Are you like me and you like to dine out, but that your eyes are way bigger than your wallet?
Fret no more. The Chicago Tribune has come to our rescue with news we can actually use today, rather than simply running more stories about Drew Peterson's new fiance and Jessica Simpson's weight gain. Side note: Chicago Tribune, please let People magazine do what it does best and you stick to the news.
As part of their on-going series, Recession Survival Guide, the Tribune has provided us with "Deals to suit your taste and budget" by restaurant critic Phil Vettel. Bon appetite!
One other great way to save money while dining out is to visit Restaurant.com and purchase their gift certificates. You can purchase a $25 gift certificate for just $10 and once you sign up with them (for free), you'll get emails offering awesome discounts. Not a week goes by that I don't receive some special from Restaurant.com where I can purchase $25 gift certificates for $6 or less. Check it out. There are tons of restaurants in all price ranges.
Deals to suit your taste and budget
By Phil Vettel, Tribune critic
January 29, 2009
What's your deal? Using this list, you can find restaurant discounts for every day of the week. But that's not how we organized them. We divided them by type, separating the beverage-based deals (half-price wines, no-corkage nights) from the burger discounts (on the cover), the multicourse fixed-price deals (you spend more, but you get more) from the limited-hours deals (happy hour, early bird, lunch). Will these deals help restaurants weather the financial storm? Only if enough people take advantage of them.
Adobo Grill (356 Yorktown Center, Lombard; 630-627-9990). "Economy Buster" menu (any three tacos, margarita, churros dessert) for $20 Sundays-Thursdays.
Angelina Ristorante (3561 N. Broadway; 773-935-5933). Three-course dinner (any appetizer, any entree, any dessert) for $27 on Tuesdays.
Bistro 110 (110 E. Pearson St.; 312-266-3110). "Family & Friends" dinner features chicken blanquette (chicken pot pie) and gateau Breton (traditional French cake) for $15 (large carafe of wine, $10); available Sundays-Mondays.
Chaise Lounge (1840 W. North Ave.; 773-342-1840). Two small plates plus entree for $25 on Tuesdays.
Chez Colette (Sofitel Chicago O'Hare, 5550 N. River Rd., Rosemont; 847-678-4488). Three-course dinner (soup/salad, entree, dessert) for $26; available Mondays-Sundays.
Duchamp (2118 N. Damen Ave.; 773-235-6434). Three-course dinner (any appetizer, any entree, dessert trio) for $25 on Tuesdays.
Feast (1616 N. Damen Ave.; 773-772-7100). Any two courses and glass of wine for $25 on Wednesdays.
Nacional 27 (325 W. Huron St.; 312-664-2727). Five-course tasting menu paired with wines for $45 on Wednesdays.
Park 52 (5201 S. Harper Ave.; 773-241-5200). The restaurant that displays a portrait of Michelle Obama (in the front bar area) offers an " Obama Prix-Fixe" menu, a four-course menu with wines, for $44. Available seven days.
Sola (3868 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-327-3868). Three-course menu for $30 (add wine pairings, $15); available Mondays-Wednesdays.
Zealous (419 W. Superior St.; 312-475-9112). Five-course tasting menu for $49; through Feb. 13.
Zocalo (358 W. Ontario St.; 312-302-9977). Three-course dinner for $25, Corona Light beer $3, on Tuesdays and Sundays.
C-House (Affinia Hotel, 166 E. Superior St.; 312-523-0923). From 4:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays in lobby bar, two pick-your-toppings seafood tacos and a beer are priced at $9.
Carlucci (1801 Butterfield Rd., Downers Grove; 630-512-0990). $2 appetizers in the bar, 4-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.
Pops For Champagne (601 N. State St.; 312-266-7677). Featuring 37 percent discount on all food items (except for caviar), 3-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.
