Where we wheel around Chicago
Cass Hotel, inexpensive, (312) 787-4030.
The cass doesn't offer a lot of flash, but it doesn't require a lot of cash, either. What you do get for the price is a clean, comfortable room and a nifty locale - it's within walking distance of the Magnificent Mile and other downtown attractions.
Hotel Monaco Chicago, moderate, (312) 960-8500.
We're always looking for hotels that treat their four-legged guests as well as they treat two-legged ones, and this faux-French kimpton outpost does just that. Not only do they provide pet beds and bowls and complimentary treats at check-in, but if you couldn't bring your furry friend along this trip, they'll provide you with a free goldfish to keep you company during your stay.
A Milano Italian Grill, inexpensive to moderate, (847) 716-6500.
Owner Michael Kornick once referred to his revamped Italian place on Happ Road as a "meatball restaurant," but the loyals crowding in to partake of the nine-and-a-half-foot-long antipasto table and delicious flavored grappatinis prove it's much, much more than that.
Half Shell Inc., moderate, (773) 549-1773.
Hidden beneath a narrow staircase in a nondescript building off Diversey Parkway is a seafood mecca that locals have managed to keep pretty much to themselves for some three decades. We don't know how, though, when the catch - particularly the succulent king crab legs - is this darn good.
Luxbar, inexpensive, (312) 932-0809.
The trio behind Gibsons Bar and Steakhouse, which Cusack calls "the old standby," is opening a new spot later this summer. The cuisine will feature comfort food, with classics like fried chicken making up the menu. The vibe, despite what the name might imply, will be casual and homey, as well.
Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum,(312) 922-7827.
The country’s first planetarium, the Adler turns 75 this year and is marking the event with a yearlong celebration, including the upcoming unveiling of the Gemini 12 spacecraft and various related artifacts donated by noted astronaut Captain James S. Lovell Jr.
Buckingham Fountain, (312) 742-7529.
John Cusack mentioned most of Chi-town’s top landmarks, but he skipped over one of our favorites. A Grant Park staple since 1927, it’s one of the largest fountains in the world, spewing some 14,000 gallons of water per minute more than 140 feet in the air.
Bike Chicago Rentals & Tours, (312) 595-9600.
Don’t have your own wheels to get around town like Cusack does? This popular purveyor boasts locations in almost every direction, and you can even reserve your bike online (www.bikechicago.com).