Welcome to the second issue of Colen's Corner, an online dining guide for the traveling connoisseur. 

In this issue we look at some of the finer restaurants in the Chicago, IL area.


Topolobampo: 445 N. Clark St.  (bet. Hubbard & Illinois Sts.) Chicago, IL  (312) 661-1434    (Mexican)

Rick Bayless' ultimate creation. This is one of the restaurants in the United States (let alone Chicago) that can't be missed. The menu (Mexican Flavor) changes every two weeks, and the combination of ingredients and personal pizazz make this a culinary nirvana.   Colen's Corner Rating:  4 1/2****


Spiaggia: 980 N. Michigan Ave. 2nd fl. (@ Oak St.) Chicago, IL (312) 280-2750    (Italian)

I don't often start reviews with references to ambience, but you can't help but be taken in by this restaurant's romantic flare and picturesque windows that overlook Michigan Ave. and Lake Michigan.  When you combine that with impeccable service and chef Paul Bartolotta's extraordinary dishes, you have (simply put) "the best Italian dining experience in Chicago." If by some chance you can't find anything on the menu to satisfy your hunger, don't hesitate to ask for your favorite dish.  Colen's Corner Rating:  4 1/2****


Gino's East: 160 E. Superior St. (1/2 block east of Michigan Ave.) Chicago, IL (312) 943-1124   (Pizza)

If you like "Deep Dish" pizza combined with a cornmeal crust this is your place.. A lot of tradition at Gino's East as demonstrated by all the B/W glossy photos and the graffiti from  it's millions of patrons. Not sure why they are moving though... You can get into fist fights in Chicago over who reigns supreme when it comes to Pizza. So far, I haven't knocked any body out, but I'll always defend my choice.   Colen's Corner Rating:  3***   


Phoenix Restaurant: 2131 S. Archer Ave. (Wentworth Ave.) Chicago, IL  (312) 328-0848    (Chinese) 

In the heart of Chinatown. Dim Sum is served daily. Make sure to go early on weekends and order the surprisingly refreshing Mai Tai in the 1st floor bar. Excellent  Chinese dishes prepared in traditional style. A great menu and very good service make this one of the best Chinese Restaurants in the city.    Colen's Corner Rating:  3 *** 


Shaw's Crab House: 21 E. Hubbard St. (1/2 block E. of State St.) Chicago, IL (312) 527-2772   (Seafood)

Excellent fish, an awesome lobster club sandwich, and great crab cakes are just some of the deliciously fresh seafood servings at this Chicago hotspot... What's even more delectable is the "happening" raw bar in the lounge.   Colen's Corner Rating:  3 1/2***    


Eli's: 215 Chicago Ave. (2 blocks E. of Michigan Ave.) Chicago, IL (312) 642-1393  (Steakhouse)


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