2012 Dining Guide
Whether you prefer to eat your meals at McCormick Place or catch a cab to a trendy downtown Chicago eatery, we’ve got a full menu of dining options for RSNA 2012. Visit the Help Desk near the Grand Concourse for restaurant recommendations, reservations and concierge services. Bistro RSNA—The Best Place to Eat, Meet & Network With an extensive gourmet menu and ample seating, Bistro RSNA is an excellent option to sit down to a comfortable lunch and network with colleagues. Each technical exhibit hall, as well as the Lakeside Learning Center, houses Bistro RSNA. One low price of $21 gets you an all-inclusive meal, including tax, beverages and dessert. Purchase tickets online before Nov. 2 and save another $1.00 off the onsite price. Diners can turn lunch into a networking opportunity. Select tables at Bistro RSNA in the Lakeside Learning Center (Hall E) will be designated “table discussions” during lunch hours Monday– Wednesday. Attendees are invited to engage in discussions on the topics of their choice. Purchase tickets online during registration at RSNA.org/register.
Wide Range of Dining Options A variety of dining options are offered during RSNA 2012 throughout all buildings of the convention center. Along with a food court and an organic café, offerings include Starbucks, Jamba Juice, On the Go Stations, cafes, delis, McDonald’s, Connie’s Pizza and much more.
Chicago Offers World-class Dining Options After a long day inside McCormick Place, Chicago’s more than 6,000 restaurants offer unlimited options to satisfy all appetites. Afterward, relax with friends and colleagues or hear some Blues at one of Chicago’s wide assortment of clubs and lounges. Our guide of suggested restaurants and bars will assist in planning and making reservations before you arrive. NEW—Indicates a restaurant appearing on the RSNA list for the first time.
American 676 Restaurant and Bar 676 N. Michigan; 1-312-944-6664 This Omni Chicago Hotel restaurant overlooking the Magnificent Mile boasts a moonscape mural on the ceiling. Menu highlights include flatbreads, a raw bar and “charcuterie,” a selection of antipasti meats. Expensive NEW Acadia 1639 S. Wabash Ave.; 1-312-360-9500 The minimalist chic of the room helps temper the complexity of the menu. Famous for the Yukon Gold potato and green apple risotto, this high-end, contemporary American restaurant has something for everyone, including a burger. Very Expensive NEW Ada Street 1664 N. Ada St.; 1-773-697-7069 Chicago restaurant greats Michael Kornick and David Morton teamed up again on Ada Street, a tavern featuring tasty, hearty, small plates. Take time to visit the restaurant’s vinyl library to select a record for the staff to play. Inexpensive The Bedford 1612 W. Division; 1-773-235-8800 Dinner and cocktails are served in the vault of a former bank. The German influenced menu changes frequently to accommodate the availability of locally grown foods. Locals are streaming in to enjoy the bar scene and specialty drinks. Moderate Blackbird 619 W. Randolph; 1-312-715-0708 This trendy hot spot serves contemporary American cuisine with seasonal emphasis. Expensive
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Brunch 644 N. Orleans; 1-312-265-1411 The perfect stop for guests in the River North hotels, Brunch offers several choices including a breakfast bar, table service and carryout from one of the few breakfast options in the area. Inexpensive Chicago Firehouse Restaurant 1401 S. Michigan; 1-312-786-1401 Escargot and vegetable strudel share the appetizer menu at this restaurant housed in a turn-ofthe-century firehouse, complete with the original fire poles. Casual or formal dining is available and wines are mostly American. Expensive Cité Lake Point Tower, 505 N. Lake Shore; 1-312-644-4050 From the rooftop of Lake Point Tower, experience Chicago’s sophisticated side. Offering French/Italian fare, Cité is one of the few Chicago establishments to require jackets in both restaurant and bar. Very Expensive Custom House 500 S. Dearborn; 1-312-523-0200 The name of this Printers Row restaurant inside Hotel Blake comes from the Custom House Levee District, former home of bordellos, gambling parlors and saloons. The focus is on steak and local farm-raised foods. Expensive Deca 160 E. Pearson; 1-312-573-5160 Alongside the fountain in the lobby of the RitzCarlton, this art deco-themed brasserie presents reasonably priced entrees, a large selection of salads and even sliders in a sophisticated setting. Moderate
NEW EL Ideas 2419 W. 14 St.; 1-312-266-8144 Reserve early to secure one of the 16 seats at Chef Michael Foss’s kitchen table; there is no dining room. Many enjoy this opportunity to watch or assist with food preparation while discussing ingredients and inspiration with the culinary team during a 12-to-15-course dinner. At press time the restaurant was BYOB. Expensive Epic 112 W. Hubbard; 1-312-222-4940 American food with a French flair is served in a setting worthy of this restaurant’s name. Two kitchens serve around 200 in the split-level dining room while the Chicago skyline is showcased through the 24-foot windows. Expensive The Gage 24 S. Michigan; 1-312-372-4243 Housed in a 1930s hat factory across from Millennium Park, the Gage offers an atmosphere accentuated by brass, leather and subway tile. Comfort food is paired with a roster of 30 bottled beers and interesting small-batch whiskeys. Moderate Gemini Bistro 2075 N. Lincoln; 1-773-525-2522 Set in a former pharmacy, classic American food with European influences is featured on a menu offering small, medium, large and extra-large plates. Moderate Gilt Bar 230 W. Kinzie; 1-312-464-9544 The gastropub menu begins with a selection of “on toast” starters that leads to small plates such as roasted bone marrow, pork meatballs, white grits with cheddar and kennebec fries. Head to the basement to sample the cash-only Curio cocktail lounge. Moderate
