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Dining Guide

Adobo Grill, 1610 N. Wells, 312-266-7999. A casual, sophisticated atmosphere with upscale Mexican cuisine. Adobo is known for its margaritas and fresh, “made-at-your-table” guacamole.
Alinea, 1723 N. Halsted, 312-867-0110. One of the restaurants that makes Chicago a world-class restaurant town, the degustation menus are priced at $145 and $225. Award- winning cuisine, extensive wine list and elegant atmosphere are the course of the day.
Art Institute of Chicago-Terzo Piano
, New Wing, 312-443-8650. This simple gourmet restaurant is the spot for dining after viewing the Modern Wing. Unusual, creative offerings, including spaghetti squash appetizer, sesame-crusted Lake Superior whitefish with eggplant, and trout with fingerling potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
, 615 W. Randolph, 312-377-2002. Seasonal fare is featured as a group experience in a boisterous atmosphere. Simply prepared contemporary tapas are fabulous, and fresh dishes can be accented with fine European cheeses.
Bistro Campagne
, 4518 N. Lincoln, 773-271-6100. An authentic French bistro, this charming spot with a private outdoor garden is perfect for an intimate dinner.  The primarily organic menu offers a small number of perfectly prepared fish dishes as well as traditional farm-raised chicken and steak frites.
Bistrot Margot, 1437 N. Wells, 312-587-3660.  If you’re in the mood for authenic French bistro cuisine like patés and grilled salmon, Bistrot Margot offers up French fare at reasonable prices.
Blackbird, 619 W. Randolph, 312-715-0708.  Classic simplicity at its best, both in food and décor.
Brazzaz, 39 N. Dearborn Street, 312-595-9000. This popular Brazilian steakhouse offers meats carved at your tableside, a fabulous salad bar and excellent grilled shrimp. Save room for the flan!
Boka, 1729 N. Halsted, 312-337-6070. Nice ambiance with a sleek, high-tech look. Don’t overlook the cheese plate or the sticky pudding.
Cafe Des Architectes, 20 E. Chestnut, 312-324-4063. Sofitel’s restaurant sheds the mediocrity of many hotel restaurants, with fawning service and upscale cuisine.
Cafe Spiaggia, 980 N. Michigan, 312-280-2750. The food comes from the same kitchen as Spiaggia, just in a more reasonably priced, toned-down atmosphere.
Cape Cod Room, Drake Hotel, 140 E. Walton, 312-932-4615. The ultimate, classic seafood restaurant has been serving up fish dishes since 1933.
Carnivale, 702 W. Fulton Market, 312-850-5005. This trendy nightspot encompasses a huge space broken up into different dining areas. The menu is an offering of dishes from South America and the Caribbean.
Chicago Chop House, 60 W. Ontario, 312-787-7100. Lined with photos from Chicago’s meatier days, the restaurant chronicles gangsters, mayors and movie stars.
Chicago Diner, 3411 N. Halsted 773-935-6696 and 2333 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-252-3211. Both of these fun places offer excellent vegetarian fare—from home-made soups and gigantic salads to tofu re-creations of more standard omnivore dishes. Try the chocolate cake.
Club Lucky, 1824 W. Wabansia, 773-227-2300. Faux old-fashioned Italian neighborhood spot gives Bucktown a place for casual, basic and ample fare.
Coco Pazzo, 300 W. Hubbard, 312-836-0900. The River North mainstay remains consistently popular, featuring reliable seasonal Tuscan cuisine, wood burning oven, house-cured meats, fish, vegetarian friendly,
Duke of Perth, 2913 N. Clark,  773-477-1741.  The authentic Scottish pub has fish and chips, Wednesday and Friday fish fry, and 75 kinds of single-malt whiskey. Try the Hebridian leek pie.
Flemings Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 25 E. Ohio, 312-329-9463. This is a perfect place for steak lovers as well as business lunch meetings.
Fogo de Chao, 661 N. LaSalle, 312-932-9330.  All-you-can-eat meat sliced at your table Brazilian style is the menu at this River North restaurant. Other patrons go for the popular salad bar-only option.
Frontera Grill, 445 N. Clark, 312-661-1434.  Famous chef Rick Bayless’ devotees gratefully stand in line for hours for chili relenos, margaritas and guacamole.
