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Wednesday, July 15

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Fuel

Andrew / December 5, 2005 11:09 AM

Hmm... this is a tough one, Naz.

Well, #1 has got to be live lobster sashimi at Tanoshii. Sushi Mike gave us a treat that night.

It's hard to remember all the way back to the beginning of the year, but one from last winter-spring was my friend Alex's dissertation celebration at Kiki's Bistro. Great conversation over excellent food.

Beyond that... man, most of my most memorable meals were at my house or a friend's.

Emerson Dameron / December 5, 2005 11:15 AM

1. Soul Vegetarian (203 E 75th)
2. Flying Saucer (1123 N California) (if you're over that way, tell them to bring back the chili)
3. Atomix (1957 W Chicago) (more good chili)
4. Jumping Bean Cafe (1429 W 18th) (good sandwiches; sentimental fave)
5. home (the lady picked up a bunch of Giordano's delivery coupons somewhere)

I've almost let an entire year slip away without visiting Hot Doug's. Damn your inconvenient hours.

Sabrosa / December 5, 2005 11:24 AM

-Ruth's Chris Steak House
-Joe's Italian Villa
-My boyfriend's old balcony (he grilled the most delicious steak & marinade!)
-Meritage
-Rosebud
-Plush Pup

spence / December 5, 2005 11:27 AM

1. Tomboy - Andersonville
2. Tango Sur - Southport
3. Jia's - Halsted
4. Southport Grocery - Southport
5. Coobah - Southport

6. Pasta Bowl - Lincoln Park
7. Kitsch'n - Roscoe Village
8. Volo - Roscoe Village
9. El Tapitio - Ashland
10. Andalous - Lakeview

Carrie / December 5, 2005 11:31 AM

1)Green Zebra

2)Barberry Thai (I order from them about once a week)

3)The National Gardens in Athens, Greece. While the food and service didn't blow me away, it was a picture perfect day which made it enjoyable

4)Poag Mahone's has the best mashed potatoes, so they're on my list. Their burger was rated one of the best in chicago, too. I've only tried the veggie burger, but friends have told me that the meat-a-riffic one is pretty good.

5) The first vegetarian restaurant in Athens was really good, too. They gave us mashed olives to spread on our bread. Really, can it get any better than that? Didn't think so.

hench / December 5, 2005 11:42 AM

#1 -- moto. insane & wonderful. nothing else even remotely approaches this one.

#2 -- hot doug's. patented hangover remedy: a couple of fire dogs & a vitamin water.

#3 -- rodan. great brunch, one of the best bloody marys in the city.

#4 -- brunch on the 5th floor of the moma. perfect food, perfect drinks, imperfect non-chicago location...

#5 -- handlebar. the summer of 2005 was spent biking here, biking from here, or sitting on the back patio... samosas & gouda mac & a trough full of alpha king...

Y A J / December 5, 2005 11:46 AM

Ohhh, I love end of the year lists like this.

1. Cyrano’s Bistrot (one of my top 3 run by a husband and wife team-French–restaurants in Chicagoland).

2. Bahn Thai in Bridgeview

3. Maison in LaGrange (also in that top 3)

4. Lunch at To Pho on Wabash was a Lollapal-oasis from the heat and crowds.

5. My perennial favorite: Heaven on Seven.

roderick / December 5, 2005 11:59 AM

Y A J - Bahn Tahi is a few blocks from where I grew up. I always loved their food, even though when I first ate it when I was a kid it was so hot it made me tear up pretty bad.

My top five in no particular order:

Tre Kronor - Albany Park - On the weekends, their eggs benedict breakfast specials are divine.

Magnolia - Uptown - Great date place, great food, atmosphere, service.

Thyme - West Loop - I was drunk, and I still remembered the food. Have to revisit when sober.

Blackbird - West Loop - food was good, but the service was impeccable.

Hot Chocolate - Wicker Park - the good was great, yet completely forgettable when it came to that dessert.

sky / December 5, 2005 12:02 PM

1) Feast- I recently started going here and have been back a million times. So good.

2) Twin Anchors...so good.

