Going to Chicago. Accepting recommendations.
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Where do I start? Avec. I used to work there, so it's near and dear to my heart. One of the best restaurants in the city. The food is amazing (try the dates). Bon Appetit just rated it one of the most important restaurants in the country. I also recommend the sister restaurants: Blackbird, Publican, Big Star, and Violet Hour.
And still more: Hot Doug's (on Fridays/Saturdays, they have duck fat fries), Kuma's Corner, Yusho, GT Fish & Oyster, Sun Wah (for the duck dinner), Great Lake, Kai Zan, Perennial Virant, Spiaggia/ any of Rick Bayless's restaurants (Frontera Grill, Topolobambo, XOCO), Lao Sze Chuan, Telegraph, Reno.... I could go on and on.... Can you tell I miss Chicago?
I would also say sprout and girl and the goat
O and table fifty-two
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
First and foremost, I absolutely love Chicago; everything about it except for the weather. I really like the Purple Pig on N. Michigan for, guess what, PIG! Chicago was once known as "hog butcher to the nation." Okay, I'm a porkaholic. I agree with the rec for the Bayless restaurants as they are outstanding. I also like Shaw's Crabhouse on Hubbard for its sort of old time feel and good seafood. Once, during a big convention I had what started out as a really bad experience there turn into an amazingly good one. I admit I haven't been to Avec but it does have an outstanding reputation.
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If you're a big carnivore check out Frontier, http://www.thefrontierchicago.com/. The decor makes you feel like you're eating in a barn, very mid-western (which to me is a good thing!).
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My home town, Chicago! Has turned into quite the restaurant city. So proud. I realize I'm older than the average food52er, but although I loved the food at Avec, we found the restaurant to be so noisy we had to leave. I (who never gets a headache) found my head pounding.
So many places that are wonderful. Just depends upon if you are looking for trendy, or just good food. My "must-go-every-visit" place is Bin 36 in Marina City. I love the casual vibe, the moderate prices, the great wine list, the ability to order a small plate or a big meal. Other faves are Tre Kronor, Shaw's, Heaven on Seven. Really love Spiaggia and Tru (if you're in the mood for a BIG splurge.) And Rosebud on Taylor Street.
you just missed restaurant week, bummer. so, check out trencherman. new in 2012. A M A Z I N G! and my favorite neighborhood place: leopold. it's a few blocks away and maybe i'll see you there. enjoy chicago food!
Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.
The Publican is absolutely wonderful- ambiance, service, food, drink!
I've love La Colonial. It's so very good. And Rosebud on Rush is very good, too.