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Trio. Trotter's.


tommy
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forgive me for asking a question whose answer can no doubt be found in the mass of threads here, but...

1 dinner in chicago. where should it be? no jackets, please. no steak. no uptight service.

this approach worked well for me when i had questions on Philly. hopefully you folks can help.

thoughts?

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ok, i take back the "no jacket" requirement, although i don't want to go to a stuffy old-school french place. if the people around me are averaging 60 years old, i'm in the wrong place.

arun is involved in this Red Light? sounds interesting.

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I should have also said Blackbird, Spring (this is in an old bathouse), OneSixtyBlue. I haven't been to any of these but want to go to all.

This site has all the Tribune Reviews

I'm going to Trio soon so I'll let you know if it's worth it.

Service wise, most places in Chicago are very relaxed and "non-stuffy".

Aurora is going to write a really good post later so I won't get into too much detail.

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I didn't make it to Trio, but I LOVED Trotter's. I wore a jacket, but the service was far from stuffy and they bend over backward to make you feel comfortable and taken care of. Make sure you let them know what kind of experience you are looking for and they will accomodate you. My review here.

The cooking at Blackbird is deffinitely worth going for. A Less formal and "hipper" place than the two T's, but also more crowded and noisier. Very reasonably priced, too. Blackbird review here.

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forgive me for asking a question whose answer can no doubt be found in the mass of threads here, but...

1 dinner in chicago.  where should it be?  no jackets, please.  no steak.  no uptight service. 

this approach worked well for me when i had questions on Philly.  hopefully you folks can help.

thoughts?

Like a little company, Tommy?

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Don't forget the "other T", Tru, although I preferred Trotter's. Both are elegant without being "stuffy".

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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At both Trotter and Trio most guests 'dress up'. Most men wear ties. But in both places I've dined with a jacket and no tie and had impeccable service.

Trotter is better for 'intimate' dining. You're flattered and exquisitely served. For an anniversary or birthday I'd choose that.

Trio is more exciting. It's where you go on a hot date.

Both are exceptional dining experiences. Currently I'd choose Trio for the 'new experience'. It's more exciting. But Trotter has provided better all around meals in the past. His wine and food matches are impeccable. He'll change the saucing on a dish if he knows that a special wine is being served.

You can't go wrong with either. I'd choose them as my Nos 1 & 2 in Chicago.

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Don't forget the "other T", Tru, although I preferred Trotter's. Both are elegant without being "stuffy".

I actually did find Tru to be a bit stuffy the one time I ate there. In fact, when the room became too warm and I took my jacket off, they made me put it back on even though there were maybe 4 or 5 other parties in the room. Overall it was fine, but I don't feel I need to go back.

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Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe jackets are required at Topolobampo -- might high-end Mexican be of interest to you at all, Tommy?

Trotter's is wonderful. So is Tru. So is Trio. Any of the three is worth the minor sartorial discomfort of wearing a jacket: thus say male companions with whom I dined in those places, and I believe them.

I second Maggie's notion, by the by: if you'd care for some company, I believe that could be arranged with some Chicago eGullet folks...? Let us know details if you're so inclined.

:biggrin:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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Topolobampo is not formal or business wear but upscale/nice dress - nice shirt and nice slacks and you'll be fine! But you also wont feel uncomfortable waering a jacket or tie either...

I think you should check out:

Very Upscale - Serious

Charlie Trotters

Trio

Swanky Upscale/Lively

Blackbird

Marche'

mK

Kevin

Spring

Classic Chicago

Frontera Grill/Topo

Mr Beef for lunch

Gibsons

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Don't forget the "other T", Tru, although I preferred Trotter's. Both are elegant without being "stuffy".

I actually did find Tru to be a bit stuffy the one time I ate there. In fact, when the room became too warm and I took my jacket off, they made me put it back on even though there were maybe 4 or 5 other parties in the room. Overall it was fine, but I don't feel I need to go back.

I guess it depends upon what you mean by "stuffy". I had no problem wearing a jacket and tie there. The night I was there it was quite comfortable (and I overheat fairly easily). I did not feel that the waitstaff ws condescending or intrusively formal. I was able to relax, enjoy my companions and the meal, which I thought was very good, but a notch (maybe two) below Trotter's. Given it's reputation in various circles, I find it notable by it's absence in most posts on this thread including Awbrig's latest. While I enjoyed it, I would dine elsewhere in Chicago next visit before returning there.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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lady t (and others), high-end mexican doesn't interest me all that much for this trip. i've got a few fine choices here in NYC. i was hoping for a "unique" experience. although, fine dining can oftentimes be cookie-cutter. perhaps a place that everyone loves, and few hate. kinda like March in NYC, rather than Daniel, for anyone who's been. actually, more like Union Pacific or Gramercy. another rec that i moved on, from southern girl, which blew me away, was Nobhill in LV. anything like that would be supreme. :smile:

i'll be out for a college graduation, so my time will be limited. i'd love to meet all of you folks, but i don't know that this next trip will allow it. but, i'm in chicago once every other year or so, and, if egullet is still around, i'd love to get together, and i'd love for someone to "show me the town." :smile:

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i'll be out for a college graduation, so my time will be limited

Congrats bro! I didnt know you was gonna be a College Grad!! :raz:

yup. and by the time i'm 29 as well. i'm registered at williamssonoma.com for those who are interested.

thanks in advance,

dr. tommy

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Aye!

