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Terra Vergine (London)

I would also second the comments of kristaneon - we enjoyed a meal here as a family, food and service were wonderful. It was a rainy night, early (6) so we were alone, but would recommend it and look forward to going back.

NYC with baby?

Hi there, we're traveling back east with our infant daughter (9 months) and are hoping for recommendations for brunch/lunch/dinner of any new/great spots that won't give us grief with a's been a few years since we've been there, but we're open to cuisine types and neighborhoods. Some of our favorites used to be:
Fig & Olive
Spice Market
Mercer Kitchen
Cook Shop

Hope this helps, would love suggestions! We're headed there in a few weeks (mid-April). Thank you!

Mar 26, 2013
italophile in Manhattan

Choose one - David Burke Primehouse or Chicago Cut

I haven't been as impressed w/ this Capital Grill as w/ those on the East Coast, so I say (whole heartedly) Chicago Cut.

Capital Grill
87 Yorktown Shopping Ctr, Lombard, IL 60148

Jul 08, 2011
italophile in Chicago Area

Choose one - David Burke Primehouse or Chicago Cut

I have been to both and personally prefer Chicago Cut. The menu is more robust, the food is excellent and the service was excellent. The atmosphere is steakhouse, but a little more modern/luxurious to me than DBP. There are great views (and a patio) of the River and the Loop.

I'm not the kind of person that just goes for steak + starch, so I think the menu is a HUGE plus for me...

Perhaps the one time at DBP was a fluke, but I've now been back to Chicago Cut several times and each has been really great.

Jul 07, 2011
italophile in Chicago Area

Need reco near Aragon/Uptown

I'm not familiar w/ the Aragon nor Uptown and am looking for a pre-concert meal reco. Mid-priced, good food, not bent on any particular ethnicity at this point, hopeful for a neighborhood gem a la Nightwood, Kith and Kin, Bluebird...anything like that in that area?

We're headed up Saturday night, probably like to eat about 6pm, so hopeful we can get in anywhere!

Thank you.

Kith and Kin
1119 W. Webster Ave., Chicago, IL 60614

Jun 13, 2011
italophile in Chicago Area

Date Night in Loop/River North

How about La Madia for pizza and salads? You can go casual, but it's still trendy and fun... Or, sit outside at Quartino for small plates Italian. I'm also a fan of Feast - it's in the Gold Coast, but not far to walk down to River North.

Jul 14, 2009
italophile in Chicago Area

Reco's for Napa (the town) and SF in September?

Hi all, I'm a Chicago-by-way-of-Boston hound, hoping you can recommend some places for my upcoming trip (9/1-9/7) out west.

We are in Napa valley for the first part of our trip, in the city for the weekend. Currently, our only confirmed dinners are these:
- Girl and the fig
- Bouchon
- Bottega

What I'd like to learn more about are:
1. A great place w/ a view for lunch in Sausalito (we'll be stopping on our way up to Napa)
2. Somewhere in the town of Napa - we are staying in the city and would love to walk and explore on our first night there
3. A Friday and Saturday night option in SF.
4. A dim sum option

We like almost everything - Italian, Japanese/Sushi, Greek, Middle Eastern, French, Chinese, American, Spanish, etc. My husband isn't crazy about Indian or Vietnamese, but he's a good sport and can be convinced!

We haven't booked our hotel yet, but thinking Union Square or Nob Hill - we're not afraid of walking or public transportation, though want to eat IN the city. Price range, isn't totally an issue, but nothing like TFL please.

If anyone is familiar w/ Chicago or Boston restaurants, we love places like Avec, The Bristol, Mia Francesca, Perennial in Chicago, and our faves were Toro, Stella, Via Matta, Excelsior in Boston.

Thank you in advance!

Recommendations for Girl's Night Out in Chicago

Hi there - just did a birthday "girls night out" and went to Sunda - it's a new Asian place in River North. Super fun, busy, a little scene-y, but great food and drinks. There were 6 of us paying the bill and most of us drinking - it came to $350, which I thought was great considering all the sushi and apps we ordered.

I would def go for the Rock Shrimp tempura if you end up there...

May 06, 2009
italophile in Chicago Area

Nothing Too Fancy - Business Dinner

Are you from Boston? Give me a comparison with a Boston restaurant and I can try to help?

Apr 07, 2009
italophile in Chicago Area

Help with Chicago restaurant selections

Hi there,

I just am adding my two cents to your request...As a recent Chicagoan (Aug '08) I won't touch the old favorites, but of the new ones, here are my thoughts:

Piccolo Sogno - cozy and delicious. We went for NYE but they served their regular menu and we enjoyed everything we ordered, the service, and the wine. We went with the mixed seafood grill plate, followed by a pasta course (chestnut ravioli), followed by the best whole roasted branzino I have had in Chicago, while my husband enjoyed the duck breast. I think this is a great date place, but there were quite a few groups out to celebrate the holiday. They should have a HUGE patio come summer, not sure when you are traveling this way...

