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, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, 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
The fact that there was a difference bet ...
The fact that there was a difference between the upstairs menu in the downstairs menu was a bit of a bummer. Although, our waitstaff was very accommodating when we requested the Charcuterie board from downstairs.
The octopus was very good, the venison was a custom order and was fantastic, but the rest of the dishes were so-so. In particular, the pasta carbonara with lobster tail. The pasta was mediocre, but the lobster tail was abhorrent!!! Dry, stringy, stuck to the shell and it was a miserably expensive up charge with ZERO yield! Awful...
The cocktails and deserts were great and the wine was nice too!
The decor is very interesting- ceiling w ...
The decor is very interesting- ceiling was made of wine glasses. The cocktails were good. The waitress was very unfriendly. She was not engaging and it seemed every question we had was a chore to answer. She would be fine being a food server, not a waitress. She didn't offer any suggestions, just made the whole experience sub-par. The food was excellent.
Great food. Poor Service Although the ...
Great food. Poor Service
Although the menu was somewhat short, the 5 of us were all able to find some fantastic meals and sides. Everyone raved about how good the food was. Unfortunately, even though we were one of the few tables full at 9PM, our waiter was rarely around. He was pleasant and helpful when he was, he was just not around when we needed him. He brought the dessert menus, and we were already for some treats and coffee, but by the time he came back, we were tired of waiting and decided to just get our check.
The food at The Boarding House was wonde ...
The food at The Boarding House was wonderful, the service was exactly the opposite. We arrived and were seated immediately and greeted by the busser who poured us water. The server didn't approach is for almost 10 minutes. The table next to us ate their entire first course and were cleared before drinks were offered. The server never offered us a second drink nor did he check on us after our two courses were served. We finally saw him again when he gave us dessert menus. The service was lack luster. When spending $$$ you should receive great service. We will not be going back.
The atmosphere and decor was great, and ...
The atmosphere and decor was great, and can be worth the visit itself. It did feel nice to be there, but I found the food to be a little lacking. They also seemed a bit inflexible. My girlfriend wanted a salad with some grilled chicken added, but apparently adding chicken to a salad was not possible. Instead you'd have to buy the actual chicken dish plus the salad - essentially paying an extra $25 to add chicken to a salad?? The chicken was pretty dry by the way.
We visited Chicago over Labor Day weeken ...
We visited Chicago over Labor Day weekend; a local friend suggested The Boarding House. We booked our reservation in advance and arrived on time for the late meal. The hostess was kind and promptly sent us to the third floor. We were again warmly greeted and were seated right away. At this time of night, the majority of the dinner crowd had already come and gone, but we still enjoyed the beautiful dining room and our cozy table. Even though we were the last diners there, and I worried the staff might want to rush us out so they could get home (or go enjoy their Saturday night), they never gave us that impression. In fact, they all went above and beyond to attend to us. We started with some incredible cocktails and enjoyed the watermelon salad and the baby octopus, which were both unbelievable. We ordered the venison loin and grilled flat iron steak. Again, both were outstanding! The highlight of our meal had to be the side dish, though. You cannot go to The Boarding House without trying the ELOTES! We ended the meal with decadent carrot cake. The meal was truly exceptional in every way. In addition to the fantastic meal and excellent service, I have to take time to again thank the amazing staff. After arriving late to the city (and informing our hotel the day before that we would be checking in around 10:00pm), we got to our hotel and were told that our room had been sold to another guest. We almost missed our reservation at TBH due to the hotel's mishap. Thankfully, we were able to get a cab to the restaurant and at least enjoy dinner -- even if we didn't have a place to stay. Seeing that we were both frazzled, our server Scott took extra steps to ensure we were happy. We told him of our hotel ordeal, and he quickly got to work with the other staff there that night to help. By the end of the night, they were all trying to help us find a place to stay. We were completely blown away by their kindness and genuine concern. Thank you again. You all are THE BEST!
The problems: 1. We were placed directly ...
1. We were placed directly beneath an air conditioner vent so my wife and I were cold for a majority of our dinner. Waitress turned off air at one point, but had to put it back on eventually.
2. Waitress dropped my drink and took 15 minutes to get a new one. My wife already had her glass of champagne and had to wait until I got my drink before having it.
3. Food was not very good(except of the salad) for the price point. My wife had the scallops and had sand in a few bites. My duck was lukewarm.
After an extensive search for a place fo ...
After an extensive search for a place for dinner, we decided on the Boarding House. We hit it out of the park on this one. Besides the extensive wine list, which was awesome, the dinner was fantastic. We had the stuffed calamari, It was a giant squid stuffed with crawfish and boudin (rice sausage). Being from New Orleans, we were skeptical about this dish but wanted to give it a try. It was delicious, The boudin was authentic and the crawfish tasty. The calamari was just a little too tough for me, but that didn't stop us from eating it all. I had the version loin which was cooked perfectly and wasn't the least bit gamey. The grits underneath were creamy and wonderful. The hubs had the crispy polenta and grilled mushrooms. And no he's not a vegetarian! He took a chance on the waiters recommendation and was very pleased he did. He did not miss the meat at all. The polenta was very crispy and mushrooms cooked perfectly. The Boarding House not only has fantastic food but the ambience go the restaurant is very nice. Low lighting, quite and beautiful decor. The waiters know a lot about the food and the wine list. Great choice for an anniversary, cozy birthday or special date night. Loved it!
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.
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