Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

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T Fletcher
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Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#1 Post by T Fletcher » January 9th, 2019, 1:43 pm

My wife and I are taking our 10-year old son to Chicago over the weekend of Jan 18-20 to see Hamilton. She and I saw the show last March during a very-quick weekend getaway so we're somewhat familiar with the theater location and surroundings. We are staying near Michigan Ave and the River, so now I'm looking for recs on dining and activities. We have all day Saturday and Sunday available other than the 8pm show on Saturday night. The kid is a picky eater, but chefs can usually make something for kids, so no real limitations there. I realize we may be somewhat limited given the cold, but we will still plan on walking quite a bit.

Wine related: We popped into Binny's on Grand last March and the pricing and selection were pretty good. Definitely an option again, but I'm open to recs on other retailers and/or wine shops in the area.

Thanks in advance!
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Corey N.
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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#2 Post by Corey N. » January 9th, 2019, 2:17 pm

There's a Chicago Restaurant Thread but given where you are staying, you're probably very close to Purple Pig.

Binny's is probably your best bet for wine, although that's a fairly small location.

Activities wise, I highly recommend the Art Institute if you're a fan of art museums. The collection is expansive and it has a wonderful collection of French Impressionist paintings. While it's not as big as the Met in NYC, it's a lot more manageable. If you do the AI, best to wander around Millennium Park for a few minutes as well, despite the cold.

Our other museums are nice too -- Shedd Aquarium isn't too far.

One place that I would avoid -- Navy Pier. It's a bit out there and very touristy, although the Shakespeare theatre is actually quite nice (and an exception to the rule).
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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#3 Post by Siun o'Connell » January 9th, 2019, 3:05 pm

Museum of Science and Industry down in Hyde Park - or the Field Museum next to Shedd Aquarium are good. I'd definitely second the Shedd as a great visit.

Where to eat? hmmm ... so many options. I love The Kitchen which is on the river, has a good varied menu that is actually rather kid friendly (great pasta, great tomato soup) and usually has interesting wines at all price ranges. Gorgeous room but relaxed folks so comfortable for a 10 yr old while feeling special for you.

Want an adventure? take the L (Red Line) up to Argyle Street and go to Sun Wah for Peking Duck - pick up a bottle to BYO. Call ahead to reserve the duck.

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T Klonoski
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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#4 Post by T Klonoski » January 9th, 2019, 4:04 pm

I've found that kids that age find Eataly pretty interesting. Very convenient to your location.
Quartino is another good option.
And if time is tight, Portillo's does fast food with good ingredients.
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T Fletcher
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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#5 Post by T Fletcher » January 9th, 2019, 8:14 pm

Thanks for the thoughts so far! Much appreciated.

Corey, I appreciate the restaurant thread. I overlooked that.
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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#6 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » January 9th, 2019, 8:39 pm

I like plum market for wine.

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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#7 Post by George Hejna » January 10th, 2019, 6:13 am

I think for a 10yr old the Museum of Science and Industry, The Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium are your best bet. The Shedd gets crowded very quickly so get there early. The Museum of Science and Industry is wonderful but it is about 7 miles south of where you are staying. Uber is your best bet. A trip to the top of the Willis tower or John Hancock are fun for kids that age on a clear day. Lincoln Park zoo is also a good option with the Peggy Notebaert nature museum right next store. I agree with Corey's comment about skipping Navy Pier. There is a big lego store in waterpower place if he likes Legos.

My kids also enjoyed strayboots scavenger hunts. This would be weather dependent. https://www.strayboots.com/usa/chicago/

In terms of food it all really depends on what you want. Tons of options. The thread posted is a good one to follow.

One "different" option for wine is HDH retail. http://www.hdhwine.com/retail-wine-list They will deliver to your hotel if you give them enough time.

George

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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#8 Post by Corey N. » January 10th, 2019, 6:32 am

If you do the Shedd consider joining and/or buying tickets online. The line can be VERY long, though shouldn’t be as bad in the winter.
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Keith A k e r s
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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#9 Post by Keith A k e r s » January 10th, 2019, 10:53 am

T Klonoski wrote:
January 9th, 2019, 4:04 pm

Quartino is another good option.


Honestly, it isn’t. Quartino is a basic bitch restaurant that is loud and obnoxious.


Trent,

Take a look at the Wndrmuseum and see if there are any tickets available. I think that’s something your whole family would enjoy. For wine, I'll second Plum Market as a place to go, though you won't go wrong with Binny's Grand (ask for Kevin. He's the manager and he's a great guy).

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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#10 Post by George Hejna » January 11th, 2019, 5:56 am

Yes this.. Quartino is terrible.

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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#11 Post by ClarkstonMark » January 11th, 2019, 10:01 am

With a 10 year old, and I despise chicago pizza, I would say go to Lou Malnati's.
But if he is picky he may be smart and also despise chicago pizza
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T Fletcher
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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#12 Post by T Fletcher » January 11th, 2019, 10:57 am

Continue to appreciate the recommendations!

With regard to pizza, we are more Neapolitan style family, less crust and minimal sauce.

George, I think you may have hit the nail on the head with your museum recs. I think Science and Industry is right up his alley, plus I believe our Fort Worth membership gives us 50% off the cost.

Any dinner recs for Saturday evening closer to the CIBC Theater? Say within 6-8 blocks? We ate at Acanto last March and it more than fit the bill. Great service, drinks and food.
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Keith A k e r s
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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#13 Post by Keith A k e r s » January 11th, 2019, 11:00 am

T Fletcher wrote:
January 11th, 2019, 10:57 am


Any dinner recs for Saturday evening closer to the CIBC Theater? Say within 6-8 blocks? We ate at Acanto last March and it more than fit the bill. Great service, drinks and food.
Hrm, part of me wants to say Cherry Circle Room, but that is decidedly not the place to bring a 10 year old. So, maybe try Cindy's Rooftop and see if you can pull from the CCR winelist (same building, same restaurant group, so hopefully that works out)

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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#14 Post by George Hejna » January 11th, 2019, 2:18 pm

Cherry Circle Room is great. Depending on how picky your son is it might work. You are eating early. Easy walk from there to the theater.

I would also look at a short Uber ride away as that opens up all the restaurants on W. Randolph street. You have Formento’s all the Stephanie Izard restaurants, Lena Brava, La Josie etc. etc.
Getting an Uber after the show can be a bit of a challenge. We had to walk out to State st but got one pretty quickly there. Traffic is a mess after the show in front of the theater.

George

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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#15 Post by T Fletcher » January 11th, 2019, 7:35 pm

Wow...Cherry Circle looks freaking awesome! But yes, not much of anything on the menu that my 10 year would eat. Btw, Cindy's Rooftop is closed through Jan 24 to "refresh" its space.
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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#16 Post by T Fletcher » January 18th, 2019, 7:31 pm

Plum Market (Old Town) for wine was excellent. Wonderful selection of German Rieslings and French Bojo, some with a few years of age. Picked up a 2017 Thivin CdBrouilly for starters....still waiting on all the snow now.
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Re: Chicago in January - Looking for a few recs

#17 Post by Mattstolz » January 19th, 2019, 8:45 am

The nice thing about going to Cherry Circle room is, if your 10 year old never makes it past the game room, you will still have a fantastic time.

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