particular, is great for solo diners, because they have a counter facing the open kitchen that's perfect.) Petterino's, maybe not so much, but it's still decent, and you can't get much closer to the hotel than that.

The options in River North and the West Loop are certainly very good as well. But sometimes you don't feel like going far, or worrying about cabs, or taking the extra time to walk further - and if you don't, there's plenty of great food within a few blocks of your hotel, and some of it is just as good as places further away.

As usual in Chicago, there are lots of great restaurants everywhere, and the dilemma is narrowing all of them down to the one(s) to actually try!

Jul 29, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area
1

Recs for dining solo in the Loop?

The recommendations above are excellent ones. Just be aware that they're all a half to three quarters of a mile away - walkable, to be sure. If you decide you'd prefer to keep it within roughly a three-block walk (such as if it's raining), you might also consider Atwood for contemporary American, Petterino's for steaks, Pizano's on Madison for deep-dish, Tesori for Italian, and Vivere in the Italian Village on Monroe for Italian. For something lighter to go, Pastoral on Lake for sandwiches and cheeses.

One more place worth considering but also a half mile away is the French Market, which has food booths from a variety of providers, including some of the best of their type in the city. If you're going for dinner, check the hours, as they close early evening.

All of the above are also options for lunch as well as dinner.

Jul 29, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Between Winnetka and Waukegan — needing nice dinner options

I'll start with four chef-driven possibilities for you, all with outstanding food. Only one is open on Sundays.

For your Sunday dinner, Michael is in Winnetka and is an upscale French restaurant, although the cuisine is as much contemporary American as it is French. Some of the very best dinners I've had in the area, have been at Michael. It's not necessarily dressy; business casual attire predominates. But it's the only place in this entire post where you can wear suits and dresses without feeling out of place. It's the best fit for what you're looking for IMHO. www.restaurantmichael.com

The next three places I will recommend are all closed on Sundays. They may work for your other meals.

Inovasi is in Lake Bluff. They do a small plates format, and are also open for lunch. It's a neighborhood bistro type place, fairly casual, the most trendy of all of these. www.inovasi.us

Abigail's is in Highland Park, and is another neighborhood bistro type place. Note, they accept reservations only for seatings at or before 6:00; they are popular and if you want to dine later than that, you will probably have to wait to be seated. They are dinner only. www.abigails493.com

MH Fish House is in Lake Forest, and is an upscale seafood-focused restaurant. Too bad they're closed Sundays, because otherwise they would be a great choice for Sunday. Dinner only. www.mhfishhouse.com

The three Carlos Nieto restaurants are all possibilities for your meals; all are very good. Nieto's is on the border of Highwood and Highland Park, in the location that formerly housed Carlos; Carlos was high-end fine dining, whereas Nieto's is somewhat casual and moderately-priced. It's dinner only, closed Tuesdays but open the other six days. This might be your best backup plan for Sunday dinner if Michael doesn't work out for you. www.nietosrestaurant.com Café Central is in Highland Park and is a casual French bistro. Open for lunch and dinner, closed Mondays. www.cafecentral.net Happ Inn is in Northfield and serves American food with some global influences. Open lunch and dinner, seven days. www.thehappinn.com

Froggy's is a very good French bistro in Highwood, open for lunch and dinner, closed Sundays. If you go there, you can also stop by Gourmet Frog next door; it's their carry-out arm, with nice soups and baked goods to go. www.froggysrestaurant.com

For lunch, Jerry's in Winnetka is excellent, moderately-priced and casual. www.cornercooks.com

For brunch, Walker Brothers Original Pancake House is excellent. Don't think of it as "just" a pancake house because the level of quality is way better than any other pancake house. If you enjoy sweeter dishes, their huge puffed-up cinnamon-laced apple pancake is to die for. Their omelets are outstanding also. The Lincolnshire location is the closest to Libertyville, and other locations are also not too far. Beware, they don't accept reservations, and you can expect to have to wait to be seated on Saturdays ane especially Sundays, not too bad on weekdays. www.walkerbros.net

Another place for brunch is Wildberry Pancakes in Libertyville. It's quite good, although not "wow amazing" good like Walker Brothers. And the waits to be seated on weekends are as long as they are at Walker's. www.wildberrycafe.com

Jul 28, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Entertaining gluten-free guest in the western suburbs or the city?

