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Photograph: Anjali M. PInto
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It’s 6pm Saturday, we’re going to a play that starts at 8pm and we’re in the middle of an assholes-to-elbows crowd at this theater-district restaurant. A 90-minute wait for a table? Hell, no—we’ll sit at the bright, window-filled bar, where we can order from the full menu and ask the busy bartenders to keep the sidecars coming. We’ll skip right to the main course: The steak au poivre, a 12-ounce New York strip, is ridiculously tender and even better topped with caramelized onions. With service this fast, we have plenty of time to linger over one of the baked-in-house desserts and still catch the show.

Venue name: Petterino’s
Address: 150 N Dearborn St

Cross street: at Randolph St
Opening hours: Lunch (closed Sun), dinner
Transport: El stop: Blue, Brown, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple (rush hrs) to Clark/Lake; Red to Lake.
Price: Average main course: $20
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