Chalkboard - have only been for brunch - the food was excellent, the service sucked. Absurd. I would go again for brunch because the BLT, grits and biscuits were to die for, but the overall service, management, lack of care for patrons concerns me.

If you are looking for a cool vibe, I recently tried Province with a friend and we loved it. Very cool, eco-friendly decor, shareable plates and nice wines by the glass. It's somehow related to the Nacional 27 folks, but I can't recall how :)

Trump Hotel can still be visited for a cocktail in their bar overlooking the river if you don't want to commit a dinner there (with yummy pickled olives for bar snacks)!

Good luck!

Feb 18, 2009
italophile in Chicago Area

Mexique, Perrenial, other suggestion for birthday celebration?

My husband and I went for NYE and had an excellent meal. Our service was great (though it can be a very harried evening) and the food was quite good. My only complaint was that on our first course, a mixed seafood grill plate, the squid was slightly overcooked. We had a mid-course of chestnut ravioli in a brown-butter sage sauce that was fabulous - sweet and salty filling and perfectly light pasta. I had the whole-roasted branzino - one of the finest I've had, especially in Chicago (we're recent transplants). The fish was perfectly cooked and filleted with a touch of olive oil and lemon, served with grilled fennel. My husband had duck breast with a sausage/farro mixture that was right up his, if you like duck, go for it.

Dessert was great too - we went for the chocolate hazelnut torte with a hazelnut gelato and it was a perfect ending. Not to heavy, but a divine way to polish off the rest of our wine. Speaking of wine, the list is very heavily Italian, but there are great options at a variety of price ranges. We were splurging for the holiday and our waiter was well-versed in the flavor profiles of the wines and helped us select a great match for our varied dishes!

I think that the patio will likely sell the place in the spring/summer, but the food is excellent for a year-round Italian option.

Jan 08, 2009
italophile in Chicago Area

Beacon Hill tomorrow night?

Hi there - my husband and I are having dinner with a few friends Wednesday night and we were thinking of Beacon Hill to walk around before/after dinner but aren't super familiar with a lot of the options...we know Paramount breakfasts or Fig's pizza but it sort of ends there...

Any ideas? We like all cuisines, would like to stay under $30 per person if possible (w/o wine) and want somewhere we can talk but has an atmosphere...any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Lincoln Park - new every week?

I think I just read about BOKA in one of my magazines...I love a good patio too.
Appreciate the responses.

Jul 30, 2008
italophile in Chicago Area

Lincoln Park - new every week?

Thanks mmilanam - these sound great. I had heard of Alinea and Mon Ami Gabi from my online research, but I'm excited for some of the others...thanks for filling me in on the 'hood.

Jul 30, 2008
italophile in Chicago Area

Lincoln Park - new every week?

Hi all,

My husband and I are moving to Chicago from Boston in a few weeks. We will be living in Lincoln Park and in order to get to know the neighborhood haunts, we would like to eat at a new place weekly that's near our house. Here's where you come in - any recommendations for east Lincoln Park (Lincoln Park West/Dickens) would be greatly appreciated! No concen for budget or style, we like it all and since it's a weekly thing, we'd be changing it up so options are good...I think that walking less than 1 mile would be preferred, so truly neighborhood-round-the-corner type places.

Help us get on the Chicago Chow board! Thanks!

Jul 28, 2008
italophile in Chicago Area

Saturday brunch in RI?

Hi all, I'm looking for a place to take my aunts for brunch/lunch on a Saturday. They are big fans of Paragon/Viva, Adesso, Sienna, Cafe Nuevo...any suggestions? This is actually for a Mother's Day gift, but on the Saturday prior.

Would like to stay about $15 pp if possible. And, would prefer not to drive more than 20-25 minutes from Cumberland RI (or they'll make a pt of reminding me how far away we're going:) )

Thanks in advance!

Dinner in Vegas w/ Mom, need suggestions

Hi everyone, I'm a Boston-board girl...

Anyway, my mom and I are doing a girls weekend in Vegas. She is not a super adventurous eater, and doesn't entirely share my penchant for celebrity chefs (unless they have a show on Food Network, but I digress). I have Sunday/Monday sorta planned out and am willing to play daytime meals by ear, but I'm looking for a great "Mother's Day gift" type place for a Tuesday night, our last night there.

