Subject: RE: Chicago restaurants
As a native Chicagoan, and now transplanted Richmonder, let me make one suggestion to complement those previously passed on:

Rent a car and drive north on Lake Shore Drive. As the Drive ends, keep to your right and continue onto Sheridan Road. Continue north through the not much to see area of Rogers Park, though there are lots of ethnic restaurants on Devon Ave near Loyola University. (N.b., As you pass Loyola University, which will be on your right, keep to your right, otherwise you may end up on Devon Avenue, which breaks off of Sheridan and heads West. Continue north to Evanston, past lovely Northwesten University, consider a stop at Bahai Temple, continue north through the gorgeous suburbs of Wilmette, Winnetka, Lake Forest, etc, until you get to Highwood. Half dozen excellent restaurants in this way-north suburb.

Restaurants? I recommend Froggy's.

Or you could interrupt your drive north at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. As you pass through the northern suburbs, watch for Lake Shore Country you round the country club, Sheridan Road splits into Lake/Cook Road ....follow Lake Cook ....the Gardens will be on your left. After the gardens, head back to Sheridan Road, go north again...soon you'll be in Highwood for dinner.

Map to the gardens?

After dinner, you can take the Edens Expressway back to Chicago. Not only is it faster, but you'll get a gorgeous night-time view of the city that you can't get anywhere else.

Just lunch? As you are driving along Sheridan Road in Wilmette, watch for Plaza del Lago, my childhood haunt. There you'll find two fabulous Italian restaurants amid upscale shops like Crate &Barrel. (Which wasn't so upscale when I was a boy!) Convito Italiano is great for lunch.

Above all, do the drive north on Sheridan Road.The coloring will be magnificent.

If a car is out of the question. Ride the L up to Evanston and walk around the NU campus. Then eat at one of Evanston's many excellent restaurants. Blind Faith Cafe is legendary for vegetarians, Roxy Cafe has wonderful dishes, and there's always Puccini's cafe for desert ...where the NU music students serenade you with impromptu opera arias. There will probably be a football game at the stadium...and certainly several cultural events. They have world-renowned theatre and music departments.

NU's calendar of events?

I suppose I should stop now.