Girl & The Goat 809 W. Randolph St.; 1-312-492-6262 Make a reservation today (they fill up months out) for this unique Chicago favorite, featuring celebrity chef Stephanie Izard. She serves not just American food, but what some critics have termed “Chicago cuisine.” Moderate NEW Goosefoot 2656 W. Lawrence Ave.; 1-773-942-7547 The trek to Lincoln Square is worth it to sample Chef Chris Nugent’s eight- or 12-course tasting menus. Expect seasonal foods from small, local artisan farms prepared using French techniques. Expensive graham elliot 217 W. Huron; 1-312-624-9975 Graham Elliot Bowles left his throne at the nearby Peninsula Hotel’s Avenues restaurant to open this warehouse space in River North. He makes haute cuisine accessible by providing paper menus and removing tablecloths and tuxedoed waiters. Expensive Hackney’s Printers Row 733 S. Dearborn; 1-312-461-1116 At this pub located in one of the oldest buildings in Printers Row—a neighborhood as famous and historic as the Hackneyburger—try the popular deep-fried onion loaf with one of the many imported tap beers. Inexpensive Hearty 3819 N. Broadway; 1-773-868-9866 The Food Network’s Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh (aka the Hearty Boys) present comfort food with a contemporary twist along with classic retro cocktails. Sunday brunch is available. Moderate Henri 18 S. Michigan; 1-312-578-0763 Named for architect Louis Henri Sullivan who designed the façade of 18 S Michigan, Henri’s French-influenced American menu is wowing diners and critics alike. The restaurant décor has been described as vintage salon with velvet, mohair and silk accents. Very Expensive Hub 51 51 W. Hubbard; 1-312-828-0051 The menu of this eclectic River North spot offers fare from Asia to Mexico. The high ceilings, exposed ductwork and concrete columns create a hip, urban feel for this casual restaurant. Kitchen is open until 2 a.m. Inexpensive Lillie’s Q 1856 W. North; 1-773-772-5500 After Grandma Lillie’s recipe won the Memphis in May BBQ pork shoulder competition for five years straight, grandson, Chicago chef Charlie McKenna, opened this trendy Wicker Park BBQ joint. Prepare to sip moonshine out of mason jars while waiting for a table. Moderate MK, The Restaurant 868 N. Franklin; 1-312-482-9179 Creative contemporary dishes superbly offset by stylish ambiance. Exposed bricks and beams reflect the building’s past as a paint factory. Expensive Naha 500 N. Clark; 1-312-321-6242 This bright, minimalist restaurant is becoming a hit with its Mediterranean-influenced American offerings. Expensive NEW Nightwood Restaurant 2119 S. Halsted St.; 1-312-526-3385 This hip urban Pilsen restaurant uses locally grown seasonal ingredients to create imaginative
dishes. To watch the chefs in action, grab a bar stool in the back room with a view of the open kitchen. Moderate North Pond 2610 N. Cannon; 1-773-477-5845 Seasonal Midwestern and French dishes served in well-executed arts-and crafts-style. A former skaters’ warming station, this popular restaurant is located in the heart of Lincoln Park on a pristine lagoon with a city skyline view. Expensive Park Grill 11 N. Michigan; 1-312-521-7275 Chicago’s answer to New York’s Tavern on the Green, Park Grill features floor-to-ceiling windows for a great view of Millennium Park. The unpretentious menu includes a double-cut pork chop with port sauce. Expensive Perennial Virant 1800 N. Lincoln; 1-312-981-7070 As a farm-to-table restaurant, Perennial couldn’t be better positioned than its location across Clark Street from Lincoln Park’s Green City Market. Watch for Chef Paul Virant’s hallmark pickles. Moderate Petterino’s 150 N. Dearborn; 1-312-422-0150 Located in the southeast corner of the new Goodman Theatre building, Petterino’s specializes in quality steaks, pastas and salads. The room and the food are substantial at this unmistakably 1940s Loop-style restaurant. Expensive The Publican 837 W. Fulton Market; 1-312-733-9555 It’s no surprise that this woody beer hall features an extensive selection of global beers, but the standout here is the menu that centers on seafood and pork and house-made charcuterie. Inexpensive Ria 11 E. Walton; 1-312-880-4400 The eclectic menu at this restaurant in the Elysian Hotel uses few words to describe its few items, but reviewers insist that quality trumps quantity. Expensive Ruxbin Kitchen 851 N. Ashland; 1-312-624-8509 An American bistro with “steam punk” décor using repurposed urban salvaged items, Ruxbin’s menu offers memorable dishes that exhibit chef Edward Kim’s training in French technique and the influences of his Korean-American palate. Moderate Sable 505 N. State; 1-312-755-9704 Many items at this contemporary spot in the Hotel Palomar come in both large and small portions to allow for sharing. Coined a “gastro-lounge,” the menu features a large number of vegetarian selections and focuses on pairing with an extensive cocktail selection. Moderate Sepia 123 N. Jefferson; 1-312-441-1920 This restaurant in a former print shop is visually spectacular and critically acclaimed for its contemporary menu driven by seasonally available foods. Renovations include a floor-to-ceiling wine rack and Art Nouveau floor. Moderate
