About The Boarding House

720 N Wells
Chicago, IL 60654
View Larger Map

Welcome! The Boarding House opened December 2012 and is led by Proprietor and Master Sommelier Alpana Singh. Our historic building, which dates back to 1872, features several distinct areas that a bustling bar area, two distinct private dining spaces, and a comfortable dining room located on the building’s third floor.

Enjoy a curated and thoughtful list of 500 wines from around the world that will expertly complement your dining experience. Guests will be immediately enveloped by our ambient dining room, which is designed for everyday dining with service that is detailed, hospitable and personal.

The wine bar is available without reservations and seating is per availability.

We look forward to welcoming you to The Boarding House!

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, Wine Bar, Pizzeria

Hours of Operation:
Wine Bar
Monday through Friday: 4:30 p.m. to CLOSE
Saturday: 4:30 p.m. to CLOSE
Closed Sunday

Dining Room
Monday: 5 p.m. to CLOSE
Tuesday through Saturday: 5 p.m. to CLOSE.
Closed Sunday




Cross Street:
Superior

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(312) 280-0720

Website:
http://www.boardinghousechicago.com/

Catering:
Please contact us at Events@bhchicago.com

Parking Details:
The Boarding House offers valet parking on Wells Street.

Public Transit:
Conveniently located one block east of the Franklin Brown Line stop.

Executive Chef:
Tanya Baker

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Send a Gift Card

Buy now and send it instantly by email, or print a card to give in person.

Private Dining

The Boarding House offers catering options from 4 to 400 people.

The Boarding House Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.3

ambience

4.6

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

90% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (29)
Good for a Date (28)
Creative Cuisine (24)
See All
Good for Anniversaries (24)
Good for Groups (23)
Modern Decor (22)
Romantic (21)
Notable Wine List (21)
Fit for Foodies (19)
Good for Birthdays (17)
Handcrafted Cocktails (15)
Quiet Conversation (12)
Cozy (12)
Worth the Drive (10)
Business Meals (10)
Vibrant Bar Scene (8)
Hot Spot (8)
Happy Hour (8)
Seasonal (7)
Neighborhood Gem (7)
Good Vegetarian Options (7)
Bar Seating (7)
Pre/post Theatre (6)
Historic (5)
Fun (5)
Healthy (4)
Local Ingredients (4)
Casual (4)
Private Room (4)
Comfort Food (3)
Family Style (3)
Authentic (3)
Late-night Find (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Outstanding Value (2)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Vegan (1)
Scenic View (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Great for Lunch (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Organic (1)
Tapas (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
People Watching (1)
Great Beer (1)
Dining Occasion:
S
Sort By:
S
1391 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on February 19, 2017

Really enjoyed dining at Boarding House. The food was excellent and quite a value for such high quality fare. Portion sizes were appropriate, not micro-food but also not bringing home half a meal. My wife had the scallops, very flavorful and wonderfully paired with pears. I had the sturgeon on a white bean ragu with kale and pearl onions. Both were wonderful and were complemented by an excellent bottle of Priorat.

Tags: Outstanding Value, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Miami)·Dined on February 18, 2017

Amazing dinner prior to a welcome reception for a family wedding. Our waiter was outstanding and very knowledgeable on wine.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Vibrant Bar Scene, Happy Hour, Modern Decor, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 16, 2017

Drinks and ambiance were excellent. Food was decent but not exceptional, and I would expect better in that price bracket (the salmon was a little dry and tasted fishier than it should have). Would go back for drinks.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on February 15, 2017

Came in for Valentines day dinner. $60/person 3 course. Beef tenderloin was cooked to perfection, scallops were amazing! seared perfectly as well. Desserts could be better. Tables were set too close. Great atmosphere good ambiance. Love love the decor! Wine glasses and bottles ceiling! Super cool!

Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Loved the ceilings! The first floor bar area had a ceiling with 100's of wine glasses and the third floor dining had a ceiling with 100's of wine bottles. The food was very good. Our waitress wasn't very knowledgeable and didn't seem to know much about the wine. The decor was very cool except some of the wallpaper was peeling and not lined up and there were some chips in the wall paint, so I only gave it 4 stars. But overall it was a good experience.

