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May 3, 2012

The Smart Girl's Travel Guide

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THE CLUTCH BUSINESS LUNCH: The city's mascot should be a porterhouse. Chicagoans love their steaks, so give them what they want, but still wow them with your sophisticated taste at the Michelin-starred Sepia. The understated clubhouse for foodies and influencers is housed in a converted print shop in the West Loop neighborhood. 123 North Jefferson Street; sepiachicago.com

EXPENSE-ACCOUNT DRINKS: ROOF ON THE WIT caters to Chicago's power grid, from investment bankers to political operatives, their faces always illuminated by a BlackBerry glow. Reserve a table in the airy penthouse living room, with its gasp-inducing views of historic State Street. 201 North State Street; roofonthewit.com

NAILS IN A PINCH: You barely had time to pack, let alone squeeze in a mani. No worries—The Nail House has you covered. With quick service and a prime location in Lincoln Park, the salon is a convenient place to get an affordable drive-by manicure ($13). Best of all, it's open till 8 p.m. on weekdays. 1611 North Clybourn Avenue; nailhaus.org

HAIR TO IMPRESS: Mario Tricoci's pristine full-service salon on the Magnificent Mile offers blowouts priced at just $30—a steal in this luxe shopping district. Start your day off right (appointments begin at 8 a.m.) and be ready to woo prospective clients over breakfast. 900 North Michigan Avenue; tricoci.com

LAST-MINUTE LIFESAVER: If you want to clinch the deal, pop over to Vosges Haut-Chocolat and order the 16-piece Exotic Truffle Collection ($40), a top-selling gift for business clients. Send it over—with a handwritten note— to that VIP you've been trying to get in to see, and wait for the phone to ring. 520 North Michigan Avenue; vosgeschocolate.com

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