But did you know that the 130-restaurant bonanza is actually preceded by a smaller, but no less worthwhile affair? Think of Chicago Originals Restaurant Week as the official event's hip little brother. Like its sibling, the event includes specially priced meals for lunch ($24.09) and dinner ($29.09) at restaurants where most folks could usually afford little more than an app or two. The difference is that all the participating spots are independent, locally-owned eateries (think Cafe Matou, El Nuevo Mexicano and Prosecco). And just to prove that good things can come in small packages, there's an added bonus: you get two weeks of deals, January 25-30 and February 1-5.
Check out the Web site to view a complete list of participating restaurants and menus; not all restaurants offer both lunch and dinner every day, but some will offer you a bottle of wine for an additional $20.09. Their inferiority complex is your gain.