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Question of the day

Thursday, Mar 29, 2007

I had dinner at Pao last night. Wow. What a great place to eat. So, I was thinking, what’s your favorite restaurant?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Bridget Dooley - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 9:35 am:

    Rich, what kind of food does that place serve?

    I really like Reza’s, Vong’s Thai Kitchen, and Cafe Iberico in Chicago.

  2. - Jim - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 9:41 am:

    Rosewood in Rosemont.

  3. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 9:45 am:

    Bridget, it’s Asian. I had one of the sushimi specials and it was fantastic. Others had the salmon, and I’ve never had better (except once in a bar along the Mississippi River, but that was different).

    But it’s not all fish. Somebody at my table had a pork chop which looked fabulous and he said was delicious.

  4. - Tom but looking for a nickname - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 9:49 am:

    tried the new Arthurs in Springfield. Needs work. Indigo is my favorite.

  5. - Gish - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 9:51 am:

    Rich, I have had the pork chop at Pao before and it is great. I have also had their filet which was very good. It is too hard for me to decide my favorite restaurant but I do favor Emilio’s in downtown Springfield for lunches.

  6. - Anon from BB - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 10:03 am:

    I’ll second Bridget’s Cafe Iberico. It’s really nice since they remodeled. Not as cramped around the bar area and up front.

    The Front Street Cantina in Naperville is very good.

  7. - i d - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 10:21 am:


  8. - Levois - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 10:21 am:

    Soul Queen!!!

  9. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 10:25 am:

    Bella Milano, Spfld
    The have the best salad ever. Pasta is great too!

  10. - Skeeter - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 10:26 am:

    Tough question. A lot of great choices.

    Alinea gets the nod, but Avenues is strong competition. For a more low key meal, I am a big fan of Naha.

    That being said, I would take a meal at the Isle de France in St. Bart over all of the local places, since the food is oustandind and it has the advantage of being in St. Bart.

  11. - Matt - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 10:45 am:

    Indigo - Oustanding service

  12. - Napoleon has left the building - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 10:51 am:

    Jim is right, Rosewood in Rosemont has amazing lamb chops. Other interesting favorites:
    Pequad’s pizza on Clybourn in Chicago
    LuLu’s Dim Sum in Evanston
    Saputo’s (I know some don’t like it but I think its a classic)

  13. - Jechislo - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 10:55 am:

    It’s a tossup for me between Rosebuds on Taylor and Ruth’s Chris on Dearborn. When I’m in Chicago I always try to hit both. Now you’ve went and made me hungry.

  14. - Pat Hickey - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 11:02 am:

    Franconello’s 10222 S. Western
    (773) 881-4100

    This is the real deal. Pat Bruno of the Chicago Sun Times says “A top choice for dining all’Italiana on the South Side. Traditional Italian in every respect, and the kitchen respects that idea. Nothing fancy, nothing frilly, just very good cooking, some of it tasting as if it came straight out of Mamma’s kitchen”

  15. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 11:08 am:

    Fogo De Chao in Chicago. All you can eat steak-house.

  16. - Bill - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 11:12 am:

    Capitol Steakhouse has the best steak and prime rib in town. It rivals Gibson’s in chicago.

  17. - Reddbyrd - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 11:49 am:

    Anywhere there are Bud Light buckets

  18. - M.V. - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 11:50 am:

    WIthout a doubt, Bistro Campagne in Lincoln Square

  19. - Shelbyville - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 12:13 pm:

    Same here - Indigo. Never a problem.

  20. - Frank Booth - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 12:16 pm:

    Shouldn’t every Springfield restaurant have a good pork chop?

    Did you inquire as to whether Pao would get slammed by the GRT?

  21. - What were they thinking? - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 12:41 pm:

    Any restaurant that won’t be ran out of the state with the GRT.

  22. - Foodie - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 12:44 pm:

    MAGIC KITCHEN - of course! Even in its new incarnation~!

  23. - Bill - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 12:51 pm:

    Of course, there is always Maverick. Mediocre food…all you can eat…$10…spend the rest of my per diem on beer.

