Dine Like a Local in Chicago During the Annual Meeting

Apr 20, 2016

Chicago-based ASCO members “dish” on fantastic places to enjoy drinks or a meal with friends while you attend the 2016 Annual Meeting.

What’s Your Favorite Chicago Restaurant?

Blase N. Polite, MD, MPP: “This is like asking, ‘Who’s your favorite child?’ An area of the city called Fulton Market (Randolph and Halsted) has an amazing variety of restaurants. Blackbird is probably my favorite cannot-miss meal in the city. It has been at the top of its game for many years. The same owners have a much more laid-back café, avec, where you sit at shared tables and sample some incredible homemade sausages and cheeses. Also in that area is Publican, a meat-lover’s dream, and Girl and the Goat. If you head about 4 to 5 blocks south on Halsted Street, you end up in Chicago’s Greektown, which is one of the best in the country. Greek Islands is probably the jewel, a great place for fresh fish and a very festive atmosphere. A bit further south is Pegasus, which has a wonderful rooftop serving Greek tapas with a direct view of the Willis Tower (still called Sears Tower by most of us). If it is a nice night, this is a great place to hang out. A bit further north on Halsted is a great Italian restaurant with a beautiful outdoor patio, Piccolo Sogno.

“You also have to try some Chicago classics that are not quite as high-brow. Have an Italian beef at Al’s Italian Beef—get the bun dipped in the juice and (for those who like a bit of spice) giardiniera peppers. For those with a good sense of humor who are not easily offended, make a late night visit (after you have heard some blues at Kingston Mines) to The Wieners Circle [for hot dogs]. I suggest you look at some YouTube videos before going so you know what you are in for.”

Michael Fisch, MD, MPH: “Longman and Eagle, a whiskey bar with great food. I love the bone marrow appetizer there. Easy to get there, as it is not far from the Blue Line on the subway on the way into town or back towards the airport. Piece Brewery and Pizzeria is a pretty good standby for pizza in Wicker Park, although the wait time can be long.”

Susan L. Cohn, MD: “My brother-in-law, who goes out much more than me, said, ‘My hidden favorite is Sun Wah BBQ, where the Peking duck is a wonderful delight, but it’s not on the menu. You need to call Sun Wah a day ahead of time and make a reservation with your Peking duck request to get the duck dinner, which serves two to three. Sun Wah serves 300+ ducks a day, so it isn’t all that secret.

“‘For very popular crowd-pleasers, I would add Lou Malnati’s (deep dish pizza; many locations) and the Brazilian steak houses: Fogo de Chão and Texas de Brazil.’”

Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MBBS, FACP, FASCO: “La Petite Folie of Hyde Park”— classic, seasonal French cuisine

Where’s A Great Place To Gather With Colleagues After The Day’s Sessions Are Complete?

BNP: “The bar at the Langham Hotel has beautiful views and is much quieter than most hotel bars.”

MF: “Try Bangers and Lace—lots of craft beers, might be a little loud and ‘trendy.’ I heard about this, but haven’t been there yet.”

OIO: “Rush Street”—Find numerous options for drinks and dining along this thoroughfare, conveniently located near Michigan Avenue.

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