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

Specials

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Saturday, December 24, 2016

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Specials

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Details

No need to commit to a prix fixe menu at The Boarding House! We will be serving our regular menu all night on Christmas Eve! Celebrate the season with us!

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Details

Celebrate NYE at The Boarding House. From 5-8pm offering a 4 course prix-fixe for $65 (optional wine pairings for $40) and 8pm-12am offering a 6 course prix-fixe for $85 (optional wine pairings $60). REGULAR MENU NOT AVAILABLE.

Send a Gift Card

Buy now and send it instantly by email, or print a card to give in person.

Private Dining

The Boarding House offers catering options from 4 to 400 people.

The Boarding House Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.2

ambience

4.5

value

3.9

noise

Moderate

86% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (36)
Romantic (30)
Good for a Date (27)
See All
Fit for Foodies (27)
Good for Groups (26)
Creative Cuisine (26)
Notable Wine List (20)
Modern Decor (17)
Good for Anniversaries (16)
Business Meals (15)
Handcrafted Cocktails (15)
Quiet Conversation (14)
Good for Birthdays (13)
Vibrant Bar Scene (12)
Neighborhood Gem (11)
Bar Seating (9)
Good Vegetarian Options (8)
Cozy (7)
Pre/post Theatre (7)
Historic (6)
Local Ingredients (6)
Happy Hour (5)
Worth the Drive (5)
Healthy (5)
Seasonal (5)
Comfort Food (5)
Authentic (4)
Fun (4)
Casual (4)
Late-night Find (3)
Great for Lunch (2)
Private Room (2)
Family Style (2)
Great for Brunch (2)
Great Beer (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Tapas (1)
Organic (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
People Watching (1)
Sunday Lunch (1)
Vegan (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Scenic View (1)
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1317 reviews
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Wonderful dinning experience, great wine ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 4 days ago

Wonderful dinning experience, great wine and great food. Very nice place for a romantic date.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Seasonal, Comfort Food, Disabled Access, Good for Groups, Romantic, Late-night Find
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Went for dinner with a group. Great team ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 4 days ago

Went for dinner with a group. Great team, superb menu options for the range of dietary restrictions in our group (veg, gluten free, dairy allergy etc.). Excellent wine selection. I had the Crispy Polenta & Grilled Mushrooms. Vegetables were lightly seasoned - just enough to bring out the natural flavors of each vegetable. Polenta was just the right amount of crisp and taste. Similar great reviews about some of the other dishes from the group (baby octopus, seared scallops, venison).

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Notable Wine List, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Third time here, and each time has been ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 6 days ago

Third time here, and each time has been outstanding. Excellent flavors and presentation, commendable service, and decent portion size for a restaurant of this caliber. The decor/ambience make it perfect for any special occasion.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Modern Decor, Seasonal, Fit for Foodies, Scenic View, Special Occasion, Romantic, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

I have been to this restaurant many time ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 6 days ago

I have been to this restaurant many times and up to the last, they were all outstanding. For some reason, the quality of the food (material quality, not heated well enough, flavors blah) was not at the same standard as my prior visits.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups, Historic
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food2
ambience5
service4
value3

We've been wanting to try The Boarding H ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 6 days ago

We've been wanting to try The Boarding House for some time. The bar area is downstairs. The seating area for dinner is upstairs. The food was excellent. My friend had the venison and I had the flat-iron steak. The service was excellent.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Late-night Find, Cozy, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Meals were all excellent. We had a wine ...

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on December 1, 2016

Meals were all excellent. We had a wine aficionado with us and he was hard pressed to find good wines at a reasonable price, which was sad considering that was one of the reasons for picking this spot.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Cozy, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Food was amazing, drinks were decent, se ...

 
 (Louisville)·Dined on November 27, 2016

Food was amazing, drinks were decent, service was a tad slow but was fine since we weren't in a hurry.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Romantic
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food5
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service3
value3

I had been looking forward to dinner at ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 27, 2016

I had been looking forward to dinner at The Boarding House to celebrate our special occasion and had booked our reservation several weeks in advance. Our party of six was seated in a back table on the third floor, although the restaurant had lots of open tables. Our waiter seemed to be in hurry to turn over our table from the moment we sat down. He advised us to order our entrees at the same time we ordered our appetizer "because with the way the kitchen is going tonight, there could be an hour wait between courses". After finishing our entrees, we ordered dessert and coffee, which came promptly. We had just discussed ordering another bottle of wine when the check was placed on our table with no inquiry about a coffee refill or anything additional. Our tab was not insignificant, yet we couldn't even express our frustration with a smaller tip, since the gratuity was automatically added. I'm sorry we didn't just have a drink at the pretty bar on the main floor.

