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

4.5

ambience

4.7

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

fit for foodies (106)
special occasion (104)
romantic (87)
See All
notable wine list (77)
good for groups (49)
hot spot (43)
neighborhood gem (41)
vibrant bar scene (40)
scenic view (17)
late-night find (13)
great for brunch (7)
great for lunch (6)
great for outdoor dining (3)
 (3)
 (3)
kid-friendly (1)
 (1)
 (1)
 (1)
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Newest
1233 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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

Dined 5 days ago

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
food3
ambience4
service1

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

vip
Dined 5 days ago

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.

food1
ambience4
service1
value3

From Poor to Great and Back to Poor

vip
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.

food5
ambience5
service5

Rave reviews all around and loved the de ...

vip
Dined on May 20, 2016

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

food5
ambience5
service3
value4

Dinner for the Night

vip
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
food3
ambience5
service4
value2

OK food and very expensive

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
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

Boardinghouse

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
food5
ambience5
service5

Delicious dinner and dessert, and great ...

Dined on April 30, 2016

Delicious dinner and dessert, and great service.

food5
ambience5
service5

Great food! Recommend all the veggie sid ...

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

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

jxcush

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
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Perfect

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
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Tasty!

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
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Outstanding service and waiters who don't rush you

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
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Finally got to the Boarding House and will return

vip
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

food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Lovely evening, great food

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
food5
ambience5
service5

A must try!

Dined on April 21, 2016

A must try!

food3
ambience4
service3
value3

Disappointed

vip
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
food4
ambience4
service3
value3

Bravo!

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
food3
ambience4
service5
value4

Great service, great wine list, food good

vip
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.

food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Very cool place, took great care of our group

vip
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
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great Atmosphere, Even Better Food

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
food5
ambience5
service3
value5

Great Food

vip
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
food3
ambience5
service4
value4

Service great, food was all v good, just too rich

Dined on March 27, 2016

Love the location, the building is very interesting, bar is great, wine selection is great. The food is all very good to great, just all the same level of richness. Needs some more texture variety and some punch or surprise in flavors.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Good food

Dined on March 27, 2016

Everything was great. My only complaint would be that everything was a bit rushed. Good came out really fast, check came out really fast....that's fine when I'm with kids, but one shouldn't rush a fine dining experience.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups
food3
ambience5
service5

Lemon ricotta fritters were outstanding! ...

Dined on March 25, 2016

Lemon ricotta fritters were outstanding! Steak tartare very good Flatiron steak delicious

food5
ambience5
service5

Pleasantly surprised. Very inventive cui ...

vip
Dined on March 19, 2016

Pleasantly surprised. Very inventive cuisine. Delicious appetizers and food. Highly recommended

food5
ambience5
service4

Beautifully decorated. The glasses hang ...

vip
Dined on March 19, 2016

Beautifully decorated. The glasses hanging from the ceiling are a nice touch. We ate in the third floor and they had wine bottles hanging from the ceiling. The food was delicious. We had the beet salad, octopus, burrata, polenta fries topped with a fried egg and the stuffed calamari for appetizers. All very tasty. Then we had the skirt steak, the risotto and the scallops for main course. Again, all were delish. My favorite was the risotto. One of my new fav spots! I will definitely return.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Oh what a Blessing!

Dined on March 18, 2016

Had a darn blasted time tonight with my colleague Sim Ready. Dinner was awesome... Till next time. Oh what a night.....Thanks to you Ms. Julia Not sure to mention your name or not thanks a million I will be back. The service is a 5 star overall from reservation, cost service, seating, greeting, waiting on, food, dessert, the list goes on an on. Love it I never knew this place was just steps away from where I live. Everyone have to come here. The food the wine oh Lala. My oh my. Speechless on such a wonderful place to eat relax and enjoy your guest or family. Nice and cozy, the friendly Homie welcoming environment.

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My go to with clients

vip
Dined on March 14, 2016

Start with wine and cocktails in the bar and work your way upstairs to dinner. The food and service is fantastic. The cheese plate in the bar is the perfect accompaniment to your starter drinks. Once upstairs, splitting a salad an another starter is perfect. You won't be disappointed

Tags: fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

Lovely!

