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Baby-on-Board Review: The Medici on 57th

By Elizabeth Shapiro in Food on Jul 11, 2007 6:17PM

2007_07_Medici.jpgWhen Chicagoist lived in Hyde Park, we had a local dive for every occasion: the best place to go with a hangover, the best place to satiate a Hawaiian pizza craving, the best place to use our fake ID. The Medici on 57th was always the best place to hang out with friends-- a funky, eclectic eatery with good food and constant coffee. But would our college favorite survive lunch with our toddler? Did the Med even have highchairs?

Yes and yes. Turns out, the Medici is amazingly accommodating of children, from their kid-friendly cups to their perfectly bland chicken fingers. Our hostess, waiter and busboy were all attentive, kind and efficient. The restaurant was loud with chatter, and we could pick out families talking in at least a half dozen different languages. We came at the tail end of their Sunday brunch and tried their grilled cheese with tomatoes and a side of fries. The food was decent, although we remember it being better. Their Cafe Mocha, a pleasant surprise, added chocolate ice cream to the traditional warm chocolate espresso drink, thus successfully combining our two loves: coffee and milkshakes. Starbucks, take note.

The Med is situated in an ideal part of Hyde Park to spend an afternoon with your family. Bixler Playlot, across the street, was the perfect place to let our kid unwind after an afternoon stuck in a highchair. Next time, we'll time our visit to the Med to coincide with 10:30 a.m. Wednesday storytime at 57th Street Bookstore, down the street.

In the same way that we were too busy checking out the bars and great parties in Hyde Park and didn’t notice the playgrounds and great schools, we never took stock of the families that make up a good portion of the Med’s customers. Old and young, families and singles, ordinary people and famous sociologists all dine together at the Medici. Sure, the food might be better on the north side, but we’ll come here for the atmosphere, the memories... and the coffee drinks.

The Medici on 57th is located at 1327 East 57th Street. Call 773-667-7394 for hours.