I had the joy of experiencing lunch at The Pump Room, one of Chicago's most famous restaurants. Newly renovated by Boutique Hotel Entrepreneur & Legend Ian Schrager (Studio 54 may be one of his most famous works), this restaurant requires about a month in advance for weekend reservations. But with all of the hype at night, it's also the perfect place during the day. They are open for lunch and the atmosphere is lighter and more relaxed. I enjoyed their delicious fried chicken while polite staff proved to be accomodating, ensuring we had water and refills of whatever we needed in addition to fresh plates & silverware. The decor is one of a kind and it was classy but not stuffy. Located in the Public Hotel, the feel of accessible luxury made it unique. It is beautiful, yet reasonably priced (under $200/night for many of the standard rooms) and "The Library" is open to the public -- you can sit in a lavish table with coffee and book or laptop. Everything in the hotel/restaurant is made from scratch and served fresh daily. They even have live viewings of Mad Men in the amazing screening room that are also open to the public.
There's really something for everyone at this sophisticated establishment (formerly the Ambassador East Hotel). With private space for meetings, weddings and a variety of events it's a great location for an elegant yet vibrant experience.