Tags: Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on February 5, 2017

This is the second time that I've been to Boarding House, and it didn't disappoint. It's a unique space with a thoughtful menu of creative options. Would definitely recommend!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Modern Decor, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on February 5, 2017

good food, good atmosphere, good service. This restaurant works for any occasion. I liked it and so did my dinner partner who had never been here before.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on February 5, 2017

Went here for restaurant week and had an absolutely amazing meal. Will definitely go back

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Modern Decor
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Savannah)·Dined on February 3, 2017

We wanted to try someplace new for Restaurant Week. This was the perfect choice! The menu was diverse and delicious. Patrick, our waiter, was attentive and professional. And, the dining room was funky and,at the same time, really beautiful. There was an eclectic group of diners, but even with a mostly full room, we never noticed a rising nose level. I would definitely recommend The Boarding House without hesitation. Enjoy!!!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on February 2, 2017

This was my second time dining here in a month, and I've enjoyed immensely both times. The menu has offerings for all palates/ preferences, from a range of vegetarian options through pork belly. The wine list is exceptional with a wide range of prices and a selection of both favorites and less well known varietals. We had friendly and attentive service that was not at all hovering or rushed. The downstairs wine bar and the upstairs dining room are both visually very interesting and fun.

Tags: Healthy, Notable Wine List, Seasonal, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 31, 2017

Mushroom soup was great, and venison perfectly prepared. My dessert was a bit dry and tasteless (bread pudding) while "cheesecake" my friends had was just odd.

Service was great.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 29, 2017

Went for a girls night during Restaurant Week. Beautiful space with tasty food and attentive service.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on January 29, 2017

I took my boyfriend on a surprise date to The Boarding House for his birthday. I had noted in our reservation that we would be celebrating him that evening. Upon arrival to The Boarding House, each member who greeted our table wished my boyfriend a Happy Birthday and made the evening very special for us. We sat on the Mezzanine which gave us a great view of all the neat decor. Our server was very genuine and provided his honest opinion about items on the menu upon our request. We never felt rushed, even though we took our time ordering and enjoyed another drink after dinner. The food came out quickly and was tasted fresh and flavorful. Our experience was very memorable and we will definitely be back.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Modern Decor, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 27, 2017

Slow service not very attentive

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on January 22, 2017

Loved this restaurant! It was a bit crowded and we didn't get to linger much. Service was well-paced (not rushed) but it seemed silly to hang around when there were people sitting so close to us.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 22, 2017

We head a great evening! Although the service in the bar was a bit lacking. The waitress was good, I just think they were understaffed. It seemed like there was one waitress working that night, and it was a Saturday Night!!!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value1

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 21, 2017

I loved the ambiance and the food was amazing. I highly recommend the venison and the sweet potatoes.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 18, 2017

Great as always! Wine selection was perfect. We shared stripped bass, venison and duck. All we awesome but the venison was the overall winner - and the baby octopus and potentate with Hen egg - wow!!

Tags: Business Meals, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Vibrant Bar Scene, Private Room, Comfort Food, Seasonal, People Watching, Notable Wine List, Gluten Free Options, Good for a Date, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on January 14, 2017

Great ambience and decor with low light and quiet enough to have a low-volume conversation. Fantastic food. When it took a little longer than expected to arrive the waitress gave us complementary top offs on our wine. Great service.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on January 8, 2017

Food was pretty good. Service was unenthusiastic.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service2
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 8, 2017

Wonderful ambiance, really stunning, food delicious with many choices. Patrons eclectic , singles, older couples, very comfortable. The entire staff was welcoming and efficient. But our waitress was remarkable!!! Kerry enhanced our experience. A+. We will all return, party of 6.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Had a great time this past new years. Ended up staying the whole night after being offered a free round of drinks by the owner. Fantastic staff, felt welcomed and a part of the family. Glad we made the choice to eat here for NYE.

Tags: Cozy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene, Family Style, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Went here for new year's eve and the food was fantastic! Would definitely recommend this place.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 1, 2017

New Years Eve dinner and we had booked this place because it looked like they would be a quiet and a little elegant place. It was and they served a very good dinner - tasteful and very well made. The place had a lot of floor space so we did not sit close to the next table, but I would not mind had it been a little closer to give this more included feeling.

