About The Boarding House
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!
Contemporary American, Wine Bar, Pizzeria
Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday: 4:30 p.m. to CLOSE
Saturday: 4:30 p.m. to CLOSE
Monday: 5 p.m. to CLOSE
Tuesday through Saturday: 5 p.m. to CLOSE.
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Please contact us at Events@bhchicago.com
The Boarding House offers valet parking on Wells Street.
Conveniently located one block east of the Franklin Brown Line stop.
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
The Boarding House offers catering options from 4 to 500 people. Please email Amy Ermatinger at Events@BHChicago.com
The Boarding House Ratings and Reviews
Delicious food and helpful staff. I love ...
Delicious food and helpful staff. I loved that it had a special vegetarian menu. The selection was great, and I could tell these specialty dished were carefully thought out and were well executed. I selected this place for a business meetup and everyone was very impressed, especially the the other vegetarian in the group.
Very good food, especially the octopus a ...
Very good food, especially the octopus and very high-quality New Zealand venison. Large wine list, with many unusual wines. Some good wines by the glass at reasonable to high prices. Service is prompt, friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. The large, open, high-ceiling room with a unique huge chandelier creates a pleasant ambiance, but large groups generate a lot of noise in a room that is quite noisy to begin with. Best to avoid the restaurant on weekends if you're noise-sensitive.
This was our second visit and we choose ...
This was our second visit and we choose it to celebrate a special occasion. It is a very impressive restaurant with food to match. There were several large groups and so the noise level was a bit higher. We did have a table in the corner of the dinning room which helped. It will definitely remain on our list of special dinners out.
Delicious meal with friends on a Monday ...
Delicious meal with friends on a Monday night. For starters we shared the hen egg & polenta fries and Boarding House salad. For entrees, we opted for the Amish chicken, venison loin, and striped bass dishes. Everything was superb -- we all literally cleaned our plates. As one of the owners is Alpana Singh, the wine list did not disappoint. Very much recommended.
As new residents of Chicago, we were exc ...
As new residents of Chicago, we were excited to see a contestant on Chopped who said he worked for the Boarding House in Chicago. Eager to explore new restaurants, we looked it up and looked forward to their iconic bar and restaurant ceiling decor - the thousands of wine glasses and beer bottles hanging above were truly breathtaking and served the Chicago bar and dining scene well. The drinks were surprisingly pleasing as are the venison and the flat iron steak, which are delectable. It was an amazing dining experience and we would definitely return!
Didn't really need a reservation for a T ...
Didn't really need a reservation for a Tuesday evening as the restaurant wasn't overwhelmingly busy, but I like my points. Decor is pretty neat. Noticed a lot of people complaining about the wait time which, to be fair, was fairly accurate, but not something my date and I noticed since we were so caught up in our conversation. The food made up for it as it was all delicious. We ordered he polenta fries w/ fried egg (yum), halibut (also yum) and the scallops (knew I wanted these before I came, and they definitely hit the spot). For what I paid, I feel like the portions could have been bigger as I can't say I left the meal fully satisfied, but we enjoyed the meal nonetheless.
My boyfriend and i came here to celebrat ...
My boyfriend and i came here to celebrate our anniversary, we had a wonderful dinner ! I had called a day earlier to mention the occasion and had the manager Matthew call me to provide me with several dining options they had for special occasions. We were greeted by not only our server but also the hostess on our anniversary and given complimentary glasses of champagne to celebrate. Mathew was nice enough to check on our table towards the end of the night and i could not thank him enough for the attention to detail from the greeting the moment we stepped in the door to the happy anniversary writing on our delicious carrot cake platter. I will definitely be returning based on the great food and service!
Loved the food but our service was horri ...
Loved the food but our service was horrific. Took over 30 minutes to get our wine. 50 minutes for our salad. 45 minutes for bread. Unacceptable when the restaurant is 50% full. Our server was nice, but no sense of urgency. Even the tables around us were complaining about the poor service. What a bummer.
Great food and ambiance. Did not give i ...
Great food and ambiance. Did not give it 5 stars because our dinner took FOREVER. However, the staff gave us complimentary drinks to make up for it, so we left with an overall great experience. The octopus appetizer is the best!
We have been to Boardinghouse twice and ...
We have been to Boardinghouse twice and have had excellent food and service! The bar area is really nice and the dining room is great. We sat up the staircase and it was wonderful to have a view of the main area and have an intimate space in which to have conversation. Loved the stuffed calamari appetizer and the scallops entree. Highly recommend!
Good, but not blow off your socks amazing
My 5 girlfriends and I had an early dinner at The Boarding House over Memorial Day weekend. We went super early (5:30pm) because that was when we could get a reservation, and because we were going to continue drinking after at a variety of rooftop lounges. We had the baby octopus as a starter, and then ordered two of the eggplant and two of the scallops, as well as the flat iron steak. Everything was very good, but not absolutely amazing. The eggplant had good flavor, but was a bit al dente for my taste. The brussel sprouts that came with the scallops were amazing, and the portion sizes were good. I would give this a solid 4.5 starts out of 5. So nice ambiance, okay serving staff (a bit slow to get to us and a bit slow to refill drinks), and good food, but not the very best I have ever had. A solid pick for a good evening though!
