Chicago's Top 10 Restaurants for Business Lunch, Healthiest Meals

Chicago's Top 10 Restaurants for Business Lunch, Healthiest Meals

I have a lot of clients that have business lunches a couple times a week.  I have found that many men in particular, have a hard time ordering healthier dishes because it requires asking the server a handful of questions.  Women seem to get away with the following questions.

“ Can I have everything on the side?” 

“ Can you make it with very little olive oil instead of butter?” 

“Is it possible to make the risotto without the cream and grill all the ingredients?”

 “Can I have the salad without bacon, eggs or cheese and instead have extra tomatoes and avocado?”

“Can I have the special without the sauce and all the vegetables steamed?”

I get it.  Men in a business luncheons or dinners prefer to order straight off the menu and bring little attention to their food choices and special dietary needs.   With this being said, I have compiled a list of 10 restaurants (that I love too) that I observe my clients frequenting the most.  I have picked the meals which I beleive are the healthiest and fairly low in calories. I also enjoy all of these meals.  But before having a great reference to use for your next handful of business luncheons I have given you some other useful tips.   I believe that these few things will help you lower your overall caloric intake when going out.

 4 Tips to Healthier Eating at Business Luncheons

  1. The cleaner your plate the better.  In other words, a dish that comes with a simple protein source and vegetables will save you 500-2000 un-needed calories.
  2. Come to your business luncheon with your menu item already in mind.  When you sit do not even accept the menu.  Simply say to the server, “No thank you, I already know what I will order and then ask for your beverage.”  Make simple recommendations of items you have had in the past to avoid making your guest feel uncomfortable.  As your colleagues are receiving their menus, make small talk to take attention off of food providing a smoother transition into the business you came to reveal, discover or discuss.
  3. Since you already know what you will have before you arrive, make sure that you avoid bread.  Simply hand ther server or bus-boy your bread plate.   This will make you less tempted to eat the bread and use the table space to either sit more comfortably or place your ipad, papers or phone in the space (if appropriate).
  4. Once you have ordered your pre-determined healthy dish and the rest of the table has placed their order, begin your conversation and strategic discussion before everyone needs to begin chewing.

1.  Piccolo Sogno,  464 N Halsted, 312- 421-0077

  • Insalata di Pere- roasted pears, baby argula, lemon oil, capriole farm goat cheese
  • Antipasti grilled vegetables platter - choice your favories
  • Griglia MIsta, grilled calamari, shrimp, octopus, tossed with orange, fennel, tomoatoe, olive, potatoes and arugula

2.  Athena Greek Restaurant212 S Halsted, 312-655-0000

  • Patzaria- fresh sliced beets served with skordalia
  •  Octapodi Salata- octopus marinated in olive oil and vinegar with chopped celery and carrot
  •  Orange Roughy - lightly seasoned and broiled with lemon sauce

3.  312 Chicago, 136 N LaSalle, 312-696-2420

  • Capesante:   Seared Scallops, cauliflower puree, seasonal mushrooms, red peppers, house cured tomato oil

4.   The Gage,  24 S.Michigan, 312-372-4243

  • Roasted Amish Chicken Apple, Fennel, Watercress, Sweet Potato Purée  21

5.  Fish & GT Oyster,  531N.Wells, 312-929-3501

  • Tuna Poke-  preserved mango, cucumber, black sesame

 6.  Sepia,  23 N Jefferson, 312 - 441-19205.

  • Salad and vegetables with while balsamic vinaigrette
  • Pan Roasted Sea Trout, sunchoke, maitake, red wine

7.  Sixteen,The Trump Towers,

  • Lake Superior Whitefish
  • Warm french lentils, spring vegetables and citrus vinaigrette

8.  Keefers, 20 W Kinzie, 312-467-9525

  • Fish Tacos- grilled mahi, mahi, tamatillo, fesno chili, green onion relish, avacado, salsa verde (skip all the sides, eat all the vegetables)
  • Grilled Mahi Mahi – in orange beurre blanc or soy honey sauce

9.  Hub 51, 51 W Hubbard, 312-828-0051

  • Black bean turkey chili (no bread, no cheese, cup)
  • Sonoma Salad (no cream dressing)
  • Spinach Salad (no croutons)

10.  Joe's Stone Crab, 60 E Grand, 312-379-5637

  • Seafood Chopped Salad (oil and vinegar)
  • Any grilled fish of the day with lemon and grilled asparagus


Leave a comment
  • Great round up Katalin!

Leave a comment