Best eats in Chicago

October 1, 2005

Considered one of Chicago's top restaurants. This classic French cuisine is created by chef Gabino Sotelino, who uses the freshest ingredients.

Ambria

2300 N. Lincoln Park West • 773/472-5959

Considered one of Chicago's top restaurants. This classic French cuisine is created by chef Gabino Sotelino, who uses the freshest ingredients. Great service and an extensive wine list are offered. Open from Monday to Thursday, 6 to 9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 to 10:30 p.m.

200 N. Columbus Dr. • 312/444-9494

For a culinary adventure, visit Aria, one of the best new restaurants in Chicago. In this sleek and sophisticated atmosphere, choose from Chicago cuts, European cassoulets, and Asian curries. Try one of the international wines, one-of-a-kind sangrias, or martinis. Open daily from 6 to 11:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and 5 to 10 p.m. for dining.

Brasserie Jo

59 W. Hubbard St. • 312/595-9573

Catch 35

35 W. Wacker Drive • 312/346-3500

Beautiful dining experience with a daily menu offering of more than 30 fresh seafood specialties. Live entertainment in the grand piano lounge. Open Monday to Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Monday to Thursday, 5 to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 4 to 9 p.m.

The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant

1401 S. Michigan Ave. • 312/786-1401

Classic American cuisine in a newly restored 1905 firehouse. Lunch is available on Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dinner is served on Tuesday to Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 5 to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday, 5 to 9 p.m.

Geja's Café

340 W. Armitage Ave. • 773/281-9101

Fondue is king. Try the classic cheese fondue or entrée fondues, including shrimp, scallops, lobster, chicken, and beef. The flaming chocolate fondue caps off the meal. Open Monday to Thursday, 5 to 10:30 p.m., Friday, 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., Saturday, 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., and Sunday, 4:30 to 10 p.m.

Gene & Georgetti

500 N. Franklin St. • 312/527-3718

One of the city's oldest steakhouses features prime aged steaks, chops, chicken vesuvio, Italian dishes, and fresh seafood. Open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight.

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop

If you love chocolate, stop in for some premium selections and ice cream concoctions. Try the fresh-daily hot fudge sundae or hand-rolled waffle cones. Corporate and specialty gifts available. Open Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to midnight.