Gemini Bistro, 2075 N. Lincoln, 773-525-2522. The tweed and leather booths and historic lighting create a unique atmosphere for elegant dining and enjoying wine by the glass or their signature cocktails.
Greek Islands, 200 S. Halsted, 312-782-9855. The biggest Greek restaurant in the neighborhood offers traditional Greek dishes.
Green Zebra, 1460 W. Chicago, 312-243-7100. Almost entirely vegetarian, this upscale spot features the best that cuisine has to offer from many cultures.
Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
, 1028 N. Rush, 312-266-8999. For the martini and steak crowd, the restaurant has testosterone to spare.
Hunt Club,1100 N. State, 312-988-7887. This popular sports bar and grill offers nightly $5 drink and food specials, Monday night football fun and dancing until 5 a.m. on Saturdays.
Japonais, 600 W. Chicago, 312-822-9600. This trendy hot spot features contemporary Asian French dishes like the rainbow carpaccio with yuzu dressing.
Jack’s On Halsted, 3201 N. Halsted, 773-244-9191. Incorporating Asian, Mediterranean and New World flavors, Jack’s serves excellent, healthy food.
Kamehachi, 1531 N. Wells, 312-664-3663. This Old Town mainstay used to be one of the only places for sushi back in the ‘70s. Quality fish and presentation have  kept this a popular destination for decades.
Karyn’s Cooked, 738 N. Wells, 312-587-1050. Enjoy simple, vegan, gourmet fare that never fails to deliver. The lasagna with smoked spinach is flavorful. Try the German chocolate and the banana coconut cake.
Keefer's, 20 W. Kinzie, 312-467-9525. This venue serves some of the finest steak and seafood, This French bistro dishes in the area.
Kiki's Bistro, 900 N. Franklin, 312-335-5454.  Urban French cuisine is a very popular dinner spot with excellent steak, lamb, duck and coq au vin.
Le Colonial, 937 N. Rush, 312-255-0088.  Authentic Vietnamese French cuisine coupled with elegant atmosphere. Try Chao Tom, a grilled shrimp delight.
Lou Malnati’s
, 439 N. Wells, 312-828-9800.If you are dying for fabulous deep dish pizza, you’ve found the perfect spot. Highly recommended: “The Lou” with cheese, spinach, mushrooms and tomatos.
McCormick & Schmick's, 1 E. Wacker, 312-923-7226. Top-notch seafood heads the menu with steak offerings for meat-eaters. Try the outstanding pike.
Mercat a la Planxa, Blackstone Hotel, 638 S. Michigan, 312-765-0524. Spanish tapas, wines and cocktails served in wild décor make for a fun night. Choose from 15 excellent tapas, from seafood to steak.
Mista, 2931 N. Broadway, 773-698-6688. Try the Margherita pizza with a very thin, crispy cracker crust with tomato sauce, basil and fresh tomatoes. The Mista salad is spinach and macedamia nuts with a delicous dressing. Save room for the warm bread pudding with strawberries on top.
Naha, 500 N. Clark, 312-321-6242. Seasonal Mediterranean taken to new levels of sophistication and artistry. The Wild Black Cod is recommended.
NoMi, Park Hyatt Chicago, 800 N. Michigan, 312-239-4030. Upscale and sophisticated, the international spot is known for its elegant presentation, distinctive cuisine and extensive wine list.
O’Brien’s, 1528 N. Wells, 312-787-3131. This Old Town restaurant features well-prepared fish, steaks and burgers. The outdoor garden is bustling during summer months.
Oceanique, 505 Main St., Evanston, 847-864-3435. From its charming French decor to the bouillabaisse, Oceanique is an intimate, toney restaurant for any occasion. It features an extensive fresh seafood menu, thoughtfully prepared, and desserts like the day and night cake with layers of chocolate mousse.
Osteria de Pizza Metro, 2863 N. Clark, 773-472-6411. Enjoy authentic Italian specialties and fabuloussquare pizza. Incredible lasagna. BYOB.Oompah!  From the delicious Greek specialties to the tasty galaktoboureko and phyllo pastry shell with light vanilla custard, this authentic spot is not to be missed.