Sixteen 401 N. Wabash; 1-312-588-8030 The restaurant in Donald Trump’s new Chicago building features a mammoth Swarovski crystal chandelier and two-story high windows showcasing sweeping views of the Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower and Lake Michigan. The menu promises bold flavors and top-grade ingredients. Very Expensive Table Fifty-Two 52 W. Elm; 1-312-573-4000 Art Smith, chef to Oprah and best-selling cookbook author, opened this small, 35-seat restaurant. Heavier weekend menu includes fried chicken, waffles and biscuits and gravy served with chicken gumbo. Expensive Zealous 419 W. Superior; 1-312-475-9112 Zealous boasts a two-story glassed-in wine tower that can hold 6,000 wine bottles and a kitchen that brilliantly combines different foods, textures and flavors. The multiple-course degustation menus are highly recommended. Expensive
Asian Aria 200 N. Columbus; 1-312-444-9494 The Fairmont Hotel has recreated Aria as a Pan Asian restaurant, with an emphasis on seafood. A glass-enclosed private dining room adds to Aria’s flair. Very Expensive Arun’s Thai Restaurant 4156 N. Kedzie; 1-773-539-1909 Personalized 12-course Thai dinner designed by the chef for each table, with no menu. Very Expensive NEW Chizakaya 3056 N. Lincoln Ave.; 1-773-697-4725 This Lakeview sensation is owned by Chef Harold Jurado, formerly of Charlie Trotter’s, Japonais and Sunda. His Japanese venture serves small plates along with craft beers, shochu, sake and Japanese whiskey. Inexpensive Continued on next page
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Tamarind 614 S. Wabash; 1-312-379-0970 Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese dishes grace the menu at this ambitious South Loop restaurant, where sushi, rolls and sashimi selections—as well as personalized stir-fry—are local favorites. Inexpensive NEW Yusho 2853 N. Kedzie St.; 1-773-904-8558 Japanese street food is taken to a new level by the former executive chef at the now defunct but still famous Charlie Trotter’s. Sophisticated sauces and clever food combinations are driving dinners to this hip Logan Square storefront. Moderate
Belgian Hopleaf 5148 N. Clark St.; 1-773-334-9851 This is a great pub to wrap up a night out or a fun restaurant to spend an evening. Either way, Hopleaf is well loved for its Belgium beer and ale as well as its classic Belgian dinner menu featuring mussels as the house specialty. Inexpensive Leopold 1450 W. Chicago; 1-312-348-1028 The long, narrow room has many things to offer in the way of food and drink. The carefully selected Belgium ales are a terrific accompaniment to the gastropub’s meat-heavy menu of small plates featuring sausages, mussels, steak tartare and frites. Moderate NEW
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Japonais 600 W. Chicago; 1-312-822-9600 Combining industrial and chic decor in a converted industrial building, Japonais offers traditional Japanese sushi and smoked duck topped off with the Tokyo Tower—a huge helping of ice cream, sorbets and cookies. Expensive NEW Lao Sze Chuan 2172 S. Archer Ave.; 1-312-326-5040 Lao Sze Chaun is where Chicagoans go for authentic, no-frills Chinese food. This Chinatown restaurant boasts an extensive spicy Szechuan menu, specializing in hot pots. Inexpensive Le Colonial 937 N. Rush; 1-312-255-0088 In the heart of Rush Street, this French-Vietnamese masterpiece vividly recaptures French colonial Southeast Asia. Sugar cane-wrapped shrimp, sea bass and filet mignon enhance the sophisticated menu. Expensive Sunda 110 W. Illinois; 1-312-644-0500 Communal tables, a sushi bar and a hipster scene set the stage for a sleek new Asian experience. The “Devil’s Basket” combines red chilis, toasted garlic and soft-shell crabs served up in a metal bucket. Moderate Shanghai Terrace 108 E. Superior; 1-312-573-6744 The Peninsula Hotel’s Asian restaurant sparkles with silver and red lacquer. The fried rice tastes just like the Hong Kong version, with more ambitious offerings such as wok-fried lobster also on the menu. Expensive NEW Slurping Turtle 116 W. Hubbard St.; 1-312-464-0466 Slurping Turtle offers a range of Japanese comfort foods including items from the bincho grill, dumplings, noodle dishes and sashimi. The bilevel River North venue is decked out in trendy industrial décor. Inexpensive
Heaven on Seven on Rush 600 N. Michigan; 1-312-280-7774 Spicy Cajun and Creole dishes served steps from Michigan Avenue, up a steep escalator. “Feed me” fixed price menus, dependent on the chef’s whims, are unforgettable. Sunday features a New Orleans-style brunch. Moderate
