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Dining to music - LM Bistro starts new series and Sullivan's offers piano bar

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Downtown Chicago is already a fabulous place to enjoy food and entertainment. And now there’s a new restaurant venue – LM Bistro, 111 W. Huron in River North, starts live music this week on Fridays and Saturdays. Their casual-but-elegant dining room looks like a perfect spot to enjoy some tunes with your meal. Veteran Chicago-based and international award-winning music and comedy act Amy & Freddy open the series on Friday, September 20, followed by jazz singer/musician combo Nan Mason and Terry Higgins on Saturday, September 21.

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The music starts at 8 pm each evening and goes ‘til 11 pm. Check the the LM Bistro website for the full schedule.

LM Bistro offers casual excellent-food-but-not-outrageous-prices ambiance, sophisticated cuisine with a French accent, and authentic Euro-style dining. I was delighted to find gems like escargot to start and classics like coq au vin ($22), bouillabaisse ($25), and boeuf bourguignon ($25) for the main event! Reading the ingredients for the Lyonnaise appetizer ($9) sets my mouth to watering - frisee, bacon, potato, mustard vinaigrette, fried egg. Num! I want it for breakfast.

The place is open for breakfast and lunch every weekday starting at 6 am. Weekends they’re open for brunch from 6 to 2:30, drinks and bites from 2:20, then dinner at 5 every night. There’s a cozy patio, and private dining options are available.

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Another favorite of mine is Sullivan’s Steakhouse, 415 N. Dearborn. It’s a great place to enjoy a thick, delicious steak and some of their sinfully rich horseradish mashed potatoes. The ambiance of the place reminds me of the days of three-martini lunches and the Rat Pack crooning away for us. Sit in the old-fashioned piano bar and listen to talented musicians of all ages while you enjoy a steak-and-potatoes escape from new wave cuisine.

You can order from the full menu in the piano bar, or go sit in the quietly elegant dining room. Start with crab cakes, shrimp cocktail and more. Check out these seasonal specials: heirloom tomato and buffalo mozzarella, sweet baby lobster tail scampi, and chilled seafood sampler. Yikes, I shouldn’t be writing this at my dinner time… Open for dinner only starting at 5 Monday through Saturday and 4:30 on Sunday. Find out more on Sullivan’s Chicago website.

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