I will certainly recommend this restaurant.

Tags: Romantic, Authentic, Seasonal, Cozy, Tasting Menu, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Love this place! Food was amazing and our service was sharp with a sense of humor!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 31, 2016

The Boarding House is an outstanding American restaurant with delicious entrees and wonderful wine pairings. This was the second time my wife and I dined there, an early dinner for New Year's Eve. The prix fixe menu was delicious, with wonderful wine pairings for each course. Service was great, although we did feel a bit rushed throughout the meal. I chalk that up to a very busy evening. Highly recommend for special occasions.

Tags: Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Modern Decor, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

vip
 (Indiana)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Took my fiance here for new years and it was well worth it. Ambiance was impeccable and the restaurant was just gorgeous with the various wine glasses hanging from the ceiling!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 29, 2016

first time here but left satisfied. Great food and wonderful interior design.

Tags: Family Style, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 28, 2016

Boarding House did not disappoint! Service and food were great. It was nice to see the restaurant on a week night rather than the usual weekend that we do. Would definitely go again.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 27, 2016

Our first time there with a group of 4. On a positive note: friendly front door staff; bartender made a great sidecar; ambience interesting. BUT..The girl that took our order must have been having a bad night, (acted like she was in pain!)..food was ok and a tad overpriced for the portion. And most disappointing was the wine by the glass. Limited selection and although half priced in the bar (Tuesday), full price in the restaurant for the same time (4:30p-6:30p). What's up with that??

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 25, 2016

I am such a fan of the Boarding House that it pains me to write this review. We have been coming here every year for Christmas Eve dinner for the past 4 years (and several other times as well, often with clients) and have had a great experience. this year was an exception. We had a reservation, but our table wasn't ready so we went to the bar to have a drink. Not too long after our drinks came, they told us our table was ready but to take our time. So we sat and continued to chat and drink. A hostess quickly came up and reminded us that our table was Ready and could we follow her now to the elevator. Ok. Fine.

Then, we have 2 minutes with the wine list and we are asked if we knew what we wanted, we said no and we're asked again two minutes later. So at this point, we are feeling a bit hurried though our experience even though the restaurant is not full. However, once we got our wine and first course, we were largely forgotten and had to refill our own wine glasses.

I get my vegetarian entree and the veg on top are cold and the polenta is so full of oil that it squirts and oil is the only flavor in it. To the waiters credit , he removed it from the bill and gave us a cheese plate for free. But this year, there was no complimentary cookie or anything to celebrate the holiday. Honestly, it was a disappointing experience compared to years past--it was as if no one wanted to be there and wanted us gone as soon as possible. I hope this was just an anomaly as it has been one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Good Vegetarian Options, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 25, 2016

Birthday outing and they made our night so awesome. Thank you!!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 25, 2016

Thank you Boarding House for being open on Christmas Eve! Out of town with immediate family, we had a great night with a lively group of diners and wait staff! Super cool interior design both downstairs in the bar and upstairs in the dining room. All food choices were great. Will definitely return next time we are in Chicago!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options, Modern Decor
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 25, 2016

Tables a bit close together in a line....we all felt crowded for a fancier place

Tags: Modern Decor
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 25, 2016

Very memorable dinner on Christmas Eve. The service was impeccable, food was delicious and the wine was wonderful. I love the decor of this restaurant and the fact that it is so quiet (perhaps due to the high ceilings). It is a wonderful place to ensure a special occasion is celebrated in style.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Pre/post Theatre, Quiet Conversation, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 24, 2016

