a nice restaurant in the Hyde Park area for "adult" budget dinner

<p>I am visiting visiting Chicago. I would like to take my son out to dinner in the hyde park area. Not necessarily a five star restaurant, but better than "student budget" sort of places. Like, dinner entres in a $20-40 range. I would like a quiet place where we can have a conversation without having to shout to be heard.</p>

<p>Any suggestions?</p>

<p>La Petite Folie and Park 52 are your best (and probably only) options in this price range in HP.</p>

<p>Go elsewhere. Chicago has great restaurants in a variety of price ranges, but not in Hyde Park. Adjust your budget to accommodate a cab, or take the bus or the El together.</p>

<p>I've never tried La Petite Folie, but I've never heard anyone say that I had missed anything because of that. I have tried Park 52 and . . . no. I think there is also some semi-pricey Italian restaurant in HP, too, but no one has ever recommended it. It is years since my kids asked to be taken out to eat in HP, except for meals-on-the-fly at the Medici, Valois, or Rajun Cajun.</p>

<p>The best meal I've had in Chicago in that price range/restaurant type (actually a little below the price range) was at Lula Cafe in Logan Square. Somewhat out-of-the-way, but half a block from a Blue Line stop. Others in my family have really liked The Girl And The Goat (but so does everyone else, so reservations may be a little tough) and Aria, which is right in the Loop.</p>

<p>I know of no other major university with such uninspiring local fine dining resources. They take that "life of the mind" stuff too seriously, sometimes. (EDIT: Needs appropriate qualifier if Dartmouth is considered a "major university".)</p>

<p>La Petite Folie is a fine choice if you really want to stay close. I always describe it as French food like you'd make at home if you really like French food. It's owned by U of C grads. I haven't been to Park 52.</p>

<p>Agreed with JHS. What you're looking for is not in Hyde Park.</p>

<p>That's not to say that there aren't nice places in Hyde Park, though. Something that hasn't been mentioned yet: Leona's on 53rd. Hands down the best place I've eaten in Hyde Park, and I didn't even know of it until my 4th year (surprisingly, not many people seem to be aware of it here). However, it certainly doesn't have the quiet atmosphere like you seem to be searching for.</p>

<p>If you like Lula, Nightwood (Pilsen) is owned by the same people. We have reservations for graduation weekend.</p>

<p>Thanks, runnersmom. We're all reserved-up for commencement, but I would love to try Nightwood sometime. (Reading the Nightwood reviews . . . I had no idea that Lula Cafe had an actual cult, but apparently it does.)</p>

<p>I also note that the Michelin guide puts La Petite Folie in the same class with Lula, Nightwood, The Girl and the Goat, and Frontera Grill (among others). That's a pretty good class.</p>

<p>JHS is absolutely right!!! We ended up eating at Park 52 because of convenience. What an overrated dump that was!!!</p>

<p>never again.</p>

<p>Due to an 8 hour delay out of LaGuardia on the Thursday before Commencement we had to cancel our Nightwood reservation. They couldn't have been nicer as we first pushed it back, and then cancelled when it was obvious we wouldn't get there since we were still sitting on the runway in NY at 8pm. However, I stayed in Hyde Park for a few days to help my D move out of her apartment and we went to Nightwood on Monday. It's about a 15 minute drive from HP, even in rush hour traffic, and it was so worth it. The restaurant, and the food were wonderful and if I am ever back in Chicago I will definitely return. The vibe is a little more upscale than Lula, but the food is exceptional and the menu really interesting. It's not inexpensive, but I thought it was well worth it, and better than many NY places that charge even more.</p>

<p>Anyone who happens to read this thread in the future should be aware that objectiveperson's post is sarcastic (and is one of a series of similarly sarcastic posts he or she has made in the past few days). While Harold's Chicken Shack is indeed fantastic, it is not a quiet, better-than-student-budget sort of place for a special meal with your parents.</p>