  24. - Rudy - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 12:56 pm:

    Commander’s Palace–New Orleans

  25. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 1:03 pm:

    The Italian Village. Everytime I’m in Chicago!

  26. - dc - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 1:07 pm:

    I like to have pizza from Gallina’s sent to Boones when it gets late. Wait…. maybe that’s not such a good idea….

  27. - Jechislo - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 1:11 pm:

    I think the best Chicago pizza is Bacino’s on Wacker.

  28. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 1:20 pm:

    dc, I would advise against that. lol

  29. - U of I - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 1:27 pm:

    Chicago - tossup between PJ Clarke’s and any of the Rosebud restaurants.

    Springfield - Augie’s Front Burner

  30. - WWDMD - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 1:31 pm:

    Gibsons!!! Great steaks

  31. - anon - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 1:44 pm:

    In Chicago, Tufano’s on Vernon Park Place, Twin Acres for ribs, Gene & Georgetti’s for steak, the Half Shell for fish. In Springfield its Saputos. And for burgers it definitely Redamacks in New Buffalo.

  32. - OnTheNorthside - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 1:59 pm:

    Hands-down, Indie Cafe in Edgewater - the sushi chef there is incredible. And Leonardo’s is pretty damn good Italian food, too.

  33. - pickles!! - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 2:07 pm:

    For Steak, Gibsons or Mortons. Cy’s Crab House for Seafood. Rosebud for Italian. Clubhouse or J’ Alexanders in Oak Brook (killer Prime Rib). Used to be the Burgoff (RIP) for a lunchtime corned beef sandwich. Gene & Judes in River grove for a late-night hot dog run, and the Billy Goat for a cheezeborger!

  34. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 2:25 pm:

    Good food in Springfield? Please, don’t tell me tempt me.

    I was a restaurant critic for 4 years. Money was no object, and I have tasted heaven on a daily basis, and was paid for it. Living here is culinary hell.

    Springfield, in the heartland of Illinois, can’t seem to find decent produce. I literally drive to farms and orchards to buy fruits and vegetables when it is time. My neighbors think Velveeta is a cheese and hamburger is some kind of meat. What they call “chilli” is actually Alpo-with-tomato soup. Saputos? Canned Beefaroni has a better sauce.

    Since my family has been regularly visiting, I have given up taking them to restaurants in Springfield. It just makes them cry. I have discovered however that Virden - VIRDEN has outstanding pizza at DeCarlos, (not open Mondays), and that the best fried chicken so far is at Jay and Mary’s place in Auburn.

    But my tastes are strictly Democratic, not Republican. I want diversity of cuisine, excellent booze, and something better than Cracker Barrel.

    Thanks for the Pao! recommendation. With three toddlers, I have been exploring the cuisine of Bob Evans recently. Kill me now.

  35. - Y A J - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 2:31 pm:

    Springfield - Little Saigon
    Chicago - Heaven on Seven

  36. - City Voter - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 2:41 pm:

    La Scarola - Grand/Halsted/Milwaukee
    Usagi Ya - Milwaukee/Division
    Kamehachi - Wells/Schiller? - Olde Towne

  37. - i d - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 2:53 pm:

    To all those that dis things from Springfield, we are so happy when you choose to stay away from here. Thank you in advance for your absences.

  38. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 3:44 pm:

    Any of the fine La Bamba restaurants, because they are open til after the bars close.

  39. - Punley Dieter Finn - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 4:05 pm:

    Old Luxembourg for the prime rib, Sportsman’s for fried chicken, Mick and Mary’s in Thayer for the delicious bass, of course Norb’s for the pork tenderloin, and Brown’s for the lightly salted buttered popcorn.

  40. - Jerry - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 4:23 pm:

    a few fave’s…

    Lula Cafe in Logan Square,
    Italian Village in the Loop,
    Tanoshii in Andersonville,
    Reza’s in A-ville

  41. - NEd - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 4:27 pm:

    The guy upset about food in Springfield is right about DiCarlo’s. I worked there in High School as a kid and it is so good. But what about a horseshoe at D’Arcy’s Pint.

