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The Chicago Traveler

Backstage Bistro

by Matt B on June 26th, 2007

Today’s tip is tucked away behind the famous Chicago Theatre, which is why it’s called the Backstage Bistro. An extension of the Illinois Institute of Art’s culinary department (and around the corner from America’s Dog), the Backstage Bistro is a 40-seat restaurant that is only open for lunch and dinner, during school sessions. Everything is prepared by culinary students, hard at work on the other side of a glass wall that looks into the kitchen. Students also operate the front end of the restaurant. The servers are incredibly friendly, albeit a bit nervous, but they really are dedicated to keeping their customers happy. After all, their grade relies on it!

The atmosphere is pleasant and quiet, letting the students test their skills in the real world. Since they’re still learning (though you wouldn’t know it from the excellent quality of the entrees), prices are kept reasonable, so it’s a win-win situation for the chefs-in-training and diners. It’s no surprise that this place can fill up pretty quickly during its short hours, so you might want to call ahead of time and place reservations.

The menu changes quarterly, so you won’t get bored if you can go back often. And so far, all the food has been excellent. If you’re looking for fine dining at relatively affordable prices, this is definitely the place to be.

Backstage Bistro ($$$): 180 N Wabash Ave; 312-475-6920
Mon - Fri: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (lunch)
Weds - Fri: 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (dinner)
Pay lot available
Public trans: Bus # 2, 6, 10, 29, 36, 62, 144, 145, 146, 148 or Orange/Purple/Pink/Green/Brown Line train (Randolph) or Red Line train (Lake) or Metra (Randolph)

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POSTED IN: Restaurants

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