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Continental NEW Au Cheval 800 W. Randolph St.; 1-312-929-4580 Enjoy Au Cheval’s European take on a corner diner, including a pork porterhouse. For an additional treat try some of the more than 30 international beers on tap or select from the cocktail or wine list. Inexpensive NEW Julius Meinl 3601 N. Southport Ave.; 1-773-868-1857 4363 N. Lincoln Ave.; 1-773-868-1876 1414 W. Irving Park Rd.; 1-773-883-1864 Austria’s number one coffee is served along with a variety of European pastries and dishes at three North Side locations. Julius Meinl Cafes were designed by an Austrian company and outfitted with fixtures and furniture built in a workshop outside of Vienna. Inexpensive NEW Urban Union 1421 W. Taylor St.; 1-312-929-4302 Urban Union’s constantly rotating menu emphasizes fish and seasonal foods. Book a place at the chef’s table to enjoy the chef’s European culinary experience through food and wine pairings. Moderate
Cuban Habana Libre 1440 W. Chicago; 1-312-243-3303 It may worth practicing some Spanish for this Cuban food. Try the rellenas—ground beef encased in fried bread—as well as mashed potatoes with mango sauce and crusty empanadas with guava paste and cheese. Inexpensive
Vincent 1475 W. Balmoral; 1-773-334-7168 With dark wood tables and an extensive array of ales to choose from, meals at Vincent are composed of Dutch staples such as pate, mussels and pickled herring. This Andersonville hot spot also offers an extensive gin menu and a decent listing of Belgium-style ales. Moderate
Roy’s 720 N. State; 1-312-787-7599 Combining French and Asian techniques, Hawaiian fusion cuisine includes hibachi-grilled salmon, blackened tuna and barbecued baby back ribs. Watch the exhibition kitchen from the bar or dining room. Expensive Vermilion 10 W. Hubbard; 1-312-527-4060 Veering far from the traditional path, Vermilion presents a Latin-Indian fusion menu that works surprisingly well. The tapas-style menu includes roasted baby eggplants, fried plantain dumplings and various curries. Expensive
ethiopian NEW Demera Ethiopian 4801 N. Broadway St.; 1-773-334-8787 Chicagoans who want classic Ethiopian head to Uptown’s Demera for a range of traditional Ethiopian stews served on spongy sourdough bread. Try the coffee and experience the flavor of freshly roasted coffee beans. Inexpensive
French Balsan 11 E. Walton; 1-312-646-1400 The décor of Balsan, located in the Europeanstyled Elysian Hotel, was inspired by fashion designer Coco Chanel. The trendy brasserie offers selections from the raw bar as well as housemade charcuterie and several organ meat dishes. Expensive Bistronomic 840 N. Wabash; 1-312-944-8400 Bistro fare with a touch of extra oomph is served alongside an excellent wine list in the heart of the Gold Coast. Burgundy walls with French photographs and mirrors set the tone for an intimate evening. Moderate Chez Joel 1119 W. Taylor; 1-312-226-6479 A pretty French bistro blossoming in the middle of Little Italy. Moderate Les Nomades 222 E. Ontario; 1-312-649-9010 Flawless French food served in a downtown mansion with a picturesque entrance is so entrancing, it is occasionally used as the setting for movie scenes. Very Expensive Maude’s Liquor Bar 840 W. Randolph; 1-312-243-9712 Catch the ultra, urban scene at Maude’s. The downstairs walks the line between restaurant and bar, where basic drinks and food are served. The surprisingly dark upstairs bar offers serious specialty cocktails and doles out whiskey bottles on the honor system. Moderate Mon Ami Gabi 2300 N. Lincoln Park West; 1-773-348-8886 Mon Ami’s French bistro serves steak seven ways piled high with Mon Ami’s delicious frites. A clever and convenient rolling cart offers wines by the glass. Moderate Paris Club 59 W. Hubbard; 1-312-595-0800 Paris Club took the French out of French dining. The mostly English menu is geared for a younger generation, although many traditional, much loved French dishes are served alongside small plates at this beautiful River North jewel. Moderate Tru 676 N. St. Clair; 1-312-202-0001 Considered one of the top restaurants in the city, Tru juxtaposes flashy, contemporary dishes against a stunning white dining room. This exciting, trendy experience is one block off Michigan Avenue. Very Expensive
greek Taxim 1558 N. Milwaukee; 1-773-252-1558 Dine on authentic regional Greek cuisine under Byzantine brass lanterns in Wicker Park. The dishes direct from Istanbul and Cyprus will expose many diners to a new take on what they know as Greek food. An all-Greek wine line completes the experience. Moderate
indian India House 59 W. Grand; 1-312-645-9500 The 150-item menu offers a vast array of India’s offerings, from standard fare to street fair delicacies. A glass-enclosed kitchen encourages proud chefs to perform. Specialty drinks allow the adventuresome to experiment. Moderate