3) Coast

4) Ambria

5) Honestly, love Corner Baker's fatty Sandwiches....or Potbelly which is starting to give me one.....

roderick / December 5, 2005 12:02 PM

I can't believe that I almost forgot, the best burger in the WORLD in Hollywood, FL. A place called Le Tub. Rated as GQ's #1 burger you have to eat before you DIE.

Bittersweetandsour / December 5, 2005 12:05 PM

In no particular order:

1) Wildfire
2) Rodan
3) Nuevo Leon
4) Luc Thang
5) Geja's

Paula / December 5, 2005 12:06 PM

1. Green Zebra
2. Teodora in NYC
3. the last night Lovitt was open
4. my first visit to Hot Doug's
5. Carlos in Highland Park

paul / December 5, 2005 12:07 PM

I wanted to restrict this to Chicago only, but the number one spot was too good to omit.

1. Per Se, NYC. One of the best meals I'll ever eat.
2. Spring, thoroughly enjoyable without being absurdly expensive.
3. Le Francais, a local example of French mastery over food.
4. Goose Island, Clybourn Brew Pub. A Dunkel Weissenbock, more complex than most solid food.
5. A buffalo ribeye, bought at Whole Foods, and grilled to perfection by myself.

Erica / December 5, 2005 12:10 PM

Pizza Metro -- excellent garbage pizza
Lazos -- best tamales
Kitsch'n on Roscoe -- breakfast (entire menu!)
Exchequer -- best onion rings and pub grub
India House -- brunch

And a highlight from the 'burbs:
Moretti's Ristorante & Pizzeria in Schaumburg. Not a huge sports-bar-in-the-burbs girl, but I went here for a b-day party and have to say the pasta/seafood is excellent and not overpriced.

jen / December 5, 2005 12:13 PM

1) karyn's cooked for some vegan/vegetarian options

2) oasis cafe for quick, cheap mediterranean downtown

3) bhabi's kitchen for awesome indian cuisine

4) aria for the the swanky affair

5) tanoshii for killer sushi

Steve / December 5, 2005 12:14 PM

In no order...
-- Bistro Campagne
-- Tango Sur
-- Wildfire
-- Fernando's
-- Hot Doug's

K / December 5, 2005 12:17 PM

Marshall Fields - 7th floor stations
Hecky's - bbq
Rinconcito Sudamericano - walnut cream and beer flavored meat is better than it sounds.
Las Palmas - guava margaritas and shrimp dinner.
Pennys - always.

matty / December 5, 2005 12:19 PM

1. Everest
2. Trotter's
3. Alinea
4. Tru
5. The Hot Dog stand at the North Ave. home depot.

Carlotta / December 5, 2005 12:32 PM

In no particular order:

Hopleaf

Hot Doug's

The Walnut Room at Marshall Field's State Street

First Slice – a café located within the Lillstreet Art Center, the brainchild of a French-trained chef that benefits the hungry and homeless in various ways

Fox and Obel's in-store cafe

Kamala the Ugandan Giant / December 5, 2005 12:37 PM

El Tinajon in Roscoe Village

Giordano's

Caffe Florian in Hyde Park

Roy's Place in Gaithersburg, MD

spence / December 5, 2005 12:40 PM

I forgot: Rick's American Cafe on Sheridan/Irving Park is a pretty tasty affair that has reasonable prices and is BYOB!

Maggie / December 5, 2005 1:40 PM

I like food.
Hot Dougs, Kitsch'n, Rioja, Stevens in Gurnee (worth the drive, I had crab brie soup and lobster pot pie)and my grandma's. She made homemade gnocchi for Thanksgiving - just like the pilgrims, right :)

Susan / December 5, 2005 1:46 PM

5. Not a restaurant so much, but Delightful Pastries on Lawrence has my vote for best paczki in the city.
4. La Fonda Latino Grill--a perennial favorite of mine.
3. Red Rooster Wine Bar and Cafe--ditto.
2. Some Uzbek place in downtown Moscow--I've forgotten the name, but it was fantastic. Duck breast with sour cherries and figs was a highlight.
1. Sweets and Savories--maybe not the best meal overall, though it was really, really good (especially the roasted tile fish over lobster hash), but my fiance and I got engaged there two weeks ago, so that bumps it up. :)

