Bandera (Magnificent Mile & the
Gold Coast, $$$, p. 123)
Mike Ditka's Restaurant (Magnif-
icent Mile & the Gold Coast, $$$,
Ann Sather (Wrigleyville & the
North Side, $, p. 149)
(River North, $,
2 THE LOOP
Chicago's business po wer center isn 't exactly attuned to family dining—what y ou'll find
here are corporate types on expense accounts. (B ecause of the ar ea's business orientation,
keep in mind that some of the do wntown eateries ar e closed on S un.) But in case y ou're
going for a par ents'-night-out blowout meal, or looking for sandwiches for the kids after
spending the day touring the Loop's many attractions, I've got you covered in this section.
The good news: Just west of the Loop, Little Italy offers inexpensive ethnic dining.
Atwood C afe ECLECTIC Colorful and offbeat, this stylish eater y in the H otel
Burnham provides enough fun for kids, and enough sophistication for adults, all while
serving up a fr esh take on American comfor t food. Tuck your family into a cozy ban-
quette in one of the room's nooks and crannies, and take in the bustle of State Street from
the comfort of your own table. Executive chef Heather Terhune plays around with global
influences (most notably Asian and S outhwestern) in appetiz ers such as calamari with
graham cracker coating; ahi tuna and salmon tar tar; and warm pistachio-cr usted goat-
cheese salad with r oasted beets, honey, and orange z est vinaigrette. Recent entree selec-
tions included maple-grilled pork chops with three-cheese macaroni; braised lamb shank
with lemon z est-mint pesto; and spinach tagliatelle with bacon, peas, and shrimp in a
garlic cream sauce. In the winter, try one of the signatur e potpies. Adults won't want to
miss the mussels in a garlicky tomato sauce with cr usty, grilled homemade br ead. Ter-
hune began as a pastry chef, so desserts are a highlight on Atwood Cafe's menu. Seasonal
fruit is the basis for cobblers, trifles, and pies. Kids will lo ve the decadent banana and
white chocolate bread pudding—if they manage to sav e room for dessert.
1 W. Washington St. (at Stat e St.). & 312/368-1900. w ww.atwoodcafe.com. K ids' menu , highchairs ,
boosters. Reservations recommended. Main courses $18-$26; kids' menu $10. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Mon-
Fri 7-10am; Sat 8-10am; Sun 8am-3pm; M on-Sat 11:30am-3:45pm; Sun- Thurs 4:30-10pm; F ri-Sat
5-11pm. Subway/El: Red Line to Washington/State.
Park Grill AMERICAN Location, location, location—it 's what sets P ark G rill
apart from all the other upscale comfor t-food restaurants in town. Set in the middle of
Millennium Park, along Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street, Park Grill makes a great
stop after y our family's late-afternoon str oll or befor e a summer concer t at the P ritzker
Music Pavilion (this is a popular pr eshow dinner spot, so definitely make a r eservation).
The dining room is simple but welcoming, with floor-to-ceiling windows along one wall
that look out onto the Michigan Avenue skyline (you won't, alas, get a view of the park).
Your kids should find plenty to like on the menu, which highlights American fav orites,
some prepared simply (pot r oast, rotisserie chicken, pork chops), and others featuring a