Chicago is definitely getting much better in that alot of non-Cantonese food is starting to open and many of the buildouts are starting to look like they have mainland money.
On Cam-the-Chow-Offspring’s suggestion, Minghin, in the Loop. Way better than I expected in such a “gringo” setting.
OK. Not as shocking as it might initially seem. Minghin is a fairly decent dim sum restaurant based in Chicago Chinatown, and good authentic Chinese food in downtown financial district corridors is not unheard of as (1) non-Chinese diners in big cities become more sophisticated and (2) Chinese Americans have a greater presence in these downtown locales. Best example is downtown San Francisco with excellent venues like Yank Sing, Hakkasan and M.Y. China, supported by a good mixture of Chinese and non-Chinese clientele. There’s also Hakkasan, Da Dong, La Chine and a few others in Midtown Manhattan. Not as apparent in Los Angeles, though Li Orient unsuccessfully had tried serving authentic Chinese breakfast and Sichuan food, and Peking Tavern is still around.
Brad Johnson’s OC Register review…not as scathing as I was thinking, but well in line with what others have said.