Chicago's second annual Restaurant Week
includes the same great deals as the first: some of the city's best restaurants offering superior food at a reduced price ($22 for lunch and $32 for dinner). Since you have a limited time to feast, it's vital to pick the spots with the sweetest deals. And it's just as crucial to get your reservations in before herds of famished foodies take over. We recommend trying these restaurants first.
Note: This year's Restaurant Week has been extended through March 6.
It's all about dinnertime at Dine, where you can choose between the restaurant's signature "not so much of a wedge" salad or spice-rubbed prime tenderloin with golden beet vinaigrette and brussel sprout-horseradish salad. And that's just the first course. For entrees, Dine is offering a choice of garlic-rubbed bone-in ribeye with creamed spinach or a slow-dried Rummo pasta with chili flakes, pan-roasted grape tomatoes and baby arugula. For dessert, try the ricotta cheesecake with Bing cherry-zinfandel gelato, seasonal creme brulee with crisp sugar crust or a daily selection of ice cream and sorbet.
After you've spent the day gallivanting around Millennium Park, you can fill up at the popular Park Grill for lunch or dinner. The early menu features dishes like roasted pepper and fennel soup, crisp striped bass, chicken pot pie and lemon thyme panna cotta for dessert. Head over later in the evening and you'll be graced with choices like Kampachi crudo with pickled radishes and hand-cut pappardelle pasta with slow-cooked rabbit ragout.
This brand-new restaurant didn't waste any time before diving in with the big boys. And it's holding its own with plenty of prix-fixe choices for both lunch and dinner. During lunch, you can begin with your pick of chopped house salad, arugula salad, butternut squash veloute or lobster bisque. The second course boasts plenty of meaty selections with a bistro burger, amish chicken sandwich with wilted spinach-parmesan fondue, pan-roasted salmon BLT and wild boar pasta with basil and pecorino cheese. If you've managed to save room for dessert, Farmerie 58 is offering a sweet array of chocolate tarts, white chocolate bread pudding and ginger creme brulee. Dinner brings out many of the same sweet selections, with the addition of crab saffron fondue, pork chops with cranberry stuffing, short ribs with veggies and country-fried eggplant with goat cheese and lemon-herb salad.
Restaurant Week is the perfect time to take advantage of the city's most posh spots, like NoMI in the Park Hyatt hotel. The restaurant is offering a decadent lunch menu with soup selections like pumpkin-coconut and chicken-apple, entrees like gnocchi with brown butter and black trumpets, crab cakes with whole grain mustard and fennel and desserts like chocolate-caramel brownie macaroons, carrot cake with maple-orange sauce and jam-filled pistachio nougat tarts.
David Burke's Primehouse
Head downtown to this popular steakhouse and you won't be sorry. The lunch special includes appetizers like Kobe beef sashimi and surf and turf dumplings. Entrees feature hearty selections with chicken, salmon and steak, including the restaurant's signature 40-day dray aged steak burger. David Burke's dinner menu lists many of the same choices, with the addition of a bone-in filet mignon and the popular "angry lobster."
Let this Latin-fueled restaurant lead the way with its bounty of festive choices. To start, choose from soup with pork, chiles and hominy, empanadas with spinach, butternut squash and Parmesan cheese or arugula salad with blood orange, olives and Manchego cheese. Entrees include beef tenderloin with peppers, Arctic char with black bean puree and pinon with plantains, vegetable picadillo and mozzarella. Bring it all to a sweet finish with plantain bread pudding, coconut flan or seasonal housemade ice cream. And since you're saving money on the meal, go ahead and splurge on one of the restaurant's signature raspberry mojitos.
one sixtyblue is celebrating all the foodie action with a dinner-only menu, featuring a number of appetizer, entrée and dessert choices. To start, choose from leek gnocchi, bibb lettuce salad or chicken-chorizo gumbo and follow up with a selection of chicken and biscuits with foie gras sauce, hanger steak or a seared filet of salmon. Dessert selections showcase the restaurant's sweet skills with choices like chocolate panna cotta, sticky toffee date cake and seasonal sorbet with vanilla bean shortbread.
For a list of all participating restaurants, and to make reservations, visit the Restaurant Week website.