About The Boarding House

720 N Wells
Chicago, IL 60654
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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/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Private Dining

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

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.4

ambience

4.6

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

fit for foodies (79)
special occasion (71)
romantic (54)
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notable wine list (54)
good for groups (39)
neighborhood gem (33)
hot spot (32)
vibrant bar scene (25)
scenic view (10)
late-night find (8)
great for brunch (6)
great for lunch (4)
great for outdoor dining (2)
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1254 reviews
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Great experience.

 
 (Cleveland)
·Dined 2 days ago

Great experience.

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food5
ambience5
service5

I had the Venison loin and it was marvel ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined 6 days ago

I had the Venison loin and it was marvelous. Highly recommended. My friend had the steak and it was mediocre. We ordered appetizers as well and they were all very tasty. All in all, very good food.

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food4
ambience3
service4

Delicious food and helpful staff. I love ...

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined 7 days ago

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

Super evening, food and place. This pla ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

Super evening, food and place. This place is a great find. Cocktail place great. Upstairs restaurant fabulous.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We celebrated a 90th bday here and every ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 14, 2016

We celebrated a 90th bday here and everything was absolutely Perfect! Excellent food, wine, service, etc. We were blown away by the whole experience and attention. Highly recommend the Boarding House!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Very good food, especially the octopus a ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 14, 2016

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.

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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

This was our second visit and we choose ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 13, 2016

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.

Tags: special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Delicious meal with friends on a Monday ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 12, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

As new residents of Chicago, we were exc ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 3, 2016

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!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Didn't really need a reservation for a T ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on June 29, 2016

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.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

My boyfriend and i came here to celebrat ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on June 24, 2016

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!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Food was good but rich. Small portions ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on June 18, 2016

Food was good but rich. Small portions so make sure you have another place in mind to eat at later if going out.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

Loved the food but our service was horri ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on June 18, 2016

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.

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food4
ambience5
service1

The food was good, but the service was a ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on June 17, 2016

The food was good, but the service was a bit snooty. Ambiance / decor is always great there though!

Tags: romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

Great food and ambiance. Did not give i ...

vip
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on June 14, 2016

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!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

We have been to Boardinghouse twice and ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on June 13, 2016

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!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Venison was amazing. Excellent service

vip
 (Miami)
·Dined on May 29, 2016

Venison was amazing. Excellent service

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food5
ambience5
service5

Good, but not blow off your socks amazing

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on May 28, 2016

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!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value5

The baby octopus, venison, steak with bl ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on May 26, 2016

The baby octopus, venison, steak with blue cheese butter and lemon blueberry ricotta fritters were all FABULOUS. The ambience was lovely and the wait staff did an outstanding job. We will definitely be back!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I was so excited to finally try this pla ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on May 26, 2016

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.

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food3
ambience4
service1

From Poor to Great and Back to Poor

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on May 21, 2016

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.

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food1
ambience4
service1
value3

Rave reviews all around and loved the de ...

vip
 (Salt Lake City)
·Dined on May 20, 2016

Rave reviews all around and loved the deal on 1L Caymus!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Dinner for the Night

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on May 15, 2016

The food was amazing. You have many to chose from on the menu. We sat on the second floor which was very nice. Love looking around. Service not the best had better. Ask for bread if you want any.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view
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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

OK food and very expensive

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on May 8, 2016

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 .

Tags: special occasion
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food3
ambience5
service4
value2

Boardinghouse

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on May 1, 2016

This restaurant was a great Chicago find. The decor and atmosphere are great. Wait staff most helpful and attentive food was fab. Highly recommend lamb shank.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem
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food4
ambience4
service5
value5

Delicious dinner and dessert, and great ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 30, 2016

Delicious dinner and dessert, and great service.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Great food! Recommend all the veggie sid ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 27, 2016

Great food! Recommend all the veggie sides.

Ate too much for desert. Wdef going back so we can try desert

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food5
ambience5
service5

jxcush

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 24, 2016

great staff and awesome food in an ideal River North location.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Perfect

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 24, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Tasty!

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 23, 2016

Amazing food, so much flavor. I would highly recommend the bread service. Although I didn't have any cocktails or wine, they did have an extensive menu of choice.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Outstanding service and waiters who don't rush you

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 23, 2016

Outstanding service, waiter very knowledgeable. Although pricey, I believe it was a great value, because they don't try to rush you out of restaurant

Tags: good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Finally got to the Boarding House and will return

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 22, 2016

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

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Lovely evening, great food

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 22, 2016

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.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

A must try!

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 21, 2016

A must try!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Disappointed

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 21, 2016

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.

Tags: good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

Bravo!

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 16, 2016

An overall dining experience with a touch of chic and refinement. Kudos to the staff for spot-on food and wine pairings.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list
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food4
ambience4
service3
value3

Great service, great wine list, food good

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 14, 2016

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.

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food3
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service5
value4

Very cool place, took great care of our group

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on April 9, 2016

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.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Great Atmosphere, Even Better Food

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on April 2, 2016

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!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great Food

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on March 31, 2016

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.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service3
value5

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