We're doing Mexican (still tbd) and Italian (Enoteca San Marco) on Sunday and Monday nights, respectively. Any thoughts on our Tuesday night? Something on the strip?

My mom is turned off by menu's with unfamiliar or exotic items (like octopus or pickled eggs or something, for example) and she is not a sushi fan, though is able to find things to eat at Asian restaurants as she likes the "cooked stuff". She's just not uber-adventurous.

Also, I'm in my 20's and would love to keep dinner for 2 under $150, tip included.

Let me know if you need more info - any help would be appreciated.

Apr 23, 2008
italophile in Southwest

Not your average business dinner

Hi there, I am from Boston and I'm coming into town for a presentation...we're taking our clients to dinner afterward and I'm looking for recommendations. I guess what makes us "not your average..." is that we're all late 20's/early 30's and work in the creative industry.

I'm looking for something that is not uber-fancy or expensive, but that is a treat for our clients and a nice night out. BUT, want it to be relaxing and more comfortable than a NAHA or Blackbird type restaurant.

Does this make sense? For instance, if you're at all familiar with Boston, I would say I'm looking for an Eastern Standard/Great Bay/Via Matta type place.


Feb 25, 2008
italophile in Chicago Area

Food to survive on near Westin River North

Hi there, I was in your exact place last month visiting from Boston...I ended up at NAHA and I absolutely loved it.
I ate cauliflower soup with butter poached lobster and Arctic char with celeriac and mushrooms. Absolutely delicious. The bartender was chatty so being alone wasn't a bad thing. It's off of Clark Street - literally walk out of the Westin to the left, take a right on Clark and it's like 3 blocks on the left hand side. Very easy and worth the cold walk.


Feb 25, 2008
italophile in Chicago Area

Charlestown meeting - need dinner recs

Hi there...have a meeting in Charlestown this evening and was hoping to try a good place in that neighborhood as I'm not too familiar with it. We are in the mood for a good pasta dish or something italian...

Thoughts? I know about Olives, but was more thinking of cozy, neighborhood spot.

Good food AND watch the game?

Hi all, it's my husband's birthday and we'd like a nice place to watch the Patriots game Saturday while not compromising on food or competing w/ "super" fans (super loud, super drunk, etc). We live in the city, but aren't opposed to traveling for a good spot. There are 6 of us, all food is fine, though I think they equate sports=bar food, burgers so that is preferred.


Pre-party bite in Allston?

Thanks for the suggestions - I was thinking of Saray (we'll be driving) but I'll look into Carlo's Cucina Italiana...they told me there wasn't much on Western, so I appreciate your rec's above!

Pre-party bite in Allston?

Need some advice - I'm heading to a holiday party in Allston (Western Ave area) on Saturday night. I'm not totally familiar with the dining destinations there, though I have tried looking up options, but am not sure of locations.

We're looking for good food, decent atmosphere (we'll be in "festive" attire), that would be relatively close to the party.

Any thoughts? Don't want to spend $$$, but will pay for good food/service/drinks. Also, one person is slightly particular, so likely nothing too deep in any ethnic cuisines (ie Cambodian).

Hope this helps, thanks in advance.

Really truly great bowl of chowder?

Zatan, I too don't like thick, super cream-y chowder, so for a "thin" version, I think Great Bay does it right. It has a touch of bacon and topped w/ a chervil sprig that gives it a good freshness.

Looking for a great Egg Salad Sandwich

Though this is NOT in your preferred location, this sandwich was so good I had to reply...I ate the egg sandwich at the Parish Cafe (Boylston). It is a signature sandwich of the sous chef there and is absolutely amazing! It was on crispy baguette with roasted tomato, arugula and an aioli...delicious!

Saturday night, entertaining NY'ers

Hi all - we're entertaining a couple from NYC. They're up for good food, nothing too chi-chi, but on par with some of these...we've done Stella, Toro, Via Matta in the past...anything new and delicious? We live downtown and aren't "afraid" to travel too far, but obviously on these warm nights love to walk!

Longwood area

Ooh, I didn't even think of Fenway. Trattoria Toscana is a great suggestion, thank you!

Longwood area

Will be out near Longwood medical center...any great places that are close by? Such a random area that I have NO clue about...

Any help is appreciated!

Denver Mother's Day brunch ideas?

Hi - I'm visiting my parents in May and fly out on Mothers day - would love a great brunch/lunch place to take my family to celebrate. We're familiar with Denver, but with the need to get to the airport, something relatively close to 25 or 70 would be easiest.

Any suggestions? Nothing too ritzy, though we're fans of places like Jax, Capital Grille, etc...if that helps. I'm not too up on my brunch places anymore!


Mar 07, 2007
italophile in Southwest