Chicago 'special occasion' but not 'expense account' restaurant recommendations?

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Chadnudj
Posts: 829
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:22 am

Re: Chicago 'special occasion' but not 'expense account' restaurant recommendations?

Post by Chadnudj » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:56 pm

lazydavid wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:40 am
Chadnudj wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:09 am
Giant. Best food in the city (shared small plates so you can try a lot with amazing flavors that are totally unique), totally reasonably priced, and very cool. (Whoever called it Midwestern food above is sadly very mistaken)
That was me, I remember it being amazing, but not the specific dishes I had. You might want to let them know to change the official description of their restaurant, because this is what they have registered:
Giant offers a menu of simple, unpretentious Midwestern fare created by Chefs Jason Vincent and Ben Lustbader, with classic cocktails by Josh Perlman.
Ben Lustbader also has a similar heading above an article that he wrote himself for the Illinois Restaurant Association:
After working in some of the best kitchens in Chicago, Chef Ben Lustbader teamed up with Chef Jason Vincent and Josh Perlman to open Giant in Chicago’s Logan Square, which launched in July 2016. Together in the kitchen, Ben and Jason create an ever-changing menu featuring unpretentious, Midwestern fare. Their work has been praised both locally and nationally, including earning the coveted #6 spot on Bon Appetit magazine’s “Best New Restaurants” list. This summer, Ben and the Giant team will open their next venture, Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar, in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood.
Bizarre, and I stand corrected since that's how they describe themselves. I'd never describe their food as Midwestern -- it's more like Asian/Italian/Mexican fusion of small plate pasta dishes and meats, and farm-to-table vegetables prepared in interesting ways. Midwestern to me means meatloaf and potatoes, relatively bland comfort foods -- not the spices/flavors you get at Giant.

michaeljc70
Posts: 6073
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Chicago 'special occasion' but not 'expense account' restaurant recommendations?

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:06 am

Chadnudj wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:56 pm
lazydavid wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:40 am
Chadnudj wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:09 am
Giant. Best food in the city (shared small plates so you can try a lot with amazing flavors that are totally unique), totally reasonably priced, and very cool. (Whoever called it Midwestern food above is sadly very mistaken)
That was me, I remember it being amazing, but not the specific dishes I had. You might want to let them know to change the official description of their restaurant, because this is what they have registered:
Giant offers a menu of simple, unpretentious Midwestern fare created by Chefs Jason Vincent and Ben Lustbader, with classic cocktails by Josh Perlman.
Ben Lustbader also has a similar heading above an article that he wrote himself for the Illinois Restaurant Association:
After working in some of the best kitchens in Chicago, Chef Ben Lustbader teamed up with Chef Jason Vincent and Josh Perlman to open Giant in Chicago’s Logan Square, which launched in July 2016. Together in the kitchen, Ben and Jason create an ever-changing menu featuring unpretentious, Midwestern fare. Their work has been praised both locally and nationally, including earning the coveted #6 spot on Bon Appetit magazine’s “Best New Restaurants” list. This summer, Ben and the Giant team will open their next venture, Chef’s Special Cocktail Bar, in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood.
Bizarre, and I stand corrected since that's how they describe themselves. I'd never describe their food as Midwestern -- it's more like Asian/Italian/Mexican fusion of small plate pasta dishes and meats, and farm-to-table vegetables prepared in interesting ways. Midwestern to me means meatloaf and potatoes, relatively bland comfort foods -- not the spices/flavors you get at Giant.
I think you are correct and the restaurant is in error. I would call the food global. Tempura and Roti and Pici and Sortallini are not what I would call midwestern food (all taken from their online menu).

lazydavid
Posts: 2647
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Chicago 'special occasion' but not 'expense account' restaurant recommendations?

Post by lazydavid » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:54 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:06 am
I think you are correct and the restaurant is in error. I would call the food global. Tempura and Roti and Pici and Sortallini are not what I would call midwestern food (all taken from their online menu).
I started this whole mess, and I actually agree. :) Anyway, great food regardless of what you call it. Moving on...

matthewbarnhart
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:05 pm

Re: Chicago 'special occasion' but not 'expense account' restaurant recommendations?

Post by matthewbarnhart » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:32 pm

I've lived in Chicago for 7 years (first in Logan Square, now in Avondale). The options, as you've seen, are nearly endless.

If I were leaving Chicago and never returning, my last meal would absolutely be at Avec. The menu, while small, is diverse enough to please most palates and the atmosphere and service are higher-end and nice, but still informal and inviting.

Some of my other favorites that I'll reiterate from previous posters, that are outside the usual Randolph St/Fulton Market/River North areas:
  • Dove's Luncheonette (in Wicker Park; South Texas-inspired, great mezcal selection)
  • Mi Tocaya (in Logan Square; top-notch modern Mexican)
  • Casa Yari (in Logan Square; a dark horse: fantastic modern Puerto Rican with rotating flan flavors. BYOB.)
You could also punt and go old-school, working-class Chicago: get dogs/fries/burger/fried shrimp at Red Hot Ranch on Western, then walk down to Margie's for a gigantic ice cream sundae, playing some songs on the jukebox and looking at all the photos of the Beatles eating there.

rvflyer
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:39 am

Re: Chicago 'special occasion' but not 'expense account' restaurant recommendations?

Post by rvflyer » Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:01 am

Haven't been there in a while but The Berghoff for German food? Quintessential Chicago eatery. Any updates from the locals would be appreciated!

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