Italian 312 Chicago 136 N. LaSalle; 1-312-696-2420 Situated in the heart of the Loop Theater District, the inviting and sophisticated 312 Chicago offers an Italian-influenced American menu with specialties such as artichoke and provolone tortellini and old standards. Expensive 437 Rush 437 N. Rush; 1-312-222-0101 This Italian steakhouse, a block off of Michigan Avenue, offers steak, lobster and regional fare in a classic setting. Expensive NEW Anteprima 5316 N. Clark St.; 1-773-506-9990 This sweet Andersonville Italian restaurant serves rustic Italian in a beautifully decorated room. Choose from more than 100 Italian wines. Moderate NEW Bar Toma 110 E. Pearson St.; 1-312-266-3110 Visit this imaginative Italian wine bar for a meal, drink or snack. Only steps from Michigan Avenue, fancy pizza and specialty cheeses are a mainstay in the dining room. A quick coffee or gelati can be had at the stand-up espresso bar. Inexpensive Café Bionda 1924 S. State; 1-312-326-9800 Thick noodle Italian with traditional salumi, or cold cuts, is popular here. One half of this South Loop spot is an elegant room with the warm wood tones and original art while the other half offers a more casual sports bar. Moderate Caliterra Bar & Grille 633 N. St. Clair; 1-312-274-4444 California meets Italy in this restaurant tucked away in the Wyndham Chicago Hotel. Views include the city and the open kitchen, where activity revolves around woks, brick ovens and grills. Expensive
Coco Pazzo 300 W. Hubbard; 1-312-836-0900 Tuscan cuisine served in a fabric-draped studio, complete with a beautiful bar. Expensive The Florentine JW Marriott, 151 W. Adams; 1-312-660-8866 Northern Italian cuisine is dished out in a stunning room with fantastic paintings and comfortable banquettes. The JW Marriott is located in the former Continental & Commercial National Bank building designed by famous Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham. Very Expensive Gioco 1312 S. Wabash; 1-312-939-3870 A big-portioned, contemporary Italian feast in a Prohibition-era speakeasy. In line with a trattoria, the menu offers tortellini, beef and octopus carpaccios, pizza, veal scaloppini, rabbit, mussels and seafood. Moderate NEW Ombra 5308 N. Clark St.; 1-773-506-8600 This Andersonville hot spot is reminiscent of an Italian cicchetteria where patrons can indulge in a drink or a snack or a meal. The brunch menu ranges from strawberry and sweet ricotta crepes or eggs Ombra on polenta with chicken sausage to crispy pig ears. Inexpensive Osteria Via Stato 620 N. State; 1-312-642-8450 Get the feeling of dining in Italy with waiters swooping in serving course after course. Select a main course from a chalkboard menu and let the kitchen decide the rest. Seconds are available on everything but entrées. Expensive Piccolo Sogno 464 N. Halsted; 1-312-421-0077 With Murano glass chandeliers, Venetian-plastered walls, an Italian marble bar and a terrazzo floor, executive chef Tony Priolo essentially transforms this Chicago eatery into his Naples home. Moderate Prosecco 710 N Wells; 1-312-951-9500 The menu at this River North restaurant provides the opportunity to sample cuisine from all 20 regions of Italy, including homemade pastas and risottos. Prosecco also offers the city’s largest selection of the restaurant’s namesake beverage. Moderate Quartino 626 N. State; 1-312-698-5000 The Italian small-plate experience is the focus of Quartino, an old world-style restaurant. In addition to its featured cured meats and cheeses, Quartino also offers a well-known wine bar. Inexpensive NEW Rosebud on Rush 720 N. Rush St.; 1-312-266-6444 Handmade pastas are a trademark of this quaint two-story Italian restaurant in a beautifully renovated brownstone. Just a block away from Michigan Avenue, Rosebud is a great pick for a shoppers’ lunch or a romantic evening. Expensive Rosebud Trattoria 445 N. Dearborn; 1-312-832-7700 This convenient Rosebud restaurant offers a menu of classic vats of homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas. Moderate Spiaggia 980 N. Michigan; 1-312-280-2750 Sophisticated Italian creations are appropriate for this breathtaking room filled with those desiring to see and be seen. This extremely popular destination boasts white tablecloths, large windows and first-class service. Very Expensive
Terzo Piano 159 E. Monroe; 1-312-443-8650 This glass-enclosed space on the top floor of the new Modern Wing of Art Institute of Chicago provides sweeping panoramic views of the Loop, Millennium Park and Grant Park. Traditional Italian fare presented with a contemporary flair. Lunch daily but dinner served only Thursdays. Expensive NEW Topo Gigio Ristorante 1516 N. Wells St.; 1-312-266-9355 Enjoy terrific Italian dining in Old Town. Topo Gigio is a great place for dinner before catching a show at Second City or Zanies. Moderate Trattoria No. 10 10 N. Dearborn; 1-312-984-1718 Subterranean fixture in the Loop has it all. Pin lights add drama to a quiet dining room divided into intimate spaces by pillars and Italian-style archways. Chicagoans visit for amazing pastas, risottos and ravioli dishes. Expensive
Latin American Carnivale 702 W. Fulton Market; 1-312-850-5005 The attention-grabbing décor, music and menu all contribute to a festive ambiance. Enjoy ceviches along with heartier fish and meat creations from Brazil, Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico. Expensive
