Eat Here Chicago 2005: Personal Favorites

AVEC
French / Italian / Spanish
615 W. RANDOLPH STREET
312.377.2002

Marc L’Italien says:
“Sample delectable small plates and a caraffina of intriguing wine at this pulsing West Loop nightspot. Its narrow space is wrapped in a tidy jacket of cedar boards and minimal appointments. Request a bar seat near the kitchen to witness the action, or get there early for a communal table.”

BLIND FAITH CAFÉ
Vegetarian / American
525 DEMPSTER STREET, EVANSTON IL
847.328.6875

Tod Babick says:
“It’s the best vegetarian restaurant around, and the chilaquiles for breakfast will set you straight for the day. Great food with low environmental impact!”

BLUE WATER GRILL
New American / Seafood / Sushi
520 N. DEARBORN STREET
312.777.1400

Tom Powers says:
“It sets the standard for sushi and seafood in Chicago. It is a total dining experience that shouldn’t be missed.”

CARMINES
Italian / Seafood
1043 N. RUSH STREET
312.988.7676

Bill Rancic says:
“Carmines is a great lunch/dinner spot due to its super location—in the heart of downtown—and lively atmosphere. The food is delicious.”

COCO PAZZO
Italian
300 W. HUBBARD STREET
312.836.0900

Karen Lilly Mozer says:
“It’s been open for years and still feels current. They continue to serve outstanding food, and the service is good, smart, and fun. Both the menu and design bypass trendiness in just the right way.”

DE CERO
Mexican
814 W. RANDOLPH STREET
312.455.8114

Eva Maddox says:
“A casual Mexican restaurant west of the loop, serving sophisticated tapas!”

FLO
Café
1434 W. CHICAGO AVENUE
312.243.0477

Helen Tsatsos says:
“A short cab ride from downtown gets you to an up-and-coming stretch of Chicago Avenue. The destination is Flo, which features the cuisine of Santa Fe. Many dishes are highlighted by subtle but potent sauces made with peppers shipped directly from a farmer in New Mexico. The fresh-lime margaritas are a real treat. Be sure to check out the exceptional art collection, featuring folk and contemporary art.”

FOGO DE CHAO
Brazilian
661 N. LASALLE DRIVE
312.932.9330

Jacqueline Lavigne says:
“Even vegetarians will love this Brazilian churrascaria! It has the most impressive salad bar I have ever seen. Fixed-price dinners and lunches are a little steep, but it’s well worth it.”

KIKI’S BISTRO
French
900 N. FRANKLIN STREET
312.335.5454

Maryrose McGowan says:
“Best escargot and pomme frites in Chicago. Food is always fresh and the wine list excellent. Conversation-friendly. Reminiscent of a Parisian bistro.”

LA BELLA WINNETKA
French / Italian / Spanish
505 CHESTNUT STREET, WINNETKA IL
847.441.6002

Christopher Turley says:
“Great Italian food. Includes an outdoor garden, beautiful music, and an owner that assures your experience is wonderful.”

MANNY’S COFFEE SHOP AND DELI
Deli
1141 S. JEFFERSON STREET
312.939.2855

Blair Kamin says:
“At Manny’s, the service is cafeteria style, the corned beef sandwiches are mountainous, and the clientele is a wonderful ethnic stew. Every Chicago politician who wants to be a regular guy—from Daley to Barack Obama—goes there. Manny’s is about place—real place. Not manufactured or slick place.”

MOTO
Avant-Garde Asian / International
945 W. FULTON MARKET
312.491.0058

Gerardo Fitz-Gibbon says:
“A masterfully focused food experience in a tasteful neutral setting. I have had several wonderful meals there and highly recommend it as a spa for the palate.”

ORANGE
Traditional American
75 W. HARRISON STREET
312.447.1000

Steven J. Kismohr says:
“Where you can start with Frushi (fresh fruit sculpted to look like sushi) and move onto the weekly Pancake flight (four types of cakes with four types of exquisite toppings). Warning—those arriving after 10 a.m. on weekends may have to sip their fresh, blended juice at the bar—the place fills up quick!”

SHAW’S CRAB HOUSE
Seafood
21 E. HUBBARD STREET
312.527.2722

Dick Haworth says:
“This restaurant has a lot of energy, and the fish is great.”

SPRING
Contemporary American
2039 W. NORTH AVENUE
773.395.7100

Scott Henderson says:
“The restaurant is in an old bathhouse, so its subterranean feel and tiled walls give it an interesting utilitarian spin, which juxtaposes well against the contemporary interior design, which is complete with Zen rock gardens and light wood treatments, all adding to a certain spa feeling.”

SUSHI
SushiWabi
842 W. RANDOLPH STREET
312.563.1224

Scott Wilson says:
“One of my favorite sushi places in the world.”

TINY LOUNGE
Bar / Lounge
1814 W. ADDISON STREET
773.296.9620

Brad Lynch says:
“Their hand-stuffed bleu cheese olives are all the nourishment you need.”

TUTTO ITALIANO
Italian
501 S. WELLS STREET
312.939.4824

Richard C. Master says:
“Great food! Dine in an old rail car or the quiet front room. It makes for a great find with quaint Chicago atmosphere and a lot of history at reasonable prices. Truly, one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets.”

TWISTED SPOKE
Contemporary Diner
501 N. OGDEN AVENUE
312.666.1500

Jessica Zaski says:
“This edgy space has the feeling of a hard-core biker bar but is actually a great restaurant/bar filled with a mix of hipsters, bikers, and yuppies. They have excellent burgers and ribs as well as salads, sandwiches, and munchies. The best part about any Twisted Spoke visit is enjoying a margarita on the rooftop deck—always a happening spot in the summer.”

WISHBONE
Southern-Style American
1001 W. WASHINGTON BOULEVARD
312.850.2663

Richard Becker says:
“It’s outstanding and well-priced. No pretense, excellent service and food.”

WRIGLEY FIELD
American
1060 W. ADDISON STREET
773.404.2827

Edward Keegan says:
“Wrigley Field offers several varieties of hot dogs, but the natural cased Hebrew National Kosher dogs fresh grilled and served on a poppy seed bun from the pushcart at the bottom of the stairs to Aisle 211 offer the best taste of summer in Chicago. Here Wrigley’s narrow public concourse forces fans into an intimate setting where the gritty concrete underside of the seating bowl and 90 years of paint-encrusted steel framing and ramps provide an urban experience that’s as charged and hypnotic as anything Rem Koolhaas and Frank Gehry have recently designed in Chicago.”

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