Carmine's - Chicago
At this bustling Rush Street branch of the highly popular Rosebud Restaurants empire, you can sample all of the Italian eateries' signature items, including chicken Vesuvio, hand-rolled eight-finger ricotta cavatelli and "Square Noodles." Other possibilities include chopped salad, risotto, baked clams, steaks and a 2-pound lobster tail. The huge portions mean that everybody leaves with a doggie bag.
This location, a prime see-and-be-seen spot, offers seating on two floors — conversation-friendly dining upstairs and live entertainment, Mondays through Saturdays, on the lower level. Find a seat at the bar for the best view of the performers.