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message 1: by Valerie (new)

Valerie My husband and I are driving into Chicago this week to celebrate our tenth anniversary, and I was just wondering if anyone here lives there (or nearby) and could give me any restaurant recommendations. We used to live there (ten years ago) so we know the ones that have been around forever, but the new ones - not so much. They could be fancy or casual, as we'll be having a couple dinners and a bunch of lunches there...

If you can help, thanks :)

message 2: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (ingenting) Hi Val, I don't know if you will be checking in, but I wanted to tell you of a pizza place that a customer told me about. You've probably already heard about it. It's called Girdano's Pizza (I don't think I'm spelling it right).

message 3: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Yes, Michelle - I know of it. I used to work by one, so we ate there fairly often (and it's great pizza!). Thanks for the tip - maybe we'll get one "to go" when we head home tomorrow :)

message 4: by alicia (new)

alicia grant (shesha34) I am from the northwest suburbs.
Lou Malnati's or Pizzeria Uno is the best Pizza imo.
I don't get into the city much so not so up to date on the great places to eat I am sure you can find some great reviews online though

message 5: by Anthony (new)

Anthony (apmunoz) | 3 comments There are many amazing restaurants in Chicago that have sprung up since you left.

If you like pizza, try Coal Fire on Grand near Ogden. http://www.coalfirechicago.com/

or Crust on Division in Wicker Park. It's Chicago and the Midwest's only certified organic restaurant. http://www.crustchicago.com/

These pizza places leave the big chain places in the dust.

Our current favorite restaurant is Mercat de la Planxa, a new Spanish tapas-style place in the renovated Blackstone Hotel.
I can't recommend this place enough.

message 6: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jun 26, 2008 07:54AM) (new)

RandomAnthony Yes! I grew up in Chicago. Alinea is one of those molecular gastromony, once in a lifetime places, I think...I've never been there but I've read about it.

I'm a Giordano's fan...everyone has their own favorite pizza places...but all the previous posts are more informed than mine since I haven't lived in Chicago for eleven years. Oh, Val, if you call 24 hours ahead you can get frozen/half-baked Giordano's pizzas to take home. Remember, they have locations in Rosemont and Gurnee Mills so depending on which way you're heading home you can pick one up.

I still love the Taco and Burrito House, though. I miss that place so much.

Hope the roads are clear, by the way...

message 7: by Valerie (new)

Valerie We just got back a little while ago. We ended up eating at the oyster bar at Shaw's Crab House (for old time's sake, but they still have fantastic oysters) and Irazu, our favorite Costa Rican restaurant there (and I think the only Costa Rican restaurant in Chicago, oddly enough).

We also tried a new place for sushi, but it was only so-so.

RA and Bunny Watson (formerly known as Donna): we had thought about eating at Alinea, and had seen all the wonderful reviews... but I have to admit that the whole "molecular biology" aspect of it turned me off a little. Maybe the next time we go we'll try it.

As a side note to that, did you hear that Grant Achatz (the head chef at Alinea) is recovering from tongue cancer? Apparently part of the treatment for it destroyed his sense of taste, and although it's slowly returning it may take up to a year. Very sad, especially for someone in his field (although I'm sure he's glad to be recovering). Here's the article, if anyone's interested:


message 8: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony I'd like to try the molecular gastronomy thing once. But not at 400 bucks a meal.

message 9: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Munoz (cmunoz) | 3 comments mercat a la planxa in the Blackstone Hotel on South Michigan across from Grant Park is my fave!! It's so sexy and they serve delicious tapas. Have fun and leave Giordano's for the tourists!

message 10: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Munoz (cmunoz) | 3 comments Hi smoochie! I love eating at m a la p with you!

message 11: by Valerie (new)

Valerie I'm already back, but this thread will be good for the next time we visit (thanks, everyone). By the way, I lived in Chicago for six years, and I (and the people I worked with) ate at Giordano's on a fairly regular basis and really liked it. I don't think it's just for tourists, but they're welcome too :)

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