Subject: Re: Chicago in October
Hi Lucy,

Both Lisa and Jonathan gave you excellent suggestions for the area around your B& B. The whole Wicker Park neighborhood is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to restaurant choices. Here are some recommendations to cover a lot of different tastes. More information about these places, with additional reviews, can be found at the Metromix site:

A Tavola, 2148 W. Chicago Outstanding Italian food, in a very comfortable, old house, which the chef lovingly converted into his restaurant/cooking school. I agree with the others that this is the best Italian in the area, and a great place to carbo-load if necessary. The chef's gnocchi are legendary. Moderate to expensive.

Le Bouchon, 1958 N. Damen Very authentic French bistro (or bouchon) comfort food. The chef is from Paris, yet has managed to create a quaint, informal, country inn type of restaurant. It is very small and crowded, so a reservation is almost always necessary. I love the food here. Inexpensive to moderate.

Cafe Matou, 1846 N. Milwaukee As Jonathan described--- underappreciated, well-prepared French food, and better than you expect for less money than you expect. (I still prefer Le Bouchon, however.)

Piece, 1927 W. North Ave. This is supposed to be a transplanted New Haven, Connecticut pizza joint. It is quite a hip place, ever since some MTV special was filmed here. Pizza is pretty good (New Haven style.) Inexpensive.

Mirai, 2020 Division Some of the best sushi in the city. Very expensive.

Jane's, 1655 W. Cortland A very unique bar and diner, that serves outstanding food. It is a hidden neighborhood gem. They strive to be an organic health-food type of place, but you'd never know it, the food is so tasty. It's almost like an old corner diner, but very, very popular, so you often will wait for a table. Inexpensive.

Cafe LaGuardia, 2111 W. Armitage Hip Cuban, (but I guess that's a tautology.) Don't be put off by the faux tiger-skinned walls. The food is quite good, especially the sandwiches, soups, and their occasional special, paella. Inexpensive

Meritage Cafe & Wine Bar, 2118 N. Damen Ooops, I've never been here, but since you said you like wine-tasting . . .

Breakfasts Bongo Room, 1470 N. Milwaukee Another hip hangout for the young neighborhood artistes, also with an MTV feel to it. Food is pretty good though.

Flo's, 1434 W. Chicago This is excellent Southwestern style cooking, and even though they make wonderful dinners, I prefer their New Mexican breakfasts and lunch stews (e.g. posole.) Inexpensive.

Leo's Lunchroom, 1809 W. Division A dumpy, very old-style diner. Very good food, pretty bad service-- which is part of the charm and experience. Inexpensive.

Asian Luc Thang, 1524 N. Ashland This is my favorite pan-asian restaurant in the whole city. It is a dive, but a very clean dive, with outstanding food. You will not go wrong ordering any of the appetizers, but especially the Vietnamese pancake. I also love the pad eggplant and pork chowmein. The place is always full of cops eating enormous plates of grilled pork chops and spicy shrimp! Downright cheap.

Hi Ricky, 1852 W. North Even though this place is part of a local chain, it's certainly serviceable as a fast-food asian diner. Dishes are always freshly prepared and very tasty. Inexpensive.

Enough, Joel, obviously in Chicago