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Where would you take 'tourists' to dinner in Chicago...

Where would you take 'tourists' to dinner in Chicago...

Old Jul 14, 06, 10:24 am
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Where would you take 'tourists' to dinner in Chicago...

to totally, non-tourist places?

I have some friends coming to town soon...I want to bring them to places that are off the beaten path...

Some that come to mind:

- Meritage Cafe
- Le Bouchon
- Pasteur
- Frontera Grill/Topolobampo (okay, kind of touristy)
- Kaze
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Old Jul 14, 06, 10:52 am
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Isn't there a restaurant near the top floor of the John Hancock building with panoramic views from the floor-to-ceiling windows?
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Old Jul 14, 06, 11:01 am
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It's called The Signature Room at the 95th. I can't speak for the food, but I am sure the views are nice.

http://www.signatureroom.com/

I would suggest setting a budget before figuring where you want to go...some reccomendations such as Alinea or Moto can get quite expensive. Others, like Mr. Beef on Orleans are cheap and delicious.
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Old Jul 14, 06, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by UNITED959
to totally, non-tourist places?

I have some friends coming to town soon...I want to bring them to places that are off the beaten path...

Some that come to mind:
(*snipped, a nasty list of non-Chicago sorts of places)
Goodness gracious, have you no couth?

It's Chicago and the Old Chicago Chop House or one of the other "local" (NON-CHAIN) steakhouses is obligatory. They're not traveling to Paris or LA (but could eat steaks at Morton's or S&W or Ruth's Chris elsewhere. I can't remeber the name of the one that occupies 3 sides of a narrow wedge corner several blocks North of the Loop, but I can always find it.
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Old Jul 14, 06, 11:31 am
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I'd take them to Lou Malnati's. Or to Portillo's.

But that's just me.
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Old Jul 14, 06, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by TMOliver
Goodness gracious, have you no couth?

It's Chicago and the Old Chicago Chop House or one of the other "local" (NON-CHAIN) steakhouses is obligatory. They're not traveling to Paris or LA (but could eat steaks at Morton's or S&W or Ruth's Chris elsewhere. I can't remeber the name of the one that occupies 3 sides of a narrow wedge corner several blocks North of the Loop, but I can always find it.
Keefer's perhaps?

I recommend it.
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Old Jul 14, 06, 3:30 pm
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Originally Posted by cybermud
It's called The Signature Room at the 95th. I can't speak for the food, but I am sure the views are nice.

http://www.signatureroom.com/
If you're going to go to the Signature Room, I'd recommend going for lunch. My opinion is that it's not worth it for dinner. Lunch is reasonably priced at the Signature Room, but dinner is expensive. You can look at the menu for exact prices. The dinner prices aren't ridiculous, but in my opinion, for the amount of money you'd spend having dinner at the signature room, I'd think you'd be better off going somewhere else. For example, the menu on their website shows a $40 New York Strip Steak. I've never had that at the Signature Room, but I bet the steak is better at Gibson's, Morton's, or Ruth's Chris.
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Old Jul 14, 06, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by UNITED959
to totally, non-tourist places?

I have some friends coming to town soon...I want to bring them to places that are off the beaten path...

How about White Castle?

I suggest Spiaggia or Cafe Spiaggia, since I'm thinking Italian food today (along with the sliders). Nice location and views, and still getting good reviews..
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Old Jul 14, 06, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by cybermud
It's called The Signature Room at the 95th. I can't speak for the food, but I am sure the views are nice.

http://www.signatureroom.com/
I'll speak for the food, The Signature Room is VERY mediocre and is WAY WAY WAY overpriced. Go to the 96th for drinks & view, but steer clear of the 95th restaurant.

My personal belief when it comes to food is to experience regional/local dishes/items that one can't get anywhere else or at the least are not executed well in other parts of the U.S. Next would be top notch restaurants of Chicago that have some very talented chefs.

For Chicago:
Italian Beef Sandwiches
PAN pizza (not stuffed)
Chicago Hot Dogs
A steakhouse
Mexican Taqueria or for an upscale Mexican place like Frontera Grill, Salpicon, Chilipanqo(sp?), etc.
Vietnamese (Argyle Street)
Indian (Devon)

Some top restaurants that have some of Chicago's best chefs might include: Arun's, Avec, Tru, Alenia, Spring, Blackbird


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Old Jul 14, 06, 9:37 pm
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Originally Posted by TMOliver
Goodness gracious, have you no couth?

It's Chicago and the Old Chicago Chop House or one of the other "local" (NON-CHAIN) steakhouses is obligatory. They're not traveling to Paris or LA (but could eat steaks at Morton's or S&W or Ruth's Chris elsewhere. I can't remeber the name of the one that occupies 3 sides of a narrow wedge corner several blocks North of the Loop, but I can always find it.
You might be thinking of Gene & Georgettis? For steak, you're spot on about the non-chain local steakhouses.

For Italian...Taylor Street

There are some really great local places that don't have to scream "tourist!!!" Just helps to know a bit more about what you're really looking for w/r/t types of food & budget
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Old Jul 14, 06, 10:15 pm
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off the beaten path?

Breakfast Club (breakfast, duh)
Rosded (Thai food)
Gin Go Gae (Korean)
Renga Tei (Japanese)
Tre Kronor (Swedish)
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Old Jul 14, 06, 10:24 pm
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Weiner's Circle!

Seriously though, Flat Top Grill is a FT favourite (we had a lunch there today!).

As for the steak houses, I'm sure they're all great. Frontera Grill is excellent, there are many, many local "authentic" Mexican places (El Mariachi on Broadway).

There are also some standards -- Mon Ami Gabi at the Belmont/Stratford in Lincoln Park is a fun Lettuce Entertain You French bistro; Ambria next door is wonderful, and they don't bat an eyelid if you go in black tie. North Pond Cafe is hit or miss IMHO. And X/O on Halsted is amazing, but if you're planning on eating there during the Gay Games, reserve!

I like the Signature Room for brunch, and have had a lovely dinner there (though I didn't see the bill). It is a great view.
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Old Jul 17, 06, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Sweet Willie
I'll speak for the food, The Signature Room is VERY mediocre and is WAY WAY WAY overpriced. Go to the 96th for drinks & view, but steer clear of the 95th restaurant.

Mexican Taqueria or for an upscale Mexican place like Frontera Grill, Salpicon, Chilipanqo(sp?), etc.
Vietnamese (Argyle Street)
Indian (Devon)

Some top restaurants that have some of Chicago's best chefs might include: Arun's, Avec, Tru, Alenia, Spring, Blackbird


--
Signature Room is definitely a tourist trap. Good to go there for a drink to appreciate the view, but dining is certainly not their specialty.

I forget about Salpicon and Chilipacigno (sp? ) -- those places are great.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 3:27 pm
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Chillpancingo is gone. It closed I believe in May.
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Old Jul 20, 06, 10:23 am
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I agree with the Signature Room lunch suggestion and it is worth asking for and waiting to get a table by a window(preferably lakeside). Yes, the food isn't all that great - but you can't beat the view and it's just lunch!
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