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 400 people.
The Boarding House Ratings and Reviews
The Boarding House is wonderful in ever ...
The Boarding House is wonderful in every way. The food was delicious, the design of the space beautiful and elegant, and happily the dining room is quiet enough to hear your dining companions. I came with my (grown) son for a birthday dinner and we had a great night.
My girlfriend and I are in our golden ye ...
My girlfriend and I are in our golden years 60 to 70, and this was a birthday celebration. After being located to the 2nd floor for dining, we where instructed to climb another 25 stairs to a balcony overlooking an empty 2nd floor dining room! The balcony dining area was loud and drafty, we asked to sit in the 2nd floor dining area with looks and sighs of disgust from the staff. The wine selection is unimpressive, small pours and expensive per glass. The food selections are limited, small portions, a la carte, expensive, non flavorful, trendy food science projects. The evening ended with a small plate, a birthday candle and a piece of chocolate cake the size of your thumb! Also the 100's of empty wine bottles and martini glasses hanging from the high ceilings with string, not knowing the support process and if this glass ceiling was inspected and approved by the Chicago Building Department, seemed very dangerous! Bring a hard hat...
We started at the wine bar downstairs wh ...
We started at the wine bar downstairs which had an impressive wine list (plenty of options by the glass too) and had an incredible ceiling with thousands of wine glasses decorating it. The atmosphere was good and the bar staff were friendly. Then we moved upstairs to the dining room, it was quite late at this stage (9pm- week on a night) and it was fairly quite. Food was great and portions were generous, but by the time we'd finished we were the last ones in the restaurant so any atmosphere that was there when we arrived was long gone. Would definitely go back but maybe slightly earlier!
The Boarding House has a beautiful dinin ...
The Boarding House has a beautiful dining room and loft area on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Our waiter provided the right amount of attention without being overbearing. The food, however, was lackluster. I would have expected more from the description of our selections, but I have to say the food was bland. My venison was prepared well, but really lacked any notable flavor in the sauce. Salt and pepper shakers (none to be seen) might have helped. My husband's halibut was the same. While the fish was fresh, the preparation was lacking. The only dish we really enjoyed was the grilled octopus appetizer. Sadly, we won't make an effort to return.
We had a thoroughly mediocre experience ...
We had a thoroughly mediocre experience at Boarding House. The food was mostly just OK and the service felt cold. The host/wait staff just seemed irritated by our presence, and we felt rushed to finish (despite the dining room being nearly empty). The food was just OK; the polenta fries, steak, and scallops were all pretty one-dimensional and unexciting. The drinks were decently strong, but very sweet and, again, one-note. We left pretty unsatisfied and wishing we’d tried another spot in the area.
Excellent food, mediocre service. We wai ...
Excellent food, mediocre service. We waited 20 minutes before the server asked us if we wanted anything to drink. She barely spoke, seemed disengaged and bored....and we had to flag a bus person to get our check after waiting a considerable time for that. This experience, our second at the restaurant, was disappointing. Will not be back.
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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