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.
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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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
We recently had a terrible experience. O ...
We recently had a terrible experience. Our server was inattentive, the octopus and calamari appetizers were quite nice, the wine that we selected was unavailable and after a very long wait our main courses were either cold or over cooked. We were embarrassed as we were hosting friends...not good.
We were planning to eat in the dining ro ...
We were planning to eat in the dining room, but at 6:00 on Friday, not one other table was filled. The room was beautiful but silent. We opted to eat in the bar on the first floor - much more fun. Wish they had lights around their outdoor dining area, it would be more fun to sit out there.
Food and wine were great!
Loved the venue, Old Chicago at its fine ...
Loved the venue, Old Chicago at its finest! Food was excellent, highly recommend the stuffed calamari appetizer - just the right kick of spice and cooked perfectly. Flat iron steak was tasty, but slightly overlooked. My wife's salmon was delicious and cooked perfectly. Wine list is good, not extensive, but reasonably priced. Great decor and perfect spot for a dinner with that special person.
Had the scallops and venison and both we ...
Had the scallops and venison and both were incredible. The food and drinks are great, but what made our experience outstanding was the service. The timing was perfect and the wine recommendations were a perfect pairing.
Shocking how bad this experience was. Th ...
Shocking how bad this experience was. The booking was so strict as to number of people with the insistence on holding with a credit card. When we were seated, the dining room was half full so why the stress about limiting the number? The server was scattered almost as if she'd been working a few shifts in a row or as if she knew she could phone it in because of the 18% charge that was slapped onto our bill because we were a group of 10. We waited too long for drinks, had to remind her of ordered drinks, waited too long for appetizers and way too long for the main course. After we finished our appetizers, the dining room was mostly empty so it was hard for us to understand the long wait for the main course. The server explained that they started our mains in the kitchen when they served our appetizers. All of us at the table have had fine dining experiences so had the wait not been so interminably long for the main, it would be believable. While finishing up dessert, they started rearranging tables around us to prepare for a wedding ceremony the next day. I would have loved to have been out of their way earlier had the service not been so wretchedly indifferent. Instead, we were shown how much they wanted us gone by setting up chairs around our table. I wanted us gone too at that point. The tragedy: the food was good. But I'm never going back.
Beautiful interior, but the place just l ...
Beautiful interior, but the place just lacks any real energy. Entrees were very good. I ordered the soup and the server reached across the table and all parties to pour into the bowl rather than coming around to where I was seated. A couple drinks seemed to take longer than reasonable, but the server was apologetic. I would probably go back for drinks and some bites in the bar, but dinner was overall underwhelming.
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 .
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