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Photograph: Martha Williams
Saffron rice on the Topolobampo Mexico City 1671 menu.
River North
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Topolobampo ("Topolo" for short) is the most sophisticated and upscale of Rick Bayless's restaurants, and the one most frequented by President Obama and his family. (What, you thought they were eating tacos next door at Frontera?) As with all of Bayless's restaurants, the products used here are local and seasonal. So whether you're eating from the marisquera (sustainable seafood bar) or choosing one of the platillos fuertes (usually a protein—hen, lamb, lobster—dressed in a complex, chili-based sauce), you know you're eating the best the season has to offer. An ever-changing menu means it's hard to predict exactly what will be on offer day to day—but because Bayless is involved, it never really feels like a gamble.

Venue name: Topolobampo
Address: 445 N Clark St

Cross street: between Hubbard and Illinois Sts
Opening hours: Lunch (Tue–Fri), dinner (Tue–Sat) (closed Sun, Mon)
Transport: El stop:Brown,Purple(rush hrs) to Merchandise Mart;Red to Grand. Bus:22,29,36,65,156.
Price: Average main course: $37
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