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food4
ambience2
service1
value1

we have wanted to go to The Boarding Hou ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 27, 2016

we have wanted to go to The Boarding House for a long time and had a chance to go on Saturday. the menu was great as was the wine list. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and we all enjoyed our choices. I found the Duck to be excellent as were all of the side dishes. We had two of the three options and based on those we wished we had ordered the third dish also

Tags: Seasonal, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Overall pretty poor service and they wer ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 26, 2016

Overall pretty poor service and they were out of items on the menu on a Friday at 7:45pm which became an inconvenience. We waited at least 10 minutes for a waitress who had surprisingly poor customer service despite recognizing the delay in addressing our table. The place is very pretty and provides a nice view....and my scallop dish was great but the whole experience would make me skip making reservations here again. Too bad.

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food2
ambience5
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value3

Thanksgiving Day - first time there for ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Day - first time there for our small party of 3. It's a lively popular place, but the noise level was very reasonable and never interfered with our enjoyment, especially with me being hard of hearing. The bar is very roomy with great cocktails (Midnight Manhattan=outstanding), and is a good place to wait for your table. The main dining room (I think the restaurant has 2 or 3 levels) was very comfortable, tables weren't too crowded, and the lighting and decorating are very attractive, a combination of modern lighting and colors but with a classy traditional feel, too. And, the food is delicious. Our $65 fixed price dinner started with a delicious soup (I believe it was a spicy squash bisque-type soup) -- absolutely delicious. That was followed by an appetizer course that we selected the scallop risotto and that was great, too. A creamy risotto with a large and tasty scallop atop it. Then came the turkey and stuffing and they were very good, with a slight crispiness to the edges of both and a spice I didn't recognize but that gave it a slightly more imaginative flavor. I forget what the dessert exactly was but remember a very tasty apple spice cake muffin that was great with coffee to close out dinner. We stayed overnight in the loop and it was about a $10 10-minute cab ride (incl tip) for the 3 of us, so it was very convenient. For those who know where Water Tower Place is on Michigan Avenue the Boarding House is about 6 blocks due west at Superior and Wells. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner there and may return for Thanksgiving again next year if we decide to visit Chicago again at Thanksgiving. PS. The server was great, too!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Happy Hour, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem, Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

My family and I had a wonderful thanksgi ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 24, 2016

My family and I had a wonderful thanksgiving dinner here. The food, wine and service were excellent, while the restaurant itself was cozy and quiet--even at near capacity.

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food5
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service4
value5

Our unit was under construction so we de ...

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 24, 2016

Our unit was under construction so we decided to book Thanksgiving reservations and chose The Boarding House which we had been meaning to try. As it turned out construction ended a bit earlier than expected (when does that happen?) so we roasted a chicken and prepared traditional Thanksgiving sides the weekend before. Therefore we had the salmon and the short ribs. I loved my salmon, the salad and cheesecake. My husband was less happy with his scallop and short ribs but did enjoy the bread pudding. We opted for the wine tasting and were very pleased. Our waitress was wonderful and answered all our questions, including questions about decor and how the chandeliers are cleaned! I want to try The Boarding House again. Visiting only once on a holiday does not lend itself for a truly fair and in depth review. The decor and ambience are lovely. Although the restaurant was packed it was very conversation friendly. We'll return to explore the regular menu.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Modern Decor, Notable Wine List, Bar Seating
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Boarding House went out of the way to ma ...

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 23, 2016

Boarding House went out of the way to make my long time friend feel very special on her 89th birthday. Thank you Boarding House. You never disappoint!

Tags: Worth the Drive, Romantic, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Great food, great service. We enjoyed o ...

 
 (Grand Rapids)·Dined on November 19, 2016

Great food, great service. We enjoyed ourselves very much!

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Beautiful bar area and dining room. All ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 15, 2016

Beautiful bar area and dining room. All food was pretty solid, not exceptional, but good.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Business Meals
1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
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Nice dinner at a very cool place easily ...