Dined on March 13, 2016

I thought The Boarding was perfect for a nice dinner with my sister. You can tell women own and manage this restaurant. Nice details.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

A truly outstanding restaurant. The fo ...

Dined on March 13, 2016

A truly outstanding restaurant. The food and wine are awesome and the service is perfect!

food5
ambience5
service4
value4

We had a great meal and enjoyed all aspects

Dined on March 11, 2016

. My food allergies were managed with ease. We shared a variety of dishes and the kitchen handled the order and service nicely.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food4
ambience3
service5
value3

Perfect for Date Night

Dined on March 11, 2016

This restaurant is perfect for date night and maybe a special occasion, but not much else. I went with a friend and we both felt pretty awkward as if we were on a date. It's extremely romantic so if you're looking to take your significant other to a nice dinner, this place is perfect. Although this place wasn't good for a friendly dinner, the wine list was exceptional with amazing recommendations from our waiter. Also, all the food was great.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Delicious food, great atmosphere. The se ...

Dined on March 11, 2016

Delicious food, great atmosphere. The servers brought our dessert out with a candle in it for my daughter's birthday without being asked. Loved it!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Superb!

Dined on March 8, 2016

This was my 2nd visit. What an exceptional meal. hen & egg polenta was to die for! Had the duck breast - extraordinary. I cannot say enough about the beautiful delicious food. Our service was impeccable.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food3
ambience5
service1
value2

Boarding House- thumbs down

Dined on March 6, 2016

I had a few friends from out of town visiting Chicago and Boarding House was on my list of places I was dying to try! Immediately upon arrival on Sat 3/5 we were in awe of the beautiful décor. The wine glass and bottle light fixtures were something I had never seen before. After being seated at a lovely round booth table we all ordered cocktails that were great! We did not want a heavy dinner and ordered a few lighter options. The salads were ok but the scallops were way too sweet and the sauce did not pair well. We even heard someone outside the restaurant mention the same thing! Throughout dinner our service was terrible. Our waiter was rude and actually rolled his eyes that we were not all ordering starters and entrees. He then said "did you guys eat a large dinner before coming?" Then stalked away. We are six small girls give us a break! He asked if we wanted another drink and did not give us time to answer before turning on his heel to walk away. We sat there mouths open in shock. We are not a group that "causes problems or is difficult," but he sure made us feel like we were. Needless to say we were all extremely frustrated. I want so badly to like this restaurant but this one waiter really ruined the experience we had. I have never written a review on a restaurant but feel I have to say something since his attitude was unacceptable. For such an up and coming restaurant I would have expected better.

Tags: romantic, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience4
service3
value4

Second Trip, Definitely Coming Back Again!

Dined on March 6, 2016

My husband and I loved our experience here from back in December so much that we recommended it to friends. Last Saturday, we made the trip back down to the restaurant with them and shared our recent find with them. Amazing food. Awesome wines. While our server was knowledgeable and helpful, she appeared to be overly serious but still gave great service. We are so happy that our friends enjoyed the dining experience there and they loved the wines we selected with our meals. We will definitely be back again!! Can't wait!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent place for a family (all grown- ...

Dined on February 28, 2016

Excellent place for a family (all grown-ups) dinner. Took parents from out of town and food was amazing. The ambiance was a bit dim and noise level was moderate. We were still able to have a conversation without screaming and laugh out loud without feeling judged. It is not cheap, but definitely well worth it.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service5

Service was great and the ambiance here ...

Dined on February 27, 2016

Service was great and the ambiance here is always pleasant. This was my second time here and the food was great. I'm a bit surprised because it wasn't as good as it was last time and the menu is exactly the same as it was a year ago. They have a great wine list however. By the glass is somewhat limited, but by the bottle is expansive and top notch.

food5
ambience5
service5

The food was outstanding!!! The stuffed ...

Dined on February 27, 2016

The food was outstanding!!! The stuffed calamari appetizer, the boarding house salad and the scallops were all phenomenal!!! I'm still talking about the food here. How can a salad be so tasty, the brussels sprouts with the scallops were amazing. Loved it!

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