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Prix Fixe Perfection

Chicago Restaurant Week, a favorite of experienced and novice diners alike, returns once again Jan. 24-Feb. 6 for 14 days of special $22 lunch and $33-$44 prix fixe dinner menus. More than 280 top restaurants are participating (visit eatitupchicago.com for a full list of locations and menus), but here are five places at the top of our list.

Travelle at The Langham Chicago

1. Travelle
This elegant resto on the second floor of The Langham Chicago makes its Restaurant Week debut with a three-course lunch ($22) courtesy of Executive Chef Tim Graham. Start with either mixed greens tossed in a house vinaigrette or minestrone soup with butternut squash, then segue to the pomegranate-braised lamb shank, lemon and thyme risotto or pan-roased char. Save your sweet tooth for the dark chocolate terrine or Moroccan apple cobbler. $22. 330 N. Wabash Ave., 312.923.7705

2. Coco Pazzo
The warmth and charm of Tuscany come to life at Coco Pazzo, with is offering both $22 lunch and $44 dinner menus. Lunch highlights include imported buffalo milk mozzarella with oven dried tomatoes, spicy salami pizza and vanilla bean panna cotta with huckleberry sauce. More in the mood for dinner? We’re eyeing the crispy breaded pork chop and braised beef short rib with organic polenta. 300 W. Hubbard St., 312.836.0900

3. Pump Room
Talk about choices! Pump Room’s $44 dinner menu offers diners their choice of three starters (beets with yogurt and chilies, salmon with crispy sushi rice and chipotle aioli, or roasted carrot and avocado salad), and four entrees (fresh tagliatelle with caramelized Brussels sprouts, salmon with broccoli rabe and a ginger-chili vinagrette, fried organic chicken, or lamb chops with mushroom bolonese). Finish it off with a salted caramel ice cream sundae topped with candied peanuts and popcorn, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. 1301 N. State Parkway, 312.229.6740

4. Nellcôte
As if we needed another excuse to revel in the chic ambiance of this West Loop favorite, Nellcôte is offering a delectable specialty dinner menu ($33) that has us coveting a reservation. Choices include roasted pear and Brussels sprout salad, eskuna bay salmon, wood-grilled Amish chicken and black pepper semifreddo with poached pear. After all that, we imagine is glass of Rare Wine Co. Madeira ($11) will be in order. 833 W. Randolph St., 312.432.0500

5. Cafe Spiaggia
Chef Tony Mantuano makes it easy to live la dolce vita with Cafe Spiaggia’s Restaurant Week lunch ($22) and dinner ($33) menus. Choices abound, but come lunchtime, you’ll find us noshing on zuppa di fagioli (borlotti beans, pancetta, leek and Parmigano Reggiano), pappardelle with wild mushrooms and ricotta salata, and sweet zeppole (Italian fritters sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar and served with orange marmalade). Can’t get enough? Dinner options include Jidori chicken thighs with prosciutto, fregola and mushroom, as well as delicate cappellacci filled with butternut squash. 980 N. Michigan Ave., 312.280.2750