NotSoHealthy / December 5, 2005 1:49 PM

1. Half Shell Raw Bar - Key West
2. Abril - Logan & Milwaukee
3. Calabria Imports 103rd & Walden
4. 7 Mares (Mexican Seafood!) Blue Island
5. Gale Street Inn 4900 n Milwaukee

spiraljetty / December 5, 2005 2:07 PM

Cafe Iberico
Fago de Chao
Hot Doug's
Standard of India
Chicago Food Corp cafeteria (Korean supermarket on Kimball)

Leah / December 5, 2005 2:09 PM

1. Jack's/404 Wine Bar for Chicken Pot Pie. Even in the summer when it is way too hot, it is the best.

2. The Phoenix in Chinatown for Dim Sum. I went as part of my Pork-a-palooza.

3. Moody's for burgers and Sangria. The service is terrible, but you can't beat the beer garden.

4. Jack's/404 Wine Bar for Chicken Pot Pie. Did I say that already?

5. Tango Sur when I'm need some serious beef action.

libby / December 5, 2005 2:34 PM

lula's
my house (pancetta wrapped pork roast. yay!)
hot doug's
mia francesca
mk

Phillip J. Vanderwalle / December 5, 2005 2:38 PM

1. McDonalds
2. Burger King
3. Wendy's
4. Taco Bell
5. White Castle

leah / December 5, 2005 2:39 PM

No order. But these all stand out:

Kiki's Bistro (best french onion soup evah)

Green Zebra

India House (lunch buffet be still my heart)

A fresh warm croissant from a bakery in Paris (dahrrrr dorky, I know)

My sweet potato casserole on Turkey day ruled the roost.

Robin / December 5, 2005 2:40 PM

I love my neighborhood places, both in my home 'hood and my work 'hood. Here are my top 3 in each:

home:
Opart Thai House
Jury's
Los Nopales

work:
Freddy's Pizza (Cicero)
Village Pub (N Riverside)
S3 Cafe (Oak Park)

bensch / December 5, 2005 3:00 PM

1. Fishcutters' – Summerland Key, FL - BLT (Bacon, lobster and tomato sandwich.)
2. Katsu - Chicago, IL - Best sushi in town.
3. A Cote - Oakland, CA - Unbelievable tapas dinner.
4. Chez Panisse - Berkeley, CA - The most unforgettable (and expensive) lunch I've ever had.
5. Lula - Chicago, IL - World-class cuisine right in the neighborhood.

sky / December 5, 2005 3:03 PM

Apparently I need to go to Hot Doug's....i think this has shown up the most....is this The Sausage Superstore and Encased Meat Emporium on N. California??

printdude / December 5, 2005 3:08 PM

1) 12th street Beach - for a couple of shows, the picnicing was fine and the company better, and bugs weren't horrible.

2) Bahn Thai - Tom turns out the spicy hits!

3) I am going to count last NYE's Crazy-ass four hour dinner that rocked with 2 bottles of wine per person (on average)

4) Cruise-ship Chateaubriand. _ frickin' wonderful stuff.

5) Maison - they always do something to twist my buds in a knot.

winediva / December 5, 2005 3:43 PM

In Chicago:

West Town Tavern
Osteria Via Stato
Hot Doug's
Avec
Ritz Carlton Chicago - The American Cancer Society Vinaffair gala

Bill / December 5, 2005 3:53 PM

1) Spice Thai on Milwaukee in Logan Square - best crab rangoon ive found so far, and a great variety of tofu options

2) Lula in Logan Square - it's Lula.

3) Hot Dougs - i always order a special, and ive never had a bad one. i love bringing out of town guests here.

4) Alice and Friends - the meatless meat i cant stop thinking about!

5) My Backyard - the night that becks and i grilled up those rib eyes and made our neighbors jealous has to be one of my top 10 meals for 2005

elena / December 5, 2005 3:54 PM

Ras Dashen (Ethiopian - serves the best coffee in Chicago)
Vong's Thai Kitchen (their fixed price menu is perfect)
Siam Rice & Noodle (vast menu of unusual, wonderful dishes)
Ba Le (best banh mi, for only $3.50)
Brasserie Jo (also has a great fixed price menu)

J / December 5, 2005 4:02 PM

In no order,

(1) Meritage in Bucktown
(2) Court of Three Sisters in New Orleans
(3) Babi's Kitchen on Devon
(4) Some lobster pound in Maine, yum!
(5) M. Henry in Andersonville

Hot Doug's was good too, but it's gotten enough props here.