Folks! PLEASE! Can we forward/discuss/promote other restaurants in this town? To read what we write, it's as if the trimuverate of the T's provide the only worthwile dining experiences in all of Chicago. It's like a salad bar with only three ingrediets. Sure, they're great ingredients, but only three?

That simply isn't true, and we all know it.

We have sung the praises of Trio/Trotter/Tru in this forum and countless others on the site. The entire membership knows EXACTLY where we stand on these three restaurants. We're long past sounding like broken records, and frankly, there's so much more here that's also worth our time and attention. There's stuff out there that's crying for a little play. Again, I love the 3Ts, but can we explore, experience and sing the praises of other establishments that are equally worthy of our praise, especially when we have an esteemed guest like Tommy coming to us to gain from our vast knowledge and experience?

Whaduya say?

Here are three (abbreviated descriptions -- pressed for time :sad: ). I can return and include links later on this evening.

Cyrano's - classic French country cooking. Very nice, very unassuming. No jacket required.

Naha - Carrie Nahabehidian is the chef and owner. Her cuisine has a heavy mediterranean emphasis.

NoMI - Sandro Gamba (a F&W Best New Chef continues to win critical acclaim for his food. The restaurant is in a beautiful space, it's very relaxed. They say "business casual," but I have seen people in there who were dressed more casually than that. Hotel restaurant? Yes. Hotel restaurant feel? No.

Anyone else? Your mission, should you accept it, is to come up with 1-2 restaurants other than the 3Ts. Let's not keep our versatility under wraps any longer, OK? Let's blanket Tommy with more selections than he can shake a stick at!

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lady t (and others), high-end mexican doesn't interest me all that much for this trip.  i've got a few fine choices here in NYC.  i was hoping for a "unique" experience.  although, fine dining can oftentimes be cookie-cutter.  perhaps a place that everyone loves, and few hate.  kinda like March in NYC, rather than Daniel, for anyone who's been.  actually, more like Union Pacific or Gramercy.  another rec that i moved on, from southern girl, which blew me away, was Nobhill in LV.  anything like that would be supreme.  :smile:

Aurora is gonna kill me, but if you are really looking for the height of fine cuisine and something very unique, then your choices are going to be really limited. Trio seems to fit what you are looking for best, but i won't go into that here...check out some of the previous threads on Trio and Trotters and see what you think for yourself. As a curious note though, i've seen a decent amount of guests at Trio who decide not to wear a jacket and come in slacks and a dress shirt or fine sweater instead. The written policy is "business casual" which really means "no sneakers, no jeans, and no t-shirts"-- same thing they do at the French Laundry, el Bulli, and other high end but not traditional-French places. the environment remains formal, sure, but not in a stuffy way that takes the focus off the food.

anyway here are a couple other options you can take:

Les Nomades: haven't been, but am going in the next few weeks. very traditional french and this is definitely a very formal place (suit and tie required), but not as much so as during its former days as a private club. Nomades is hardly ever talked about, but when it is, the reviews are always wonderful and put it right up there in the top few Chicago has to offer.

mK: a bit more in the mid-range with Spring and Blackbird, but the food is excellent none the less. dress is more casual.

Carlos': way up north in highland park, so this might be out of the question. again i haven't eaten here, but have only heard great things about the food and service, which is said to be very warm and inviting and not stuffy at all.

i'll be curious to hear where you decide to go and, of course, how it is...

[edit: added links to various places]

Edited by RyneSchraw (log)
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thanks for this discourse, everyone.

it has come to my attention that i'll most likely be staying in evanston. i also understand taht Trio is in evanston. this might make the decision pretty easy (unless i'm told that getting to chicago for other choices is relatively quick and easy by cab).

cheers.

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I hope you're not staying at the Omni, it's not very nice. I recommend the Hilton. You can walk to Trio from any of the hotels in Evanston, it would be about $20 cab ride to downtown. You could also take the El.

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it has come to my attention that i'll most likely be staying in evanston. i also understand taht Trio is in evanston. this might make the decision pretty easy (unless i'm told that getting to chicago for other choices is relatively quick and easy by cab).

cheers.

Hey Tommy,

RyneSchraw, Quajolote and I are going to Trio tonight. Im taking a cab from the city so Ill let you know tomorrow how easy it is back and forth (as well how our experience @ Trio was) :smile:

Edited by awbrig (log)
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it has come to my attention that i'll most likely be staying in evanston. i also understand taht Trio is in evanston. this might make the decision pretty easy (unless i'm told that getting to chicago for other choices is relatively quick and easy by cab).

cheers.

Hey Tommy,

RyneSchraw, Quajolote and I are going to Trio tonight. Im taking a cab from the city so Ill let you know tomorrow how easy it is back and forth (as well how our experience @ Trio was) :smile:

Bon appetit, mes garcons!

I am truly madly jealous.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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