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, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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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

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.3

ambience

4.6

value

3.9

noise

Moderate

85% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (54)
Special Occasion (51)
Romantic (39)
See All
Notable Wine List (39)
Neighborhood Gem (30)
Good for Groups (29)
Vibrant Bar Scene (23)
Hot Spot (18)
Creative Cuisine (10)
Good for a Date (8)
Good for Birthdays (6)
Business Meals (6)
Modern Decor (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Good for Anniversaries (6)
Late-night Find (4)
Local Ingredients (4)
Quiet Conversation (4)
Bar Seating (4)
Scenic View (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Cozy (2)
Authentic (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Worth the Drive (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
Comfort Food (2)
Healthy (1)
Private Room (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Historic (1)
Seasonal (1)
Family Style (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
People Watching (1)
Happy Hour (1)
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Great food. Service was SLOW!!!!

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined 2 days ago

Great food. Service was SLOW!!!!

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food5
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Second time visiting. First time everyth ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined 4 days ago

Second time visiting. First time everything was amazing from appetizer to main meal. This time appetizer was just so-so (stuffed calimari) but everything else was fantastic.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating
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food4
ambience5
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The fact that there was a difference bet ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined 5 days ago

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!

Tags: Romantic
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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

The decor is very interesting- ceiling w ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on September 18, 2016

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.

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food4
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Great food. Poor Service Although the ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on September 16, 2016

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.

Tags: Healthy, Seasonal, Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Local Ingredients
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food5
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The food at The Boarding House was wonde ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on September 11, 2016

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.

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food5
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Food was hot and miss . Dave the barte ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on September 11, 2016

Food was hot and miss . Dave the bartender downstairs Was AMAZING ! Friendly and personable :)

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food3
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The atmosphere and decor was great, and ...

 
 (Milwaukee)
·Dined on September 10, 2016

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.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Modern Decor, Romantic
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food2
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We visited Chicago over Labor Day weeken ...

vip
 (New Orleans)
·Dined on September 4, 2016

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!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Good for a Date, Modern Decor, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine
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food5
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value5

The problems: 1. We were placed directly ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on September 4, 2016

The problems:

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.

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food2
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After an extensive search for a place fo ...

 
 (Dallas)
·Dined on September 2, 2016

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!

Tags: Historic, Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Authentic, Good for a Date, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List
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food5
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value3

We had a fantastic evening. The food, se ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on August 26, 2016

We had a fantastic evening. The food, service, ambiance, was outstanding. Could not have asked for a better evening in the city.

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food5
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Great cocktails paired with delicious fo ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on August 24, 2016

Great cocktails paired with delicious food. Great atmosphere especially with the multi-areas they have established. Kerry was a treat!!

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
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This was my favorite restaurant on my re ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

This was my favorite restaurant on my recent first visit to Chicago. I definitely look forward to visiting the next time I'm back in Chicago! Great vegetarian choices as well!

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
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We loved our meal. The server was wonde ...

vip
 (New England)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

We loved our meal. The server was wonderful, food was great, and the space was cool!

Tags: Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
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food5
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One waitress, excruciating wait between ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on August 17, 2016

One waitress, excruciating wait between courses. Sent a note to Alpana, no response. Restaurant is on it's way out

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food2
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We recently had a terrible experience. O ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

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.

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food1
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We were planning to eat in the dining ro ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on August 5, 2016

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!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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Normally very good food, service and amb ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on August 5, 2016

Normally very good food, service and ambience. But, restaurant was nearly empty, one dinner was bad (and was comped). Something appears to have dropped its desirability, perhaps just that it's not a hot newbie.

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food2
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value2

Loved the venue, Old Chicago at its fine ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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service4
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Had the scallops and venison and both we ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

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.

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food5
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Shocking how bad this experience was. Th ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

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.

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food4
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Interesting menu, great tasting and well ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Interesting menu, great tasting and well presented food. Service was terrific. This was our third time to the restaurant and they never disappoint.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
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service5
value4

Great experience.

 
 (Cleveland)
·Dined on July 24, 2016

Great experience.

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food5
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Beautiful interior, but the place just l ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

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.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List
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food3
ambience4
service2
value2

Our first time and I would go back! Love ...

vip
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

Our first time and I would go back! Love the decor with the wine glasses on ceiling and wine bottles upstairs. Our server Colin was excellent. Flank steak was amazing as were the brussel sprouts

Tags: Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
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service5
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Delicious food. Beautiful place and serv ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

Delicious food. Beautiful place and service was great

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

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined on July 19, 2016

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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Delicious food and helpful staff. I love ...

 
 (Phoenix)
·Dined on July 18, 2016

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, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
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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, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
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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, Notable Wine List, Scenic View, Special Occasion
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food5
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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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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: Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
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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, Notable Wine List, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
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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: Hot Spot, Romantic, Special Occasion, 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
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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, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Romantic
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food3
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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
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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: Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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