Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Fine dining at discount rates in Chicago this week

Chicago Restaurant Week is back for its second year – with triple the amount of participating restaurants.

The event, organized by the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, starts today and runs through Feb. 27.

During this week, more than 130 Chicago restaurants will offer “prix-fixe” meals for lunch and dinner. Three-course meals will cost $22 for lunch and $32 for dinner, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity.

The collection of restaurants includes everything from Indian to Greek to seafood.

Quartino , 626 N. State St., is taking part in Chicago Restaurant Week for the first time.

“We actually were interested in doing it last year,” said Matt Graham, general manager at Quartino. “We found out about it too late. Once we knew about it, we definitely wanted to be a part of it.”

Quartino, “where wine is cheaper than water,” has an extensive menu and wine selection, Graham said. The restaurant is group-friendly, he added, citing the locale’s large space as well as its menu, with items that are easily shared.

“It’s an exciting restaurant,” Graham said. “There’s good energy. It’s fun and casual.”

Chicago Restaurant Week allows tourists and Chicagoans to sample pricier menu items at reduced costs. Restaurant-goers would probably save about $5 with the lunch option, Graham said. For dinner, people would save much more, depending on the plates chosen.

Nick’s Fishmarket, 51 S. Clark St., participated in the event’s inaugural year. Because of last year’s high turnout, the restaurant is taking part again, Chad Moncher, general manager, said.

One of the more expensive entrée options, the mahi-mahi, is usually $36. With Restaurant Week prices, diners will get an additional two courses and save about $20, Moncher said.

Restaurants also have an incentive to partake in the week. As businesses increasingly face economic woes, Chicago Restaurant Week offers a chance for increased marketing and sales. Last year, many restaurants saw their profits rise during the event.

“It was huge,” Moncher said. “It was beyond our wildest dreams how busy it was.”

A list of participating restaurants and reservations is available on the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau’s Web site: www.choosechicago.com/eatitup.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Fine dining at discount rates in Chicago this week