We enjoyed an OK Christmas Eve dinner at the Boarding House - it wasn't without some complications. First, when we arrived, I told the hostess that we had a reservation for 6 people at 5 PM. She located my reservation and then realized she had mistakenly given my table to the party that arrived right before us. Somehow she thought they had given her my last name, which was not the case. She made a quick call upstairs and we were asked to proceed directly to the dining room and we did. That's when the hostess on the dining room floor asked us to go upstairs to a mezzanine seating area which overlooks the dining room - this was not ideal. The reason one wants to eat at the Boarding House is so you can sit in the main dining area under all of the beautiful glasses hanging from the ceiling. We weren't offered this area, presumably because the group arriving before us was mistakenly given our reserved table. I was mad to say the least. I had booked these reservations two months in advance and we had guests with us from out of town, and it was Christmas Eve. It was really a shame. Also, I had called the night before so I could confirm that I would be able to order pizza or burgers for the kids with us. I was assured by the person on the phone that I would be able to do so. She even put me on hold to check with someone. It turns out I was misinformed and the kitchen that makes the pizza and burgers was closed for the night. Our waiter did the right thing and comped us for two plates of plain noodles with cheese for the kids. It worked fine but it was ridiculous that I had specifically called to confirm this and was misinformed. The food for our dinner was good, not amazing. There was really no wow factor for us at all. It was a real bummer since it was Christmas Eve. Dinner turned out OK, and the highlight of the night was our nice waiter who did his best to be accommodating despite all the other short comings of the evening. I probably won't go back.

Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 23, 2016

Everything was perfect. Great food, service atmosphere!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 22, 2016

It gave me a stomach ache in the best way possible

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 20, 2016

Such a lovely, lovely evening. Gorgeous atmosphere and impeccable service complimented by a diverse wine list and eclectic, yet accessible menu. Loved.

Tags: Private Room, Bar Seating, Quiet Conversation, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 20, 2016

Great food, love the atmosphere. My server was great. Will definitely be back!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 17, 2016

The menu is prepared weekly by the chef, always something new and different to eat.. Large space with a bar on the first floor, but dining room on the 3rd floor. Excellent service from our waiter, food was quick to come out after ordering, great suggestions by our server..

Tags: Hot Spot, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 17, 2016

First time at the restaurant. It was highly recommended. It did not disappoint. It was terrific.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Modern Decor
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 10, 2016

This was a return visit. It was my 65th birthday. We chose the Boarding House because of our previous experience. As expected the food was excellent. Sadly, our server was not up to speed. She seemed somewhat distracted and not engaged in her work. We waited for a while for her to approach our table. Once she did, she just left again for a while for no apparent reason . Finally she took our drink order! She did not tell us what the specials were until I asked and even then she didn't tell us the price of the fish. This was a first visit for my family and a special occassion so it was frustrating. All of that being said, the food was outstanding. I do like the Boarding House and will give it a try in the future. I can only hope the service will be better.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Pre/post Theatre, Modern Decor, Good for Groups, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service3
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 8, 2016

Have had drinks @ the bar on several occasions; that's always fun. This time decided to try the resto. Ambiance is wonderful. Food is well-prepared, nothing extraordinary. Service was competent but our server exuded no warmth or interest in our dining experience--irritating when the bill tops $100/person.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on December 8, 2016

Good food, friendly service. Nice atmosphere - enough going on to feel vibrant, but still had the ability to carry on conversation.

Tags: Business Meals, Bar Seating, Casual, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 7, 2016

I really don't have a lot of good or bad to say about the place. The one thing I can say is that the service was very mediocre at best! The space is beautiful though!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 6, 2016

Wonderful dinning experience, great wine and great food. Very nice place for a romantic date.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Seasonal, Comfort Food, Disabled Access, Good for Groups, Romantic, Late-night Find
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 6, 2016

Went for dinner with a group. Great team, superb menu options for the range of dietary restrictions in our group (veg, gluten free, dairy allergy etc.). Excellent wine selection. I had the Crispy Polenta & Grilled Mushrooms. Vegetables were lightly seasoned - just enough to bring out the natural flavors of each vegetable. Polenta was just the right amount of crisp and taste. Similar great reviews about some of the other dishes from the group (baby octopus, seared scallops, venison).

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Notable Wine List, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 4, 2016

Third time here, and each time has been outstanding. Excellent flavors and presentation, commendable service, and decent portion size for a restaurant of this caliber. The decor/ambience make it perfect for any special occasion.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Modern Decor, Seasonal, Fit for Foodies, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on December 3, 2016

I have been to this restaurant many times and up to the last, they were all outstanding. For some reason, the quality of the food (material quality, not heated well enough, flavors blah) was not at the same standard as my prior visits.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups, Historic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience5
service4
value3

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.