December 6, 2012
"The Book of Mormon" opens next week in the Bank of America Theatre, drawing a couple of thousand people each day (except Monday) to the Loop.
Quite a few of them will arrive hungry. Add in the multitudes with tickets for other Loop theater performances, and that's a lot of mouths to feed. Here are some of the close-by options.
Grillroom Chophouse & Wine Bar. "We can't wait for 'Book of Mormon' to open," one waitress told me, and I don't doubt it. The restaurant, a reliable American with steaks, chops and comfort-food dishes (quite a few mac-and-cheese iterations on the menu), sits across the street from the Bank of America Theatre. Not only will this place be packed pre- and post-performance, one can hop over during intermission for a better glass of wine than the theater will offer. 33 W. Monroe St., 312-960-0000.
Atwood Cafe. Not as close as most of the others on this list, but I really like Derek Simcik's food, which veers from the usual suspects to include such items as lamb carpaccio, pheasant-ricotta crepes and sauteed mackerel with red curry sauce. 1 W. Washington St., 312-368-1900.
The Gage. A bustling American brasserie on Michigan Avenue, The Gage is a fine place for a quick bite or more substantial fare. It's a noisy place; for quieter, more refined fare, go next door to sister property Henri (18 S. Michigan Ave., 312-578-0763). 24 S. Michigan Ave., 312-372-4243.
Italian Village. The three Italian restaurants that make up this property — the sophisticated Vivere, the grottolike Village, the wine-centric La Cantina Enoteca — are adjusting their service hours to be sure no "Book of Mormon" ticket holder need go unfed, whether before or after the show. Factor in the half-block proximity and the $10 valet parking (dinner guests may retrieve their cars after the show), and this could be the best value around. 71 W. Monroe St., 312-332-4040.
Miller's Pub. A Loop mainstay, if not legend, Miller's Pub offers a something-for-everyone American menu that includes ribs, steaks, prime rib, burgers, sandwiches and plenty more. The kitchen is open until 2 a.m. for post-theater dining (the bar goes until 4 a.m.). And the old-school atmosphere, including hundreds of celebrity head shots festooning the walls, is worth a visit on its own. 134 S. Wabash Ave., 312-263-4988.
The Florentine. A sleek and sophisticated Italian eatery inside the JW Marriott Chicago hotel. Grab some antipasti or a pizza at the bar, or spend some time with Chris Macchia's full menu. 151 W. Adams St., 312-660-8866.
Tesori. The very pretty restaurant (formerly Rhapsody) inside Symphony Center offers a sophisticated Italian menu that's full of lighter options, in consideration of all the Chicago Symphony patrons it serves. Lighter still is the lounge menu, ideal for a quick bite and a good drink. 65 E. Adams St., 312-786-9911.
Everest. Four-star dining with 40th-floor views of the city. The three-course, $54 pre-theater menu (available 5:30 p.m. weekdays, 5 and 5:30 p.m. Saturdays) is a bargain at this culinary level. Indoor valet parking is complimentary, and patrons may retrieve their cars after the performance. 440 S. LaSalle St., 312-663-8920.
Watch Phil Vettel's reviews weekends on WGN-Ch. 9's "News at Nine" and on CLTV.
Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC