Whether you’re looking to wow a date or close a business deal, we tapped into those who know the city’s culinary scene best: the concierge. Here’s a look at five restaurants they say are sure to impress.
West Loop Stunners
Inspired by the French villa where the Rolling Stones famously recorded “Exile on Main Street,”
Nellcôte is both refined and approachable and will transport you to an era of glamour since forgotten. Described by Kimberly Collins of Corporate Concierge Services as being “different from anything else,” the décor here is opulent enough to make Marie Antoinette proud and the European-inspired small plates deliver on all counts. From inventive, wood-fired pizzas (make sure to add the house-made fennel sausage to yours) to delectable pastas like the tagliatelli bolognese, the offerings are all locally sourced and beautifully executed.
For something that’s flirty, sexy, and fun, LondonHouse Chicago concierge Shannon Boland recommends Carnivale. This upbeat and sprawling eatery boasts a festive vibe and offers everything from authentic soulful cuisine to simple dishes from all over Latin America. A kaleidoscope of colors, salsa music, and playful decor this West Loop mainstay always makes for a memorable dining experience.
Rachael King, concierge at the InterContinental Chicago, suggests Intro, the innovative-yet casual, upscale Lincoln Park restaurant that showcases up-and-coming culinary talent from around the country to Chicago. Led by executive chef/partner Stephen Gillanders, the restaurant offers a delicious, versatile a la carte menu which evolves seasonally and is always available. Throughout the year, Intro welcomes visiting chefs who work in collaboration with Gillanders to create dishes for the a la carte menu as well as a separate tasting menu that is reflective of their own personal style.
Room with a View
Chef Bruce Sherman’s romantic, landmark restaurant North Pond is perfectly situated alongside a pond in a 1912 Arts & Crafts-style building in the heart of Lincoln Park (the actual park). Reside Living concierge Beth LaBrosse says her go-to restaurant for guests looking for a truly unique dining experience. Featuring dishes served at the height of seasonality, Sherman has patronized small farms and local markets for years to get the freshest ingredients possible. The room housing nine-foot French doors offers diners a bird’s-eye view of the pond and the park with the city skyline looming above the treetops. Needless to say, there’s not a bad seat in the house.
Approachable and Inviting
With a prime location across the street from Millennium Park, Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers concierge Suzanne Spring suggests bringing your VIP to Acanto where, she says, the “food is simple, yet every bite has a layer of flavor.” While located just a stone’s throw from some of the city’s most popular tourism destinations, expect to mingle with locals as this is a favorite of area condo dwellers—and for good reason. Get cozy in the beautifully appointed dining room and let the helpful staff guide you through the menu of handcrafted pastas, coastal seaside plates, stone oven pizzas, and charcuterie. Acanto also has an impressive range of hand-selected wines from all of Italy’s 20 wine regions in addition to craft Italian birra, and Italian-inspired cocktails.