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  • The Chopping Blog

What’s For Dinner?

Kate A
Posted by Kate A on Mar 23, 2023


It’s an age-old important question: what’s for dinner? Maybe you’re only feeding yourself, or maybe you’ve got a roommate, partner, or kids to consider when making your decision. Most nights I cook a meal, or rearrange leftovers to trick myself into thinking it’s an entirely new meal, but a few times per month, I do treat myself to a meal out. Whether I have guests visiting, a date night with my husband, or my monthly dinner club with my friends, I want my dining experience to be worth it. When I plan vacations, I admittedly plan them around food, or at least have all the places I want to try mapped out before we even leave!

I do quite a bit of reading (Eater, Thrillist, Time Out, and Conde Nast) and research before trying a new restaurant, and I also have a list of trusted spots that never disappoint. I’ve found that my multitude of restaurant lists always come in handy when I get a weekly text or email from friends looking for restaurant suggestions. So, since we’re all amongst friends here, I thought I’d save you the trouble of doing all that research and provide five suggestions of restaurants to try when eating your way through Chicago. You might need to make a reservation a few weeks in advance, so plan accordingly!

Humboldt Park

Segnatore (1001 N California Ave)

Segnatore is an Italian restaurant that takes influence from Midwest ingredients. All of the pastas and breads are made in-house. I recently went with my mom, while she was visiting, and we especially enjoyed the Scamorza Stuffed Meatballs, Celery and Apple Salad, and the Capellini with Black Kale Pesto. I’m looking forward to going back to try their fried chicken and brunch so I can check out their stuffed French toast!


Lincoln Square

The Warbler (4535 N. Lincoln Ave)

The Warbler is one of my favorite go-to spots for a great meal. It never disappoints! Plus, there’s a big bonus.. it’s just 2 blocks from The Chopping Block! The Warbler has a fantastic cocktail list which makes cozying up to the bar a great option too. My favorite way to enjoy the Warbler is to go early with our Executive Chef and my friend, Lisa Counts, for Supper Club which is available Monday-Friday 430pm-6pm. For $27/person, you get a five course meal! I love that they update their menu every few months too, so it never gets old. My favorites on the menu are the Crispy Cauliflower, the Butternut Squash Falafel, the flatbreads, Charred Broccoli, the Fusilli, and Creamy Burrata Salad, but let’s be real… the true reason I go to the Warbler is for the Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie! Kids (9 and under) eat free for Supper Club, so ditch the office a little early and snag a table at the Warbler.

pizza-2falafel-1Bonus: Once you enjoy Warbler, be sure and check out their sister restaurant, Gather, next door. Gather is a great choice on Sundays when they have a fabulous brunch, and a dinner special that involves fried chicken – I’ll say no more!


Etta (1840 W. North Ave)

Etta has a wood-fired hearth and brick oven that impart some delicious charred and smoky notes into the food on the menu. Etta is a great choice if you’re not sure what everyone likes because I find that there’s always something for everyone – from the brick oven pizzas, to the heartier meats, to the pastas and vegetables, you won’t be disappointed. The Bubbling Shrimp, Saffron Orecchiette, Charred Broccoli, and Marinated Golden Beets are at the top of my list for dishes to try when you visit.

shrimp-2plated food

golden beets

West Loop

El Che (845 W Washington Blvd)

The West Loop is full of great restaurant options, but it’s probably my least favorite area to visit due to the parking (or lack thereof) situation, but El Che makes it worth it! El Che is a steakhouse, but not in the traditional sense of a Chicago steakhouse. It has Argentinian influences and live open-fire cooking on a 12 foot grill which is absolutely mesmerizing to watch! Among the Items not to miss are the Empanadas – try both the Italian Beef and the Truffle Fugazza, the Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Vinegar Caramel and Chimichurri, the Agnolotti with mushrooms, ricotta and truffle cream, and the Bone-In Ribeye. Make sure to check out the dessert menu too!

chimichurribone in ribeyeempanadasgrill

The Loop

Cindy’s (12 S. Michigan Ave)

Cindy’s is my top choice for the best restaurant view in Chicago. I feel like everyone needs a restaurant with a view in their back pocket. Whether you have visitors in town, are looking to celebrate something, or just want to enjoy a beautiful day, a restaurant with a view checks all the boxes! Cindy’s is in the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel - it can get really busy so you’ll want to plan ahead and make sure that you get a window seat – you’ve got lots of people watching to do as you look out over the Bean and Lake Michigan. The Chicken Katsu Sandwich and “Not So Secret” Secret Burger are classic staples done really well. I also love the Chopped Salad – the lemon yogurt dressing is delicious!

burger and friessandwich and friesI hope this list has given you some new places in Chicago to try, but whether you live in Chicago or are visiting, I hope that The Chopping Block is at the very top of your list! We’ve got some fantastic classes coming up and would love to cook with you. Plus, we take care of the cleaning, so you get all the perks of dining out with the fun of learning to make the meal yourself. Check out my favorite classes coming up in the next few weeks:

See our class calendar


Topics: restaurants, restaurant, chicago, Travel

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