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Petterino's: Loop-popular pre theater option
Last visit October 2013 before seeing "We Will Rock You", you can valet park and pick up your car after the show, valet parking was free if you check in before 1 pm, at least on Sunday for brunch
This was my 5th time visiting Petterino's, one of the closest and most popular restaurants in the theater district, less than a block from the Goodman and the Oriental Theaters. You can make reservations on Open Table. They asked us if we had tickets and to what show, they are very used to handling the pre theater crowd here and make sure that you get out on time.
Reservations are essential if a show is playing nearby, you will not likely to be able to get a table between 5:30pm and 8pm most nights. I've never been here when it wasn't extremely bus. Petterino's menu and atmosphere are appropriate for kids.
The restaurant is dimly lit, the walls covered with caricatures of famous Chicagoans and other restaurant visitors, seating in comfortable booths or at tables.
Favorite Dish: The menu is what I would call classic old school, lots of steaks, seafood and Italian, nothing terribly fancy. There is a pre theater prix fixe option, three courses for $29.95, make sure you add up the parts as some of the offerings on the prix fixe don't give you much savings. I ordered just an entree, the crab cakes, which were good and shared the calamari appetizer with someone and the tiramisu with someone else. The portions sizes aren't huge here like many other Chicago restaurants but I was plenty full when I left, just no leftovers.
Before a Sunday matinee in January 2012, I was a little disappointed to find that they only had a brunch menu until 2 pm. The menu was mostly breakfast food but there were a few options for lunch food. I ordered the crab cake eggs benedict which was pretty good, the best part of my meal was from the dessert cart that they roll around, a chocolate pots de creme.
Petterino's: Fancy Dining after a Show
Petterino's is an upscale restaurant, well situated to cater to patrons of the Goodman Theatre next door.
It's a very fancy place, operated by the "Lettuce Entertainment Group" (ie. "Lettuce" = "Let Us"). Prices are above average but not unreasonable.
Favorite Dish: My dinner compatriot had the Tomato Bisque Soup to start. I began with the Stuffed Mushrooms Caps. Both were delicious. We split the Chicken with Capers, and had a side order of Asparagus. They were very good too.
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This is a great place to go for lunch, but it also has a great dinner crowd. It is located in the Loop, in the Theater district, and is packed on show night. They serve a mean martini, but I usually have wine here. As always, I recommend sitting at the bar and chatting with the waiters.
Favorite Dish: I usually enjoy the Snapper Soup (Pictured). It is poured from a pitcher into your bowl, has chunks of yummy snapper, and is topped with a sherry spritzer. Delicious and nutricious! I also like the Caesar salad (you have to order your anchovies on the side, they are not standard here). This place is know for its steaks, pasta and daily specials - similar to an Italian steakhouse. I also enjoy the homemade chocolate pudding, served warm, or the apple pie desert, with caramel, ice-cream, and whipped cream (on the side). Mr. Petterino is a Chicago restaurant icon ( I ran into him at PJ Clarke's, another fine establishment). Pictured is the Snapper soup and a fine glass of Red Zinfindel.
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