312 Chicago (136 N. LaSalle St.; 312-696-2420). Three-course dinner $40, available Tuesdays-Sundays.
Boka (1729 N. Halsted St.; 312-337-6070). Three-course dinner $35, available 5-6:30 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays. Through February.
Cuatro (2030 S. Wabash Ave.; 312-842-8856). Three-course dinner $30; available 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays.
Lockwood ( Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St.; 312-917-3404). Three-course menu (choice in all courses) $38; available 5-7 p.m. daily.
Adelle's (1060 College Ave., Wheaton; 630-784-8015). No corkage fee Tuesdays, half-price wine bottles Wednesdays.
Birch River Grill (75 W. Algonquin Rd., Arlington Heights; 847-427-4242). Half-price bottles of wine, with purchase of entree, Saturdays.
D.O.C. Wine Bar (2602 N. Clark St.; 773-883-5101). Wine flights $10 Sundays; 20 wine bottles for $20 each on Mondays.
D.O.C Wine Bar (326 Yorktown Center Mall, Lombard; 630-627-6666). Wine flights half-price Sundays; wine bottles half-price Mondays; wine glasses half-price Tuesdays; specialty martinis half-price Wednesdays.
Duchamp (2118 N. Damen Ave.; 773-235-6434). Half-price off every bottle of wine Sundays.
Dunlay's on Clark (2600 N. Clark St.; 773-883-6000) and Dunlay's on the Square (3137 W. Logan Blvd.; 773-227-2400). Wine glasses half-price Mondays; 20 wine bottles $20 each Tuesdays; Stoli martinis $6 Thursdays.
Feast (1616 N. Damen Ave.; 773-772-7100). No corkage Sundays-Thursdays in February.
Frasca Pizzeria & Wine Bar (3358 N. Paulina St.; 773-248-5222). Wine bottles half-price Mondays; wine glasses $5 Tuesdays; martinis $6 Thursdays; $3 drafts Fridays.
Mexique (1529 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-850-0288). Half-price off every bottle of wine Tuesdays.
Shanghai Terrace (Peninsula Hotel, 108 E. Superior St.; 312-573-6744). No-corkage BYO on Tuesdays.
Tizi Melloul (531 N. Wells St.; 312-670-4338). Any wine bottle half-price with purchase of two entrees on Wednesdays.
Blackbird (619 W. Randolph St.; 312-715-0708). Three-course lunch includes salad, any sandwich and doughnuts to go, $15; available Mondays-Fridays.
Dine (733 W. Madison St.; 312-602-2100). Express lunch (in and out in 30 minutes) soup and half-sandwich, $7; soup, half-sandwich and salad, $9. Available Mondays-Fridays.
Farmerie 58 (58 E. Ontario St.; 312-440-1818). Two-course lunch, $18, three-courses, $22; Mondays-Saturdays.
Le Colonial (937 N. Rush St.; 312-255-0088). Two-course lunch menu (appetizer, main course, rice, coffee), $22.50; Mondays-Sundays.
Prairie Grass Cafe (601 N. Skokie Blvd., Northbrook; 847-205-4433). February lunch specials include Tallgrass beef sloppy joes, $12, Tuesdays; chili made with Tallgrass beef, $13.50, Wednesdays; meatloaf and mashed potatoes, $14.50, Fridays.
Zest (Inter-Continental Chicago, 505 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-321-8766). Soup and sandwich (choice of six sandwiches, four soups), $12; Mondays-Fridays.
. . . AND A FEW MORE
Everest (440 S. LaSalle St.; 312-663-8920). Luxury Town-car transportation to and from the restaurant, $15 per route (available within 15-mile radius of restaurant).
Pizzeria Via Stato (620 N. State St.; 312-337-6634). If snow is two inches or more downtown, all carryout orders receive a free pizza. Carryout only; lunch or dinner, Sundays-Thursdays.
Zapatista (1307 S. Wabash Ave.; 312-435-1307). "Muchos Tacos" (all you can eat), $13.99, and margaritas $5; Mondays.