I was so excited to finally try this pla ...
I was so excited to finally try this place but left disappointed. The food was fine but the service truly marred the experience. Our waitress seemed more interested in taking care of other big, expense check tables on this Wednesday night instead of us on our anniversary. I love the ambiance but we will not hurry back.
From Poor to Great and Back to Poor
I dined at The Boarding House 3 times in 2015, and each time I was impressed with the food, the service and the atmosphere. The good news in 2016 is that the atmosphere is fairly similar (though the crowd seems a little older than it was last year). But the food and service have fallen off a cliff. The server hardly ever came around except when being signaled, and there was a long delay between courses and between drinks. My first martini was as watered down as I've ever had ... so much so that it had to be mistake. Or so I thought until the next one came the same way. And the food was highly disappointing. The hen egg and polenta fries appetizer is great, as it's been in the past. But the carrots appetizer is just weird, the sturgeon entre was severely overcooked, and the duck entre was so chewy that my partner gave up on it half way through. Overall, a surprisingly bad experience.
OK food and very expensive
I was there for Mother's Day lunch and unfortunately the wasn't serving the full menu that I heard it was very good . As I got there there wasn't many things that attracted me to order . I ended up getting a short rib which was good but very pricy for what it was . Deserts weren't any good . It looked like an ice cream shop cause everything had it .
My wife and I had a special dinner date here and had an absolute perfect time. From the food to the atmosphere to the wine and service, everything was top notch. Very cool historic building with 3 levels. Very smooth operation. At first I thought it was a limited menu as far as entrees go, but I picked the Sturgeon and it blew me away. Great night.
Finally got to the Boarding House and will return
We had an early dinner before the symphony, so it was not as busy as I'm sure it would be later. We happened to hit chef's week, so tried the pris fixe menu. We really enjoyed it except for the weird pink slices of something served with the carrot salad --- it seemed like styrofoam.
This time we did not add the wine flight as we wanted to be alert at the concert and thought 3 wines before 7:30 was a bit much .... but good selections by the glass. And, speaking of wine, Alpana was spotted at the bar when we arrived & later came through the dining room, acknowledging staff but the not the diners.
We'll be back
Lovely evening, great food
Lovely restaurant, the atmosphere is wonderful and the food flavorful and distinctive. Chefs' week menu was great and a good value. If i could change one thing about this place I would space the tables a tiny bit further apart as they are really quite close, at least where we were sitting. The restaurant is not overly noisy though so even with the tables close you can still have a conversation, and the food was excellent. I'd go back again.
We were disappointed in the service here. We are fans of Alpana Singh's other restaurant Seven Lions. Her restaurants are noted for casual fine dining with large bars and notable wine lists. This was a second visit to Boardinghouse and the service was lackadaisacal at best. We asked our server if a sommelier was in for the evening. Our guest from out of town is a wine expert and was perusing the wine list and wanted to speak with someone. The server said yes but that he himself could handle it. So we ordered a nice bottle which took some time and instead of the sommelier showing up to present and open, the server did it all. Then he immediately asked if we were ready to order. When he returned a few minutes to ask again (btw the restaurant was maybe half full) I asked his name and if he could review what the fish was for the evening given he expected us to order without knowing what they were serving. He replied Sturgeon for the fish and we asked where it was from. He seemed surprised and annoyed so left and we could actually see him asking other employees - -there were several employees visibly congregating and just talking with each other. There was more circular efforts on his part but finally he snapped to it and seemed to make more of an effort. Since we asked his name and tried to establish some dialogue, he became more responsive.
The whole evening was disappointing from the tuna tartare we tried for appetizer served on heavy heavy chips rather than a lighter crisper chip. The tartare was basic with little seasonings or condiments. Having tried it at Prime and Provision recently it was a poor comparison. The duck was tough and lacked flavor.
Again, just given expectations and the lack of effort by our server combined with tasteless food, we decided after spending $360 that we would come back there for drinks and skip the dining room.
Great service, great wine list, food good
Recently went back to The Boarding House for a mid week birthday dinner. I had the octopus appetizer which was great but the duck main course was not impressive at all. My friend ordered the venison which was much better.
Very cool place, took great care of our group
First off, thanks to the people here for putting up with us changing our reservation number and time several times on them. Really appreciated as we tried to herd cats to get them here.
The place is gorgeous, the food was on point, the service was right where you needed it to be. Price was extremely fair as well. Would definitely come back and would definitely recommend.
Great Atmosphere, Even Better Food
The Boarding House was fantastic. Absolutely loved how the space was designed/decorated - wine glass ceiling lights on the first floor and wine bottle lights on the second. It was beautiful, but the food even better. Had the venison on the waitresses recommendation, and loved it. Must try the polenta and bread service appetizers!
The restaurant was great. We had a great family dinner. Our waiter could have been more attentive. It took him about 10 minutes to bring our wine bottle, we had to call him over for things we needed twice, and I had to ask for water three times. However, that did not prevent us from having a great time and enjoying the food and the atmosphere of the restaurant.
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