Kelly / December 5, 2005 4:05 PM

1. Ras Dashen. We go so much, the owner hugs us when we walk in!

2. Hot Doug's. The ONLY good thing about my former job was its proximity to this place.

3. That cult-run veggie brunch place on Roscoe...

4. Aurelio's pizza at its original Homewood location.

5. Lots of memorable meals at the Morseland in Rogers Park, too.

Honorable mention: Las Islas Mariscas for langoustines a la plancha.

lisamay / December 5, 2005 4:15 PM

Home:
Trio Atelier
Bistro Campagne
Hot Doug's
Thanksgiving at our house

Away:
Espai Sucre in Barcelona

Lee / December 5, 2005 4:27 PM

1. Cuatro near 20th and Wabash
2. Bamboo Blue in Homewood
3. Blu 47 at 47th and King Drive
4. Flavor in Flossmoor
5. Crofton on Wells.

Kristy / December 5, 2005 4:28 PM

Top Picks 2005

the Soul Vegetarian East restaurant specializing in Vegetarian Soul Food.

A place in Little Village for Cactus Gorditas

Walker Brothers Pancake House. Same one from Ordinary People.

24 Hour Korean Place On Lawrence, (sorry, closed for remodeling until 2006).

Ethiopian Restaurant in Rodgers Park on Broadway, can't remember name.

joshua / December 5, 2005 4:37 PM

1. Le Lan: french vietnamese, quite pricey, gorgeous presentation, incredible taste

2. Mas: upscale mexican, superbly delicious, wide range of food, fantastic drinks

3. Green Zebra: a vegetarian's dream, wildly inventive menu, outstanding service, presentation and wine selection

4. Lem's: unbeatable south side bbq

5. Hot Spot: vibrant brunch spot with amazing ricotta/pineapple/coconut stuffed french toast

honorable mention: bongo room, hachi's kitchen

Maggie / December 5, 2005 4:43 PM

Sky-yep, it's that one on N. California. I think my favorite sandwich I've had there was the beef garlic sausage with gorgonzola and guinness mustard. Amazing.

Oketo! / December 5, 2005 5:13 PM

Limiting this to Chicago only:

1) Jane's in Bucktown
2) Maza - Lincoln Park (Lebanese)
3) Flo - (Mexican) West Town
4) La Scarola (Italian) (and I don't even like Italian)
5) M Henry (Andersonville)

Coming in but just missing the list

6) Deleece

Brian / December 5, 2005 5:28 PM

Bratwurst stand section 138
Churros Stand section 130
Maxwell St Depot 31st & canal
Corn off the cob stand (next to churros stand)
Nachos Stand section 140

p / December 5, 2005 5:34 PM

calabria don't play. neither does oasis cafe. nor the local option. nor hot doug's specials. nor la scarola.

printdude / December 5, 2005 7:14 PM

'Twas told by the wife that she could not find a restaurant in her top 5 online, and I figured y'all wouldn't mind the link, so here ya go:

maison

Angie / December 5, 2005 10:11 PM

Does anyone ever go to Sushi Para II on Clark between Belden and Webster? That has been my sushi haven for many moons.
Also up are VICTORY BANNER on roscoe, CHICAGO BAGEL AUTHORITY for the best sandwiches ever. For Fancy meals, I love Extra Virgin and Rezas uptown.

Stephen / December 5, 2005 10:30 PM

1) The Chicago Diner, including one particularly notable "breakfast pizza" brunch special that I haven't seen there since...

2) Pizza Metro on Division for the late nite munchies...

3) Lovitt, R.I.P...

4) The Handlebar, smoke free!

5) Dharma Garden, for the hilarious flirty old Thai woman and her hot-as-hell vegetarian fare.

Steve / December 5, 2005 10:55 PM

Though I already listed my five, I also have to second Brian's U.S. Comiskular love....

