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Sexy Oysters and a Scene at Dana Hotel's New Argent

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  Site Where: 660 North State St. [map], Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60654
June 25, 2012 at 9:17 AM | by | ()

A special for the night, the baked oysters we ordered were gone in a split second

A couple weekends ago we stopped by Chicago's Dana Hotel and Spa to dine at its new restaurant opened this past May, Argent Restaurant and Raw Bar.

Smack in the middle of Chicago's River North neighborhood on the corner of State and Erie, the hotel was abuzz both inside and out on one of the city's first warm nights of the season. No way did we want to miss all that action so we opted to dine outside on Argent's sidewalk patio under a lovely garden trellis.

Though indoor dining was just as tempting with the oversized, half-moon shaped booths on the first floor and a shiny upstairs Raw Bar where an old sink filled with ice keeps the oysters chilled. There we also saw walls peppered with images from the World Fair hosted in Chicago in the late 1800s, an event and era of rebirth that have served to inspire Argent's vibe.

One look and it's easy to see why Argent's sexy Raw Bar draws a crowd seven nights a week

Designed by chef Rodelio Aglibot, Argent's menus are said to speak to that historic Chicago timeframe. While we can't say we get some brilliant connection between the two, the dinner and raw bar menus were beautiful and refreshing on this hot summer night. We chose wine from an iPad, started with the house salad made with homemade French dressing (amazing stuff) and stuck mostly to the raw bar selections. The baked oysters off the specials menu were our favorite for their well balanced texture and flavor.

Having fun with an iPad wine order at Dana Hotel's Argent

Dining on the sidewalk outside Dana ended up being our best move of the night. It was busy but never felt crowded with folks out and about and guests coming and going, whether to dine indoors, check in or head up to 26th floor rooftop bar, Vertigo Sky Lounge. We even found ourselves accidental spectators of a nude bike club that literally stopped traffic in all directions for a good 10 minutes. The whole outdoor dining experience reminded us why Chicago is so great in the summer. Lucky guests spending the night at Dana Hotel would know exactly what we mean.

Rates at Dana Hotel and Spa Chicago currently start at $309.

Photos: Argent Restaurant and Raw Bar, Nina Kokotas Hahn

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