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Chicago--Dining at the bar


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Hello Gang,

I'll be in Chicago for a couple of days at a conference. I'll by flying solo, so if I don't meet like-minded food hounds during the day, I'll be venturing out on my own in search of tasty bites.

What I'm interested in are good restaurants that provide the full menu at the bar and a restaurant where serving folks at the bar is a regular part of what they do, not an after thought.

In New York, I've had great luck at places like Babbo, where once seated you can enjoy a good meal and make new friends on either side of you.

One thought I had was to go to Avec, since the communal dining there would be similar, but any other suggestions would be welcome.

Blue 13?

Graham Eliot?

Looking for vibrant bar scene and exceptional food.


"Democracy is that system of government under which the people…pick out a Coolidge to be head of the State. It is as if a hungry man, set before a banquet prepared by master cooks and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back upon the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies." H. L. Mencken

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My wife and I did exactly that at Graham Eliot over Labor Day weekend. The bartenders were super, the group at the bar convivial and the food superb. We also had a great time at the bar at Cafe Lula for a late lunch.

Edited by dlc (log)
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Avenues at The Peninsula has a dining bar as opposed to a bar bar :cool: . I have not eaten at the bar but I ate at the restaurant at a table last Friday. I enjoyed the food for the most part the exception being the mini- desserts two of which I loathed. One of the "butters" served with the breads, an olive oil "emulsion" with herbs was also not enjoyed. It was a solid olive oil and herb concoction that tasted, the only word that comes to mind, smarmy and not herby or olive oily. I also didn't like the amuse but that's probably just me as I have a problem with egg yolks and caviar is not one of my favorite things. The bar overlooks the kitchen so that seems pretty cool. You are offered 3 options ranging from $75 to $140 for pre-set tastings

I hadn't eaten there since Graham Elliot Bowles left. I really liked the potato, scallop, lamb course and the main dessert but I get a lttle miffed that restaurants like this offer no options. But a person desiring cutting edge type food should enjoy.

Nomi also offers a food bar.


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