  42. - The Very Best... - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 4:49 pm:

    Arun’s Thai Restaurant 4156 N. Kedzie Ave, Chicago. Best Thai food ANYWHERE in the US. Instead of the hot stuff in most Thai restaurants, this place showcases the five culinary regions of Thailand via a degustation menu. Bring your wallet, but enjoy excellent service and fantastic food.

  43. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 4:59 pm:

    I’m not familiar with Chicago restaurants. But my favorite place to eat in the entire world (other than Bullfeathers in D.C.) is The Moonlight in Alton. They are cheap and have a secret house dressing that can’t be beat. Their pasta is awesome and their meats and fried chicken are top notch. However, the mob connections there are so deep that you never know who’s eating there. The owner supposedly lost the restaurant to the Italian mob in St. Louis during a card game and shortly after their prices went up. Take about one interesting urban legend!

    In Springfield, Gallagher’s has the best steak and is one of my favorite places to eat. Steak in Springfield is the same as it is in Chicago and St. Louis and is much cheaper.

  44. - Apple a day - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 5:23 pm:

    August is not ready yet for primetime. I like Pao also.

  45. - Tessa - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 6:36 pm:

    I’m a bad one for the late night pizza and wings from like dc mentioned, and God bless Andrew at the bar in the Hilton for ordering for me more than once *grin*.

    I don’t eat out in Springfield much, though, and in Chicago, I’m an Unos pizza person. My son loves the Billy Goat for the atmosphere.

    Best places to eat aren’t in this state. Go west and make sure you have “fry sauce” at the drive -up restaurant in Ashton, Idaho. And a home made shake. Yummy!

  46. - In the Sticks - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 7:21 pm:

    Incredibly Delicious. Wonderful lunch, authentic French croissants (regular, chocolate, raspberry) and baguettes, great espresso and lattes, all the bread is wonderful - and of course the desserts. Try the handmade truffles too!

  47. - Ready To Go Home - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 7:58 pm:

    Springfield - Pao (Which is incidentally ran by the same guy who started up Cafe Brio).

    Chicago - Tavern on Rush, Rosebud Steakhouse and on Rush, Gibsons, Fogo de Chao.

  48. - team america, world police - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 8:23 pm:

    Vanilla Man- you crack me up. I would have loved to have read some of your old reviews. Maybe they could have saved me from a few bad meals.

    I have to meet with IDNR by the fairgrounds next week. Any good recommendations for lunch?

  49. - 'Lainer - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 9:35 pm:

    VM, have you tried The Food Mart on Monroe? Granted, it’s a deli, not a restaurant, but I love to eat lunch there because it has LOTS of great Italian/Greek/other cheeses, meats, condiments, wines, cookies, breads, etc. etc. I bet it would compare favorably to anything you had in the “big city.” (I may have posted this message more than once by accident, so please excuse me if I did)

  50. - Jechislo - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 10:20 pm:

    Anyone ever eat at the Orleans House right off the Roslyn Metro stop in Washington DC? The prime rib is out of this world. And the salad bar….oh man, I’m hungry again.

  51. - A Citizen - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 10:31 pm:

    Shaw’s Crab House, Chicago Chop House, Saputos and in the old days - Irelands

  52. - brightness - Thursday, Mar 29, 07 @ 11:02 pm:

    Capitol Steakhouse has the best steaks in Springfield. If you havent been, you definetly have to try it out!
    Dicarlo’s in virden is wonderful..of course magic kitchen, spicy food & you bring your own alcohol.

  53. - Larry Mulholland - Friday, Mar 30, 07 @ 8:52 am:

    There is no better DOUBLE CHEESBURGER than the burgers at FULGENZI’s Pizza across the street from the fairground in Springfield (Near DNR)

    It is a big hit among many lobsters & legislators.

    I must admit however, I am a bit biased so please judge for your self.

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