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Building an appetite in the Windy City

From the March 26, 2001 Issue of New York

For years, Chicago has been stuck with that Second City label. Puh-lease! When it comes to architecture and eating, at least, Chicago ranks right up there with its competitors on either coast. Don't believe me? The Chicago Architecture Foundation not only offers 70 different group tours, but in June is unveiling the highly anticipated Chicago Architecture Center, featuring a tour concierge who will help you select an itinerary that suits your specific interests. All tastes are accommodated -- from the earliest nineteenth-century skyscrapers to the modernist masterpieces of Mies van der Rohe. And when you're not feasting on architectural wonders, feast on the Windy City's latest culinary wonders. You can have lunch in the shadow of an architectural icon, at Bin 36, known for its wine-food pairings and conveniently located next door to Marina City's iconic "corn cob" towers. For dinner, the restaurant of the moment is the minimalist-chic Naha, with a Mediterranean-inspired menu created by chef Carrie Nahabedian (formerly of L.A.'s Four Seasons). Everyone knows that Chicago has great, classic hotels, from the Palmer House to the Drake, but we're predicting that the Peninsula, opening in June, will be the next hot place to sleep and spa.

Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago Architecture Center, 312-922-8687 or www.architecture.org; Bin 36, 312-755-9463; Naha, 312-321-6242; the Peninsula Chicago, 312-337-2888 or www.peninsula.com (rooms start at $425).

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