PJ Chmiel (vegan) / December 5, 2005 11:21 PM

1) Karyn's Cooked on Wells, my favorite new restaurant.
2) Ras Dashen. Veggie combo w/ #'s 5,6,8,10 & 11 plus sambusas.
3) Just about any Indo-Pak place on Devon, I've tried most of them and am rarely dissatisfied.
4) Soul Veg, Alice and Friends and Dharma Garden are usually quite good and predictable.
5) Handlebar/Earwax/Chicago Diner, all usually decent if not astounding.

Dishonorable mention to Pizza Metro, used to be amazing until they ruined everything with tomato sauce (on potato/rosemary pizza even!), what a shame. Also to Victory's Banner for being a bunch of weirdos who make vegetarianism look like a creepy cult and rarely/never have vegan specials.

Dillon / December 6, 2005 7:09 AM

top five chicago eats (i didn't get out of the city at all this year, but didn't really mind either):

1. Tweet -- incredible brunch, great dinner, best service and run by one of the most generous proprietors in the city. (Plus, it's just around the corner from my place.)

2. Handlebar -- African nut stew, 'nuff said.

3. Huey's -- Amazing veggie dogs.

4. Uptown Snack Shop -- Hangover fixer, cheap neighborhood joint, friendly staff and a framed picture of David Bowie behind the counter.

5. And my new fave in five -- The Bleeding Heart Bakery. Lots of tasty organic treats and savory goods (many of my lunches and workday snacks come from there).

(I am looking forward to trying the Green Zebra's offerings before year's end.)

shermann / December 6, 2005 9:07 AM

In no particular order

Wholly Frijolles in Lincolnwood, best salsa evar!

Jin Ju, knowledgable staff made perfect reccomendations

Lulu's in Evanston, Fresh and cheap

Wildfire, chopped salad

and Thai Pastry

Sonya / December 6, 2005 10:04 AM

Can I list the Top 10?

1. Klas Restaurant (Cicero)
2. Bruna's (Heart of Chicago)
3. Margie's Candies (Dessert) (Humboldt Park)
4. Cafe Selmarie (Lincoln Square)
5. Lazo's Taco's (Humboldt Park)
6. Cafe Ballou (Ukrainian Village)
7. Mirabell (NW side on Irving)
8. Marilyn's (for breakfast) (Morton Grove)
9. Lithuanian Healthy Food (for breakfast)(Bridgeport)
10. Hillery's Urban Eatery (for breakfast) (Wicker Park)

Baltimore / December 6, 2005 10:52 AM

The Hot Dog stand where the Insane Unknowns hang out at of the intersection of Milwaukee, Western and Armitage
(across from Arturo's Taco's) staffed by the Simpson looking women. I love how their cigs hang from their lower lip as they fix your polish

Ms. Piggys B.B.Q on 78th and the Dirty Dan

Sylvia's on Lenox Ave in Harlem

Edna's on West Madison

The cafeteria Tangus Grocery Store on Armitage and Drake

Wac Arnolds!

I'm sure I will be bumping into yall soon!

Naz / December 6, 2005 11:16 AM

Not really in order --

1) Tanoshii - Sushi Mike lords over the bar here and you will be thankful he does. The aforementioned Live Lobster Sashimi: holy shite.

2) Karyn's Cooked - Big ups to PJ Chmiel for alerting me that Karyn's now had a non-raw restaurant. Great meals here.

3) Tombo Kitchen - if I want to do sushi a little less hectic, cheaper and laidback, Tombo is the place to go to.

4) The Hopleaf - probably the one place I ate at this year more than any others. Solid upscale bar food but with humble leanings.


5) The HuffenCoopers - while not a real restaurant, co-founder Andrew and his significant other Cinnamon (who you know from One Good Meal) crank out some of the best dinners I've had. Pay close attention to One Good Meal, that stuff is solid.

Top 5 Notables and would be 6-10:

6) Hilary's Urban Eatery - while many gor for the brunch, we go for the dinner. I've had all of the fish courses and they are excellent.

7) Santullo's - NY style pizza at its best and now my favourite in the city. Sorry, Chicago Style.

8) The Handlebar - an old standby and a good place for fellow bikers.

