Though most trade shows hop from city to city, one of the unique features of CIROBE is that it has remained loyal to Chicago. As a result, long-time attendees have had the chance to build up a list of favorite eateries. Below, the results of an informal survey.
Marshall Smith, CIROBE cofounder: "Chicago ranks right up with New York in terms of eating cities. I tend to go to Naha [312-321-6242, 500 N. Clark St.], which serves American continental food, if there is such a thing. Another of my favorites is the contemporary American Cafe Absinthe [773-278-4488, 1954 W. North Ave.], which a lot of people don't know about because it's a little out of the way."
Brad Jonas, CIROBE co-founder: "My favorite of the fancy places would be Ambria [773-472-5959, 2300 N. Lincoln Park West], which is French, and North Pond [773-477-5845, 2610 N. Cannon Dr., inside Lincoln Park], which serves seasonal American food. Those are tremendous restaurants."
Chelsea Nash, CIROBE exhibits manager: "Sweet Maple Cafe [312-243-8908, 1339 W. Taylor St.] is a Southern comfort food breakfast place with heavenly biscuits and grits. Becco D'Oro [312-787-1300, 160 E. Huron St.] serves huge portions of Italian comfort food. It's not cheap, but you won't need to eat for the rest of the weekend. My favorite place for lunch near my office is Noodles Etc. [773-684-2801, 1333 E. 57th St.]. Their big noodle soup bowls are a great light lunch or dinner."
Ed Grossman, president, Marketing Resource: "Russian Tea Time [312-360-0000, 77 E. Adams St.] is moderately priced and they have lots of different vodkas, which is fun. The Berghoff Restaurant [312-427-3170, 17 W. Adams St.] is a fabulous place with outstanding German food."
Stina Forsell, president, Maximus Books: "No show goes by without my taking co-workers and customers to Wildfire [312-787-9000, 159 W. Erie] for a big roundtable sit down. The restaurant is modeled after a 1940s dinner club and we always have a great time."
Dean Winegardner, CEO and president, American Book Co.: "My favorites are the classic steakhouse Chicago Chop House [312-787-7100, 60 W. Ontario St.] and the Italian Tuscany Restaurant [312-829-1990, 1014 W. Taylor St.]."
Edward Bell, buyer, Powell's Books: "Prairie Restaurant [312-663-1143, 500 S. Dearborn St.] is right downtown. It's a good walk or a short cab ride, and I've had wonderful meals there with colleagues."
Steve Kelly, co-owner, After words: "I hate driving in cities and I'm too tight to take a cab, so usually I stick with what's within walking distance of the hotel. In the Printer's Row area, there's a Thai restaurant called Taste of Siam [312-939-1179, 600 S. Dearborn St.] and a neat coffeehouse called Gourmand [312-427-2610, 728 S. Dearborn St.] that's a wonderful place for a dessert afterwards or a quick breakfast."
Ed Devereux, owner, Unabridged Bookstore: "I love the Italian restaurant Francesca's [773-506-9261, 1039 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.]. Red Light [312-733-8880, 820 W. Randolph St.] is continental, although they have some pan-Asian things, too."
Robert Wilkie, general manager, The Texas Bookman: "Chicago is one of my favorite places in the world to eat. I like both the contemporary Italian Gioco [312-939-3870, 1312 S. Wabash St.] and the French Brasserie Jo [312-595-0800, 59 W. Hubbard St.], and the Chinese restaurant Moon Palace [312-225-4081, 216 W. Cermak Rd.] has the best hot and sour soup I've ever tasted."
Michael Galvin, inventory asset manager, AOL Time Warner Book Group: "I go to a fantastic seafood restaurant called Catch 35 [312-346-3500, 35 W. Wacker Dr.]. It's loud, but they change the menu often, and the staff there are great."
Ellen Greene, publishing consultant, attending CIROBE for Federal Street Press: "Carson's [312-280-9200, 612 N. Wells St.] in the downtown area, one of several Chicago locations, is a good rib place. They have crackers and chopped liver and cheese in the bar area, so that makes the wait a lot more pleasant."
Doug Wilcoxen, inventory manager, Univ. of California Press: "I would be the other side of the coin. My family's in Chicago, so I frequently dine with them."