Pensiero Ristorante, 1566 Oak Ave, Evanston, 847-475-7779. The pasta and fresh fish specialties are excellent in this popular Italian restaurant. Open Thursday through Saturday only.
Piccolo Sogno, 464 N. Halsted, 312-421-0077. The influence of many areas of Italy is represented in this reasonably priced restaurant that has a stunning view of the skyline from the patio. You can’t go wrong with any of their fabulous pasta dishes.
Province, 161 N. Jefferson, 312-669-9900. Enjoy farm-to-table dishes with Spanish and South American influence in a certified Gold LEED-EB building.
Pops for Champagne, 601 N. State, 312-266-7677. This new version of the very popular Chicago venue has a raw bar, champagne bar, jazz lounge and outdoor spaces in warmer weather.
The Publican, 837 W. Fulton, 312-733-9555. The focus is on beers and heirloom pork in this Warehouse District venue backed by some of the biggest names in Chicago food circles.
Roberto’s Ristorante, 483 Spring Road, Elmhurst, 630-279-8486. This lovely, well-known restaurant attracts pasta lovers from all over Chicagoland. From live entertainment on weekends to the stuffed and thin crust pizzas, this Italian restaurant keeps the crowds coming back. Start with calamari, indulge in delicious homemade manicotti and finish with tiramisu.
RL Restaurant, 115 E. Chicago, 312-475-1100. The Ralph Lauren restaurant features American food with country-clubby, old-money décor. The lobster club sandwich is the best in the city. Oprah says this is one of her favorite restaurants. Find out why.
Russian Tea Time, 77 E. Adams, 312-360-0000. After tal=king in the Art Institute or symphony, this bustling old world restaurant is a must. Vegetarians can enjoy an array of unusual appetizers.
Sapori Trattoria, 2701 N. Halsted, 773-832-9999. The linen tablecloths and exposed brick walls evoke an atmosphere of old Italy. On Tuesday nights—tapas night—you can enjoy live jazz and sample tasty, innovative combinations. Try the lasagne.
Sepia, 123 N. Jefferson, 312-441-1920. A great choice in a former print shop serves a seasonal
contemporary American menu and extensive wine list.
Shanghai Terrace, Peninsula Chicago, 108 E. Superior, 312-573-6744. Experience upscale Chinese food in an elegant hotel. Enjoy Sunday dim sum brunch.
Signature Room, 875 N. Michigan, 312-787-9596. Go for the views at this elegant spot on the 95th floor of the Hancock Building. The fare is excellent.
Smith & Wollensky, 318 N. State, 312-670-9900. Known for its excellent dry-aged beef and giant steaks, the restaurant also offers a few lighter options.
Tavern at the Park, 130 E. Randolph, 312-552-0070. The all-day eatery in Prudential Plaza has an upscale menu of sandwiches, salads and entrees. Enjoy panoramic park views from this spot.
Texas de Brazil, 51 E. Ohio, 312-670-1006. This Brazilian steakhouse (churrascaria) offers meat-lovers a sizzling time.
That Little Mexican Cafe, 1010 Church St., Evanston 847-905-1550 and 1055 W. Bryn Mawr 773-769-1004. Both locations of this long-time favorite offer guacamole made tableside as well as excellent classic Mexican dishes such as duck enchiladas with mole sauce and fresh mango salad.
Trattoria D.O.C., 706 Main St., Evanston, 847-475-1111. But the other offerings, such as marinated grilled squid or linguine with lobster meat, cherry tomatoes, basil, garlic and white wine, are just as delicious. Their pizzas baked ins a woodburning oven are just as wonderful.
Vivere, 71 W. Monroe, 312-332-4040. The black truffle gnocchi is excellent. For dessert, try the chocolate and hazelnut tiramisu.
Vinci, 1732 N. Halsted, 312-266-1199. Vinci offers a gluten-free menu  as well as traditional Italian favorites such as roasted baby eggplant, grillled octopus, and Roman-style gnocchi with wild mushrooms.
Yoshi's Cafe, 3257 N. Halsted, 773-248-6160. The casual atmosphere is deceptive. This is haute cuisine with an eclectic menu combining French, Japanese, Italian and American influences.

Published: October 12, 2013
Issue: November 2013 Issue