In addition to Wildfire, Lettuce restaurants in Oak Brook also include Mon Ami Gabi (French bistro), Antico Posto (Italian), and Reel Club (seafood). All four restaurants are in Oakbrook Center, the big outdoor mall. (And yes, the town name is two words, but it becomes one in the name of the mall. Go figure.)

I don't know why the above link of gluten-free menus doesn't show Reel Club, since the restaurant's website at www.reel-club.com says they have a gluten-free menu available, including breads.

Jul 28, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

St. Louis Specialties

Don't be surprised if you don't get an answer. That user hasn't posted to Chowhound in over three years... :)

Jul 28, 2014
nsxtasy in Great Plains

Addictive Eclectic Ribeye with Poblano Pepper La Crema Sauce, MONEY [El Asador Steakhouse, Detroit]

In case I'm not the only one who looked all over for the restaurant name, eventually finding it buried in the photos - LOL! - here's the information:

El Asador Steakhouse
1312 Springwells St
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 297-2360
www.facebook.com/pages/El-Asador-Stea...

Jul 28, 2014
nsxtasy in Great Lakes
1

spending 6 days in chicago...

Funny, just a few days ago someone asked the exact same question as yours:

would like restaurants near the wyndham grand on the riverfront - www.chow.com/topics/982663

You can look in the same places mentioned there for recommendations, as follows. Recently there was a question about dining options within walking distance of the Langham, which is right across the river from the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront. All the recommendations posted in that discussion, which include numerous affordable options as well as ethnic dining spots, would apply equally to staying at the Wyndham Grand:

August Long weekend restaurant suggestions - www.chow.com/topics/982615

Similarly, this other recent topic inquired about moderately-priced dining near the Sheraton, which is a couple of blocks east, so those recommendations would also apply to the Wyndham Grand:

Any Neighborhood joints near the Sheraton on E North Water St.? - www.chow.com/topics/982385

Bottom line, as weinstein indicates below, there are many, many excellent restaurants, with a wide variety of price ranges and cuisines, including many of the city's best, all within a 10-15 minute walk of the Wyndham Grand. Along with the other hotels nearby, it's a great place to stay for its proximity to restaurants!

Jul 26, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Entertaining gluten-free guest in the western suburbs or the city?

Many restaurants have gluten-free items on their menus, but the only totally gluten-free restaurant I'm familiar with is Senza, which is on the city's north side. Perhaps there are others in the suburbs that I'm not aware of.

Jul 26, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Seeing St. Louis through the eyes of a visitor

>> If you want to dress up a bit and have your party be treated like royalty, then Tony's. If more adventurous food is the goal, then Niche.

I love both of these. For a short visit, you should really have a nice dinner, and either one of these is excellent for that purpose.

I would do one of the barbecue places for lunch. It's a local specialty. Bogart's may be the best barbecue I've ever had - but I haven't been to Pappy's.

No one yet answered the question about breakfasts. Half & Half is great, maybe the best in town, if Clayton works for you - www.halfandhalfstl.com If you happen to be downtown, Rooster is a good choice - www.roosterstl.com

And don't miss Soulard Market - www.soulardmarket.com

Jul 25, 2014
nsxtasy in Great Plains

Suggestions on the Blue Line

For farm-to-table, Lula in Logan Square is good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.

For breakfast/brunch, Jam in Logan Square is great.

For barbecue, County is near the Racine stop, and Smoque is near the Irving Park stop.

For deep-dish pizza, Lou Malnati's is in Wicker Park just south of the Damen stop, although it's carry-out and delivery only. If you want to sit down and eat, go to Pizano's on Madison in the Loop near the Washington stop.

For bakeries, Alliance Bakery is a few blocks west of the Division stop; Hot Chocolate has a new bakery section and is north of the Damen stop; Toni Patisserie is in the Loop at the Washington stop.