Mediterranean NEW Nellcôte 833 W. Randolph St.; 1-312-432-0500 Named after the French villa that hosted the Rolling Stones while they recorded “Exile on Main Street,” this Mediterranean restaurant exudes a similar decadence. Enjoy the beautiful crowd, loud music, elaborate marble and wood floors and enormous chandeliers. Moderate The Purple Pig 500 N. Michigan Avenue; 312-464-1744 Anitpasti, charcuterie, “smears” and fried specialties share this pork-focused menu that includes Italian, Spanish and even New Orleans influences. The affordable wine list rounds out the casual experience. Inexpensive NEW Telegraph 2601 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 1-773-292-9463 Telegraph exclusively features naturally crafted European wines from small, independent producers using chemical-free vineyards, native yeast fermentation and minimal sulfites. The same local, organic theme carries throughout the menu. Moderate
Mexican DeCero 814 W. Randolph; 1-312-455-8114 This lively restaurant on Randolph Street’s restaurant row offers regional Mexican specialties in a stylized roadhouse décor. Creative tacos featuring braised duck and sautéed salmon are excellent for sharing. Moderate DeColores 1626 S. Halsted; 1-312-226-9886 This two-story restaurant in Pilsen doubles as a gallery for local artists. The menu features family recipes including the signature chicken poblano served with a six-hour mole sauce. Creative margarita and michelada mixes are available for BYOB. Inexpensive Continued on next page
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Topolobampo 445 N. Clark; 1-312-661-1434 Complex Mexican flavors from chef Rick Bayless abound in the upscale restaurant adjacent to its sister, Frontera Grill. Expensive Xoco 449 N. Clark; 1-312-334-3688 Those patient enough to wait in line and take countertop seating will be rewarded by chef Rick Bayless’s Mexican street-food outpost featuring wood-baked tortas and caldos with ingredients from local farms. Save room for warm homemade churros for dessert and a hot chocolate that wins rave reviews in the Windy City. Inexpensive Zapatista 1307 S. Wabash; 1-312-435-1307 Named for Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapatista, this upscale venue offers a broad menu including grilled lobster tails and Negro Modelo marinated filet mignon. Pictures of revolutionaries accent the walls. Moderate Zocalo Restaurant and Tequila Bar 358 W. Ontario; 1-312-302-9977 Mexican cuisine has become even more festive at this popular River North restaurant where marinated panela cheese with a shot of mescal is flambéed tableside. Moderate
Molecular Gastronomy Alinea 1723 N. Halsted; 1-312-867-0110 Unique food preparation, pairings and presentation highlight these 12-plus course meals served over several hours. Wine tasting progressions matched to each menu are recommended, as are reservations made well in advance. Very Expensive iNG Restaurant 951 W Fulton Market; 1-855-834-6464 Whether you pay by the hour for the chef’s time (an actual option) or by the dish, iNG promises to be a memorable night out. Molecular gastronomy specialist, Homaro Cantu, famous for iNG’s neighbor, Moto, is at it again with nano-batch beers and tableside preparations with liquid nitrogen. Very Expensive Moto 945 W. Fulton Market; 1-312-491-0058 Tasting menus of seven or 10 very small courses are offered. Moto leans toward raw food, which chef Homaro Cantu defines as never seeing temperatures above 108 degrees. Inventive twists accompany each course. Very Expensive Next 953 W. Fulton Market; 1-312-226-0858 Chicago celebrity chef Grant Achatz is selling tickets instead of reservations to his new restaurant, Next. Every quarter the restaurant changes the menu theme, which is usually a place and time. Check the Next page on Facebook for sale of same day tickets. Very Expensive
Russian Russian Tea Time 77 E. Adams; 1-312-360-0000 Not just a tea house as the name suggests, Russian Tea Time is a full-service restaurant run by natives of the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan. Expensive
Seafood BOKA 1729 N. Halsted; 1-312-337-6070 The theme under the unique fabric-stretched ceil49 RSNA News | October-November 2012
ing is seafood. Start with seared Maine scallops with cauliflower puree, tartar of Atlantic salmon or the raw bar and add an entrée such as steak or pan-seared grouper. Expensive C-House 166 E. Superior; 1-312-523-0923 Marcus Samuelsson’s Chicago endeavor emphasizes seafood and raw bar selections but still offers trusty steak and chop entrees. The modern room’s exposed wine cellar separates C-House from the lobby of the Affinia Chicago Hotel. Expensive Cape Cod Room 140 E. Walton; 1-312-932-4625 The Cape Cod Room at the venerable Drake Hotel serves fresh seafood in a comfortable, cozy setting reminiscent of a seaside saloon. Expensive Devon Seafood Grill 39 E. Chicago; 1-312-440-8660 Michigan Avenue shoppers get a break from seemingly mandatory department store restaurant lunches and North Michigan Avenue hotel guests get a break from hotel bars. A wraparound bar is a local favorite. Moderate GT Fish & Oyster 531 N. Wells; 1-312-929-3501 The “oyster wave” that hit Chicago is readily apparent in this Cape Cod-inspired room. Although fish and oysters are a common concept, the presentations and added touches are innovative and noteworthy. Expensive L20 2300 N. Lincoln Park West; 1-773-868-0002 Chef Laurent Gras’s seafood-focused restaurant adds imagination and sparkle to 21st century fine dining. Choose between a four-course prix-fixe menu and a 12-course tasting menu. White leather chairs, an onyx table and ebony columns create a serene, minimalist atmosphere. Very Expensive Shaw’s Crab House 21 E. Hubbard; 1-312-527-2722 The Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific seafood suppliers that stock this restaurant daily are pictured on the walls of the Blue Crab Lounge, a New Orleansthemed oyster bar with blues and torch music on the sound system. Expensive