9) Tie between Southport Lanes/Blue Bayou - they're close and they both have good ol' American at a a few notches above decent. Southport Lanes has some of the best damn fries in the city.

10) Coobah - perhaps an underrated or little known spot for brunch but hands down the best brunch place for me this year. Their Crab Cakes Benedict and their Coobah Cakes are made with blue corn meal and other spanish ingredients elevate typical dishes.

Sadly, I didn't even go to Hot Doug's this year. Time to change that before the year is out.

Top 5 desserts:

1) The triple chocolate cake at Innjoy. A surprising solid mass of chocolate in various forms. Bang for your buck - best split between two people.

2) Alliance Bakery - anything from Alliance, but usually the brownies.

3) Australian - no more on Southport but at Marshall Field's. I've heard there's another somewhere. Smoothest handmade ice cream there is.

4) Sweet Mandy B's - all kinds of sweets for your sweet tooth. The s'mores are good.

5) Scooter's - frozen custard is solid. Get the Elvis.

B. E. Pinkham / December 6, 2005 1:36 PM

1. Morseland, the night I got carded for ordering a glass of cabernet.(I'm 46!)Their turkey reubens make me swoon on any night.
2. Moody's Pub, outdoors on a freakishly warm October evening, the honey locust trees were already yellow and we all knew it was the absolute end of the alfresco season. I think it dropped into the forties the next day.
3.Hai Yen (1055 w. Argyle)
4.Rhythm (the drumming bar, on Randolf)where I had 3 Harp's Lagers for my birthday dinner. It was a blast. Go try it!
5.That Little Mexican Cafe in Evanston. Fish taco are surprisingly satisfying. I also love the duck flautas and their black beans, but the margaritas could be much larger.

nora / December 6, 2005 2:02 PM

In no particular order:

1. Osteria via Stato - every single thing about this place was fabulous
2. Southport Grocery - best breakfast ever
3. Matsuyama - consistently good sushi, great service, and it's byob
4. M Henry - always tasty
5. Bistro Banlieue - in Lombard, but worth the drive

Kelly / December 6, 2005 2:08 PM

Buffalo Joe's in Evanston. Nothing beats this place.

billy / December 6, 2005 2:25 PM

this year?
in no particular order:

sultan's market
avec
west town tavern
salerno's pizza
forno

billy / December 6, 2005 2:31 PM

i'm a total idiot for forgetting lula.

always lula.

mookie / December 6, 2005 3:16 PM

in no particular order:

wildfire
wholly frijoles
maiz
tango sur
lula's

soufsider / December 6, 2005 4:12 PM

1) Green Zebra. I will never forget the sweet corn mezzaluna, ever. It haunts me.
2) Hot Doug's. Always Hot Doug's.
3) Handlebar.
4) Soul Veg.
5) L'Amici Mie, Citta di Castello. Three courses, three wines, fresh truffles, pictures with the owner and his wife. One of the best meals I'll ever have.

close Berlin meals:
6) Hot Dog Soup.
7) Yellow Sunshine.
8) Sweetbread and spreads from the Turkish market and a cold half-liter Berliner Pilsner. Happiness.

Leelah / December 6, 2005 4:24 PM

--Green Zebra
--Soul Vegetarian
--Maiz
--El Tinajon
--Shiroi Hana

My best meal this year was in Florence, Italy... I can't remember the name of the place, but the food was so astonishingly delicious that I almost cried.

Virginia / December 6, 2005 4:54 PM

In no particular order, but all veg-friendly:

-- Victory's Banner : 2100 W. Roscoe
-- Green Zebra : 1460 W. Chicago
-- Szechuan Garden : 2901 N. Broadway
-- Uncommon Ground : 1214 W. Grace (their veggie burger = AMAZING!)
-- Blind Faith : 525 Dempster, Evanston

Amy / December 6, 2005 5:08 PM

1.Alinea
2.MK
3.Merlo on Maple
4.Chicago Chop House
5.Osteria Via Stato (Enoteca)
And
6.Wildfire's filet trio
7.Blue Water Grill's rainbow sushi

The places I actually eat the most..HOB (buffalo chicken tenders), Shaw's Oyster Bar, Smith & Wollensky's Grill (steak salad and baked potato)

kate / December 6, 2005 7:16 PM

1. Lula Cafe (Logan Square)
2. Kitsch'n (Roscoe Village)
3. Rioja (Andersonville)
4. Irazu (Bucktown)
5. Bite (next to Empty Bottle - is that Wicker?)