For Mexican, Frontera Grill and Topolobampo are near the Clark/Lake stop. Or go to Mexique in West Town; it's a half mile south of the Division stop (you can transfer to the #9 bus along Ashland if you don't want to walk) or a half mile west of the Chicago Avenue stop (transfer to the #66 bus).

For Italian, Piccolo Sogno is at the Grand stop. Tesori and Vivere are near the Monroe stop.

For steaks, Chicago Cut Steakhouse and Bavette's are near the Clark/Lake stop.

You'll also find recommendations in this previous discussion:

Early Sunday Night Dinner on the Blue Line - www.chow.com/topics/970603

Links:
www.lulacafe.com
www.jamrestaurant.com
www.countybarbecue.com
www.smoquebbq.com
www.loumalnatis.com
www.pizanoschicago.com
www.alliance-bakery.com
www.hotchocolatechicago.com
www.tonipatisserie.com
www.rickbayless.com/restaurants (Frontera Grill and Topolobampo)
www.mexiquechicago.com
www.piccolosognochicago.com
www.tesorichicago.com
www.vivere-chicago.com
www.chicagocutsteakhouse.com
www.bavetteschicago.com

Jul 25, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area
1

cold roast beef

If you call individual butchers that cook meat in-house, you may want to ask about price, which they should be willing to provide over the phone. First rate butchers are usually not inexpensive, and it sounds like that's something that matters to you for your upcoming party. If you want to go that route, you can find recommendations for some of our best local butchers in these discussions:

www.chow.com/topics/978115
www.chow.com/topics/812852
www.chow.com/topics/561594
www.chow.com/topics/380774
www.chow.com/topics/477536

Jul 24, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

cold roast beef

Deli meats are sliced and sold at supermarkets and delicatessens. I'm sure any of them would be happy to sell you a whole roast or whatever portion of a roast without slicing it. Since it's for a party and you're looking for one that's not overly expensive, you might consider Boar's Head, a brand that sells reasonably high quality meats which are widely available in local stores and aren't terribly expensive. You can expect to spend $8-10/lb for Boar's Head roast beef. They sell several varieties, which you can view on their website at www.boarshead.com/products/beef

Jul 24, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

5 days in Chicago - Lots of tasting menus, want advice.

Exactly a month ago, you posted about Alinea, "I am glad to be hearing virtually all positive experiences the last few months from people." Yet you continue to disparage Alinea based on people who were "disappointed this last fall/winter". These quotes are your precise words, posted one month ago today.

My advice to the OP (97Sperss) is, whenever you hear contradictory opinions about a place - usually from different people, not from the same person, LOL! - if the place otherwise appeals to you, go (back) there and try it for yourself and form your own opinion. And then come back here and let us know what you find.

Jul 24, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

5 days in Chicago - Lots of tasting menus, want advice.

I should add that my experience is that Alinea is as good as ever. My dinner there this past winter was the best meal I have ever had in my entire life, and significantly better than my earlier meals there. We were there for over four hours of amazing food and presentation; Chef Achatz was there and did the preparation of our dessert at the table. (I'm not a FOTH; he did the same for other tables around us.) As gonzo mentioned elsewhere, several folks he knows have also reported that Alinea has stepped up their game in recent months, so I'm guessing the negative reports you may have heard may be something that was going on earlier last year, not recently. Don't be afraid to go back!

Jul 23, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

5 days in Chicago - Lots of tasting menus, want advice.

>> 1-Would you change out Sixteen or EL Ideas for Moto?
It seems like there's been a huge improvement at Moto in the past 2 years, and like I said, we love molecular cuisine.

I haven't been to Moto in a while, so I'll pass and leave this question for others to advise on.

>> 2-Is there anywhere else you'd switch out for Sixteen? If so, why? I've looked at and probably wouldn't do L2O, Boka, Acadia, 42 grams instead, though I do love those restaurants. The only place I really still love is Tru (was blown away by Chef Martin on my most recent visit), would you do Tru or Sixteen?

In recent visits, I loved TRU, but wasn't wowed by Sixteen. However, it sounds like you enjoy trying different chefs/restaurants. Since you've already been to TRU (twice) but not Sixteen, I honestly think you should go to Sixteen and decide for yourself.