Spanish Café Ba-Ba-Reeba! 2024 N. Halsted; 1-773-935-5000 At this festive hotspot, rhythmic Spanish music greets guests before the hosts can. Café Ba-BaReeba! specializes in paella, sangria and tapas. Inexpensive Mercat a La Planxa 638 S. Michigan; 1-312-765-0524 This Catalan restaurant in the restored Blackstone Hotel offers grilled-to-order tapas. The giant windows in the stunning Spanish modern room offer beautiful views of Grant Park. Moderate NEW Tavernita 151 W. Erie St.; 1-312-274-1111 This trendy River North venue draws a sophisticated crowd eager to sample imaginative Latin American and Spanish small plates. The nightclub atmosphere is enhanced by specialty drinks served from the restaurant’s three bars. Expensive NEW Vera 1023 W. Lake St.; 1-312-243-9770 This Spanish wine bar is making a splash with small, thoughtfully created plates prepared with a caring hand. Don’t neglect to try one of Vera’s famous cheese plates. Moderate
Steak Capital Grille 633 N. St. Clair; 1-312-337-9400 In the dark wood and leather interior, complete with oil paintings, waiters in white aprons offer robust wines, oversize steaks and side orders as large as entrées. This restaurant is one for a hearty appetite. Expensive Chicago Chop House 60 W. Ontario; 1-312-787-7100 This restaurant features 1,400 photos of musicians, gangsters and every Chicago mayor. Expensive Chicago Cut Steakhouse 300 N. LaSalle; 1-312-329-1800 In addition to great steaks, diners are treated to sweeping views of the Chicago River and the majestic buildings along Wacker Drive which fronts Chicago’s Loop. Keep an eye out for politicos including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Very Expensive David Burke’s Primehouse 616 N. Rush; 1-312-660-6000 At this ultramodern steakhouse, dry-aged steaks are displayed in a special temperature and humidity-controlled salt cave and appetizers such as angry lobster share the menu with unreasonably large steaks. Expensive Fulton’s on the River 315 N. LaSalle; 1-312-822-0100 Although Fulton’s can please everyone—seafood, steaks and sushi are all on the menu—this beautiful riverside restaurant has possibly the best oysters in the country. Carefully matched wines round out the offerings. Moderate Gene & Georgetti 500 N. Franklin; 1-312-527-3718 Thoroughly lacking in pretension, this classic steakhouse offers ungarnished steaks served by waiters who appear to have worked there since its inception. This is authentic Chicago—expect to hear local accents and perhaps catch sight of a celebrity or a Chicago alderman. Expensive Grillroom Chophouse and Wine Bar 33 W. Monroe; 1-312-960-0000 The specialty at this Loop/Theater District steakhouse is wet-aged certified angus beef. Location and flexibility of the service make this restaurant a good choice for a pre-theater dinner or drink. Expensive The Grill on the Alley 909 N. Michigan; 1-312-255-9009 The Westin Hotel’s rendition of the famous Beverly Hills Grill on the Alley serves large steaks and seafood in a clubby leather-bound atmosphere. The lounge features a nightly pianist. Expensive Mastro’s Steakhouse 520 N. Dearborn; 1-312-521-5100 Not only have the lobster mashed potatoes and the 28-day, wet-aging tradition of the Mastro’s chain been carried through to the Chicago restaurant, but see-and-be-seen glamour is alive and present. Very Expensive N9NE Steakhouse 440 W. Randolph; 1-312-575-9900 A place to watch for celebrities and professional athletes, N9NE also boasts a remarkable interior. The champagne and caviar bar serves beluga by the ounce, while the upstairs Ghost bar pours a must-try specialty martini. Expensive
The Palm 323 E. Wacker; 1-312-616-1000 Mammoth prime steaks, lobsters and drinks grace the tables at this popular steakhouse. The Palm’s personality comes walls covered with portraits of patrons—the famous as well as the unknown— and cartoons. Expensive Rosebud Steakhouse 192 E. Walton; 1-312-397-1000 Located behind the Drake hotel, Rosebud has won the hearts of Chicago steak enthusiasts. Excellent Italian preparations of chicken, lamb and seafood are also available. Expensive NEW Twin Anchors 1655 N. Sedgwick St.; 1-312-266-1616 One of Chicago’s oldest restaurants, the space was once a Prohibition speakeasy. In the early ‘50s, Twin Anchors became one Frank Sinatra’s favorite Chicago haunts and is still famous for ribs and garlic butter steaks. Moderate Zed 451 739 N Clark; 1-312-266-6691 Here waiters also serve as chefs and prowl the room with skewers of assorted meats. Guests are invited to visit the harvest table for salads, side dishes, charcuterie and gourmet cheeses. The floor plan’s passageways, stairwells and balconies add drama. Moderate
