Sep 23, 2022 - Things to Do

Best Day Ever: David Manilow

Guy in front of a night skyline
Photo courtesy of David Manilow

The creator of the Emmy Award-winning "Check, Please!" has launched a podcast called "The Dining Table," highlighting Chicago stories driving the business of food.

How it works: David Manilow talks about favorite restaurants and dining news, then interviews food people like this week's guest, chef Michael Kornick.

Context: Manilow's brainchild, "Check, Please!" aired on WTTW Ch-11 for 19 seasons until it was mysteriously canceled in 2021.

  • But his love for eating hasn't changed. He recently told us about his perfect day in Chicago — complete with food recs, of course.

Breakfast: "I try to go to breakfast spots where they make things much better than my wife or I can do at home."

  • "La Catedral in Little Village is always buzzing and has an entire section of their menu dedicated to chilaquiles, 12 in all, and they're fantastic! Get one with a cafe de olla, and you're good to go."

Morning activity: "I like to Divvy around town and explore Chicago. Sometimes electric, sometimes pedal power, depending on my mood."

  • "I recently played tourist for the day and biked to the River Walk, Buckingham Fountain, and then along the lake to the south side. It allowed me to see and love the city in a totally different way."

Lunch: "If I'm feeling super adventurous I'd go to Calumet Fisheries on 95th Street, but that's a long drive for me. It's just a little shack and one of the last smokehouses in the area. Try the sable or any of their smoked fish."

  • Closer to home: "Lula Cafe in Logan Square. It's always a great experience with the highest-quality product. If they have specials, I'd go for whatever they're making. If not, I'd probably get a Caesar salad and the chickpea and fennel tagine."

Afternoon activity: "Well, Wrigley is certainly a nice way to spend an afternoon."

DInner: "I've been to Kai Zan, on Chicago Ave. near Western over a dozen times. Everything the Vizconde brothers create is splendid, both sushi and non."

  • "When I go now, I try to take people who haven't been there before, and I get their special Omakase. The escolar or maguro pearls are incredible."

Evening activity: "If Wilco's in town, I'd go to see them in concert. The smaller the venue, the better. I've seen them so many times I feel like I'm performing with the band."

  • "I'm a frustrated singer, and when I belt out a tune, my friends and family describe me as 'not good, but very enthusiastic.'"
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