>> 3-Do Sixteen or Grace allow BYOW? I know Goosefoot/EL Ideas are BYOW, and Next isn't, but no reply from Grace/Sixteen when I emailed.

I recommend phoning the restaurants to ask.

>> 4-Any other places that I may be totally missing?

You've covered almost all of the high-end fine dining scene here; I can think of only a few places you've missed, including two that are definitely high-end: Spiaggia is Italian and has been recently remodeled, and Les Nomades is French. Some would consider Topolobampo, Rick Bayless's Mexican restaurant, in this category as well; it meets on some counts (including tasting menus), not on others (e.g. attire, décor, service - not that these are bad, they're not, but they're not like the true high-end places). There are also some places just a tad below those in formality and price: in addition to Acadia (already mentioned), these include Naha (which I love), North Pond (ditto), Brindille (French, I like a lot), Blackbird (like a lot), and Elizabeth (like a lot, although not overwhelmed the way a few other folks are). All of these are worth considering.

>> 5-I'll be going for another 5-7 days next June, so there will be time for Balena, Boka and Tru again then.

Since you now mention Balena and Boka, here's something else to give some thought to. Do you want to do long tasting menus of contemporary American cuisine at high-end fine dining places night after night throughout your stay, as you currently have planned? Or would you prefer to mix those up with other types of cuisine and/or less lofty places where you can be a bit more casual and be satisfied with the traditional three(-ish) courses, such as Balena, Boka, Piccolo Sogno, MK, Anteprima, etc.? Or would you consider one of our small plates restaurants, since some of these (GT Fish & Oyster, Mercat a la Planxa, Perennial Virant, Purple Pig, Sable) have some of our very best chefs and are turning out some amazing food? Other ethnic foods? Deep-dish pizza? There's no right answer, but it's something to think about. Right now you have five pretty similar haute cuisine places on your itinerary, yet you mention some more casual places as possibilities, and there are other options as well. So you might want to mix some of those others in. Or, you might not. Of course, it's entirely up to you.

Also keep in mind that dinner is not your only opportunity to enjoy Chicago's finest. Some of the places mentioned above are open for lunch, in case that's something you would like to do. There are also all our terrific breakfast restaurants (led by Jam and M. Henry). And our great places for grazing, like the French Market and Eataly.

Jul 23, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Trip leg - Cleveland to Chicago

They're not as close to the Turnpike. Besides, would you get hot dogs in Toledo if you were about to stop in Chicago? :)

Jul 23, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Advance Planning -- returning to the City of my Birth

>> anyone know how far out these places will accept reservations?

Of the places you mentioned, the only one where a reservation way in advance is needed is Girl and the Goat, so you've got that covered. Reservations aren't too terribly tough to get at Brindille or Naha; they're a bit more in demand for North Pond, Blackbird, and GT Fish, but still not too bad. If you make your reservations at least 4-6 weeks ahead, you'll probably be able to name your time at all of these, and of course it won't hurt to try making them 8-10 weeks out. Also note that all are on Opentable.com so it's easy to make them whenever you want. Except Purple Pig, which doesn't take reservations at all.

Making reservations WAY in advance isn't really a big thing in Chicago, and is only a concern for fewer than a dozen places (some but not all are among our best); in addition to the ticketing/pay-in-advance places (Alinea, Next, Elizabeth, El Ideas), they include Girl and the Goat, Grace, Gibson's Steakhouse, Topolobampo, and Goosefoot. Other than at those, it's not much of an issue.

>> Anything I should drop off the list, or something I should add?

You've already got some of our best places in mind. The problem, as usual in Chicago, is that there are SO many excellent places around. So you can name ten places, and gonzo can name ten more, and I can name ten more, and all thirty are excellent places worth considering. So I wouldn't say there's anything that you should drop off the list. If I had to give additional suggestions besides the ones you mentioned (and considering the caveats you specify), the top places I would add are Sable, for terrific small plates and craft cocktails; Jam, which gonzo also mentioned, IMHO our best breakfast restaurant (note, they don't take reservations, and you can expect 30-60 minute waits to be seated on weekends between 9:30 and 1:00, not bad all other times); Anteprima, a neighborhood Italian bistro in Andersonville; and Garrett's Popcorn for a snack, with several downtown locations as well as at O'Hare. Two more places worth visiting are agglomerations with lots of options: the French Market (a public market in a downtown commuter train station, with various food stalls), and Eataly (for everything Italian).