Kelly / December 6, 2005 7:48 PM

I forgot to mention Cafe Denir. I had some amazing meals there, then they closed last summer, claiming they would reopen in a new location soon. And then...nothing. So sad. Where will I find a mezze plate with that fantastic honey and butter on the side?

Nathan / December 6, 2005 9:01 PM

Wildfire - The twice-baked potatoes, filet trio, and dirty martini featuring bleu cheese-stuffed olives all make my knees weak.

Cucina Bella - The "Pasta Rags" special is like committing a beautiful sin, begging for forgiveness, then comitting it again, and feeling no remorse.

India House - If I could subsist on their mango ice cream alone, know that I would subsist in this way.

Osteria Via Stato - Is there anything better than knowledgeable waitstaff bringing you food practically non-stop? Nay, there is not.

Lula - Cafe Lula has not disappointed on repeat visits.

Dunl / December 7, 2005 9:34 AM

In partial -- or no particular -- order. Not including places outside of Chicago -- and I haven't made it to Green Zebra or Soul Vegetarian East this year:

North Pond - all-around great for a special occasion; nice room, excellent service, great wine, unusually good vegetarian plate

Fronterra Grill - classy Mexican comfort food; oh, and the the blue agave margarita (comfort drink)

Irazu - best vegetarian burrito money can buy (tacos, sandwiches pretty good too); oh, and the sweet plantains, strawberry shake and oatmeal shake.

Tre Kronor - Kobenhavn (spinach and Danish blue cheese) omlette or broccoli and cheddar quiche for weekend brunch

La Bocca della Verita - favorite neighborhood Italian, Roma-style.

Shechemist / December 7, 2005 9:56 AM

1. Ginza - Unpretentious quality sushi. It has a special place in my heart as it was where my now husband and I had our first (blind) date.

2. Ambria - We went there for our first anniversary and the meal was Fucking Fab, and the service was Fucking Fab.

3. Home. Husband goes to Kendall. He invites his Kendall classmates to parties and they try to out do eachother.

4. Red Rooster - Unpretentious French Food. I love this place.

5. Hot Doug's. I wish they were able to rebuild in their old site.

El Guapo / December 16, 2005 9:08 AM

In no particular order:

Lou Mitchell's (breakfast, best in the city)
La Scarola
Greek Islands
Rosati's (Deli, sandwiches)
Carnivale (Latin fusion)

Venessa / January 18, 2006 4:21 PM

This is easy....

Gale Street Inn has the best ribs I've ever had in my entire life...drive past with your window down and your mouth will water.

Sullivan's (Dearborn & Hubbard) still has the most impressive steak I've ever had, and I eat a lot of steak. Order the filet mignon and cut it with your fork. They have a really tasty pineapple martini there too, they infuse the pineapple with vodka themselves.

Las Palmas has really great mex food and killer mai tais (no literally). You can order a burrito or enchilada a la carte for around $3.00 and they're pretty big.

Sabatinos (on Irving Park Rd. near 90) is an old-school been there forever joint, this place is a gem. Don't let the old folks fool you, they know what they're doing. You MUST have their bananas foster for dessert, they make it and flame it right there at your table.

Stanley's will always be one of my favorites for their home cooked flair ...it is because of them that I add Guiness to my pot of beef stew. Delicious.

tim / January 25, 2006 6:16 PM

1. Parlor (Mmmmmm!)

2. Avec

3. Hot Dougs (it just IS that good)

4. Spring (Mr. McClain knows best)

5. Alinea (rated 5th because the bill hurt so bad)

-Tim D

suz / February 6, 2006 3:37 PM

1. alinea
2. nomi
3. yoshi's
4. opera
5. portillo's...best double cheeseburger known to man.

naha, meiji, magnolia cafe, bistro campagne, butter and erwin were excellent, too.

GB store

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