Sushi/Japanese NEW Coast Sushi 2045 N. Damen Ave.; 1-773-235-5775 Coast is the gold standard among Chicago sushi enthusiasts. The rolls are mostly classical while the fish has a well-earned reputation for its freshness. BYOB. Inexpensive
Mizu Yakitori Sushi Bar and Sake Lounge 315-317 W. North; 1-312-951-8880 Yakitori is similar to the Thai concept of satay (skewered meats), only smaller. Mizu offers small skewers of grilled meats, seafood or vegetables and multiple dipping options including soy sauces, hot mustard and spices. Moderate Oysy 50 E. Grand; 1-312-670-6750 888 S. Michigan; 1-312-922-1127 Chicago fish lovers agree that Oysy means delicious. Two city locations boast creative menus offering more than 50 maki, nigiri and sushi choices as well as tempura. Hot and cold tapassized dishes allow experimentation. Inexpensive
Vegetarian NEW Chicago Diner 3411 N. Halsted St.; 1-773-935-6696 The interior is classic diner, but the menu is a surprise. This well-loved Boystown restaurant serves vegan and vegetarian cuisine using soy and wheat proteins to simulate meat-based dishes. Inexpensive Green Zebra 1460 W. Chicago; 1-312-243-7100 Vegetarians rarely have an extensive choice in fine dining but Green Zebra has turned the tables, offering upscale vegetarian dishes in a fine dining setting. Carnivores will often find chicken and fish on the menu. Expensive
Dessert Chocolate Bar at the Peninsula Hotel 108 E. Superior; 1-312-337-2888 Heaven on Earth for some and certainly not an experience to be duplicated, the Peninsula Hotel offers a magnificent $33 all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet on Friday and Saturday evenings. Moderate
Wine Bar Pops for Champagne 601 N. State; 1-312-266-7677 This nationally renowned lounge located at River North’s historic Tree Studios offers a raw bar and underground jazz club. Choose from 120 champagnes by the bottle and seven by the glass. Expensive
Downtown Chains California Pizza Kitchen 52 E. Ohio St; 1-312-787-6075 The Cheesecake Factory 875 N. Michigan; 1-312-337-1101 Ed Debevic’s 640 N. Wells; 1-312-664-1707 Hard Rock Café 63 W. Ontario; 1-312-943-2252 Portillo’s Hot Dogs 100 W. Ontario; 1-312-587-8910 Rainforest Café 605 N. Clark; 1-312-787-1501 “Rock n Roll” McDonalds 600 N. Clark; 1-312-867-0455 Weber Grill Restaurant 539 N. State; 1-312-467-9696
Clubs and Lounges Aviary 955 W. Fulton Market; 1-312-226-0868 The team responsible for “molecular cuisine” superstars Next and Alina is now focusing on cocktails. The cocktail experience is so specialized that different cocktail menus are offered to seated patrons who have more space to interact with their concoctions than patrons standing near the “cocktail kitchen.” Bangers & Lace 1670 W. Division; 1-773-252-6499 This gastropub was created for the beer-obsessed. Enjoy the more than 30 craft beers on tap as well as bottled beers from America, Britain and Europe. Carmine’s 1043 N. Rush; 1-312-988-7676 The bar in this popular restaurant is the perfect gathering place after dinner in the Rush Street area.
Coq d’Or Drake Hotel 140 E. Walton; 1-312-787-2200 Enjoy an oversized “executivesized cocktail” while listening to a lounge act and soaking in the oldstyle Chicago atmosphere. Excalibur Nightclub 632 N. Dearborn; 1-312-266-1944 People of all ages visit the stone castle to enjoy dancing, comedy, interactive shows and live music as well as a late-night kitchen. Public House 400 N. State; 1-312-265-1240 Technology and the college mixer come together at the Public House, where patrons can swipe their wrist bands on the scanners above the beer taps embedded in the walls and serve themselves. Redhead Piano Bar 16 W. Ontario; 1-312-640-1000 This welcoming piano bar set in the basement of a Chicago Victorian offers fun for everyone and is a short walk from Michigan Avenue.
Signature Lounge 875 N. Michigan; 1-312-787-9596 The fantastic views from the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center are memorable, especially at sunset. Studio Paris 59 W. Hubbard; 1-312-595-0800 This swank room with a hot nighttime bar scene doubles as a photographer’s studio by day. Patrons sip champagne cocktails while enjoying a view of Chicago through the glass ceiling. Tables are by reservation and require bottle service after 9 p.m. Wednesday thru Sunday. Timothy O’Toole’s Pub 622 N. Fairbanks; 1-312-642-0700 This neighborhood Irish pub is a great place to get together to watch a sporting event or shoot pool.
Blues Clubs Buddy Guy’s Legends 700 S. Wabash; 1-312-427-1190 It’s the real deal. In addition to experiencing real Chicago blues you may also see the legendary Buddy Guy visiting with patrons and talking with performers. Blue Chicago 536 and 736 N. Clark; 1-312-661-0100 This is the only two-for-the-priceof-one blues in Chicago. Both clubs feature authentic Chicago blues bands fronted by well-respected female singers. House of Blues 329 N. Dearborn; 1-312-923-2000 Check the schedule to see which nationally known bands are playing in the theater. The entertainment complex also offers several restaurants and bars. Kingston Mines 2548 N. Halsted; 1-773-477-4646 This popular North Side venue offers two stages so patrons switch rooms instead of taking a mandatory break with the band.
October-November 2012 | RSNA News 50