Enjoy your visit, and feel free to ask more questions!

Jul 22, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Milwuakee Dinner

Just to orient you... Marquette is just west of downtown Milwaukee. Downtown has the longtime German stalwarts like Mader's and Karl Ratzsch's, as well as a bunch of steakhouses, while many of the newer interesting restaurants in Milwaukee are clustered in three areas right next to downtown. East Town, which is northeast of downtown, has some of the finest restaurants in Milwaukee, including Sanford and Lake Park Bistro. The Historic Third Ward is just south of that (south of I-794) and is home to the Milwaukee Public Market - perhaps the best place of all to "experience the character of Milwaukee" - as well as interesting places like Hinterland, a combination brewpub and upscale restaurant. Walkers Point is south of downtown (southwest of the third ward) and is home to Crazy Water, with outstanding food in a publike atmosphere, and Braise, which I haven't been to.

Just west of Marquette is the Ambassador Hotel. I love the Sunday brunch at Envoy, the restaurant in the hotel; all the food is prepared to order but it's a fixed price and you can order whatever you want (even though they don't call it "all you can eat", that's basically what it is).

Links:
www.madersrestaurant.com
www.karlratzsch.com
www.sanfordrestaurant.com
www.lakeparkbistro.com
www.historicthirdward.org
www.milwaukeepublicmarket.com
www.hinterlandbeer.com
www.crazywaterrestaurant.com
www.braiselocalfood.com
www.envoymilwaukee.com

Finally, the food writer in the local newspaper does two articles every year that you will find extremely helpful. The first is the "top 30 restaurants in town":

Carol Deptolla's Top 30 restaurants blend the flavors of old and new - www.jsonline.com/entertainment/dining...

And the second is more along the lines of cheap eats, but still distinctive and worth checking out; its recommendations include Blue's Egg (perhaps the best place in town for breakfast - www.bluesegg.com ) and Kopp's (for frozen custard - www.kopps.com ):

Carol Deptolla's 20 Good Eats in Milwaukee - www.jsonline.com/entertainment/dining...

Jul 22, 2014
nsxtasy in Great Lakes
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Trip leg - Cleveland to Chicago

Cleveland to Chicago is about 350 miles. If you want to break the trip up, here are three recommendations in the Toledo area, right along the way. All are right near Exit 59 (US-20 / Reynolds Road) on the Ohio Turnpike (I-80). From the exit, go south to the first light, which is Dussel Drive, and turn right. There are two excellent restaurants on Dussel Drive: Bangkok Kitchen for excellent Thai food www.bangkokkitchenmaumee.com , and Mancy's Bluewater Grille for excellent seafood www.mancys.com/bluewater-grille/bluew... Mancy's is on the north side of Dussel; Bangkok Kitchen is on the south side of Dussel, somewhat inconspicuous in a strip mall just east of a Wendy's. The third recommendation is the Tandoor in Toledo, which has very good Indian food. From that same exit from I-80 (Exit 59, US-20 / Reynolds Road), turn north onto Reynolds Road and it's about a half mile from the exit, on the right. www.tandooroftoledo.com

Jul 22, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area

Cincinnatti - Looking for great fresh food

Jean Robert's Table has been widely considered the closest thing to a consensus choice as best restaurant in Cincinnati, ever since Maisonette closed a few years ago (which is too bad, it was such a classic culinary icon and the food was amazing). I absolutely loved my dinner there a year or so ago.

If your four days include a weekend, you might consider doing the Orchids at Palm Court for Sunday brunch. It's an elaborate all-you-can-eat buffet; that probably sounds unusual for such an upscale restaurant, but it's elegant and excellent. It will also give you the chance to check out the amazing renovated art deco architecture of the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel in which it is located.

Jul 19, 2014
nsxtasy in Great Lakes

Gene and Georgetti vs Erie Cafe for steak

Yes.

Jul 19, 2014
nsxtasy in Chicago Area