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on November 13, 2016

Nice dinner at a very cool place easily accessible from the Magnificent Mile. I guess for one of the "sexiest restaurants in Chicago"... zagat... i was a little surprised at the eatery feel of the dining room . I guess thats the concept due to the name ..and it's cool cool for groups, just wouldn't go back for a romantic dinner.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Healthy, Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
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This was our 3rd visit to the Boarding H ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 13, 2016

This was our 3rd visit to the Boarding House. They have improved on the size of the cocktails they are serving which was absolutely needed. Scallops Dinner was too slight - only 3 were offered for a dinner entree. The food quality was extremely high - loved it. Tables a bit close together but great ambiance and good servers.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Healthy, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
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value3

The tables were way too close...I felt w ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 13, 2016

The tables were way too close...I felt wedged between a couple on their 3rd date and a college reunion of 3 couples on our right. It is a cool facility, but overall I was very disappointed.

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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

We were a large party that I made a rese ...

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 13, 2016

We were a large party that I made a reservation for. Upon checking in some of the staff was very friendly and one older woman was not. They kept asking if our party was going to be 12. I agreed it was. Our waiter was great. Upon ordering we were told the fish of the day was halibut. 3 of us ordered it and upon delivery, they said it was cod. It was a completely different dish and the waiter apologized for his error. We were fine with the cod but I'm pregnant. What if it was a fish I couldn't eat or something I didn't like? For being a fine dining restaurant, they should really pay attention to informing their staff. And when guests say they are going to split a dessert, you don't serve the dessert to the opposite side of the table. The runners need to be aware of who they are serving dishes to. Overall, it was an ok experience.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
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service2

It was good but not as good as previous ...

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 12, 2016

It was good but not as good as previous experiences. The octopus was overcooked and we informed our server. The service was good but not great. She was attentive but thought she left us alone for a little too long at times. She took off the octopus from our bill which we did not request and gave us a generous pour of wine during dessert.

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food3
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service3

The ambiance is good, service was good ...

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 10, 2016

The ambiance is good, service was good too, but pasta carbonara that i ordered.. Hmmm... I think can't get worse than that - $25 for some low grade pasta with about 5 tiny pieces of pancetta and runny franciese sauce which pooled on the bottom of the plate. Hunger steak that i tried from my friend's plate had a good flavor but tough and chewy, i expected much better food at this place. Wouldn't recommend to eat there, maybe just drink wine.

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food1
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My co-workers and I met at The Boarding ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 10, 2016

My co-workers and I met at The Boarding House for a dinner to catch up and relax. We had a drink at the bar downstairs before moving to our dining reservation on the third floor. Service was great all around (bar and dinner service), and the food was way above everyone's expectations. I got my co-workers to try the polenta fries (skeptical at first!) and they turned out to be a hit. Most of the group thought we would be wowed by the decor and design of the restaurant more than the food, but were greatly surprised when everyone absolutely loved their dinner selections.

One service highlight: our server poured a taste of the wine we had bought to one of our guests to try. Our guest (self-proclaimed not a wine connoisseur) tried it and asked the server to smell the wine. Server took a quick analysis and deemed the wine spoiled. He whisked the bottle and glass away and came back quickly with a fresh bottle. I know this seems like it should be standard practice, but the quick thinking and diligence was much appreciated!

Thanks to The Boarding House for running a great establishment, hoping to bring other guests back in the future.

Tags: Historic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Local Ingredients, Happy Hour, Casual, Tapas, Pre/post Theatre, Sunday Lunch, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Great for Brunch, Modern Decor, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Amazing decor and amazing food to match. ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 29, 2016

Amazing decor and amazing food to match. Went here to celebrate my bday with parents. My dad ordered venison loin which was ah-mazing! Salmon and flat iron steak were beautifully done as well. Prices of course match the overall value of the place. Would highly recommend.

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Romantic
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food5
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Great cocktails. Friendly staff. Awesome ...

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 27, 2016

Great cocktails. Friendly staff. Awesome cheese plate.

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food5
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This restaurant was beautiful and has an ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 22, 2016

This restaurant was beautiful and has an amazing menu that gives you a lot of variety. It's a bit upscale on the price, but is one of those restaurants where you feel the money was well spent given how delicious the food is and how lovely and classy the decor was. It was such a wonderful atmosphere for quiet conversation and catching up with old friends. The handcrafted cocktails were also delicious. The only thing that could have been better was that our waiter seemed very detached and unemotional. She was very efficient and checked on us regularly so it was still good service, and maybe she was having a bad day, but you know sometimes a friendly waiter or waitress really adds to the evening. As I said, I still felt we were well taken care of. Thank you Boarding House for a wonderful dinner and evening!

Tags: Afternoon Coffee, Historic, Vibrant Bar Scene, Great Beer, Pre/post Theatre, Handcrafted Cocktails, Business Meals, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Romantic, Healthy, Good for a Date, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Amazing ambiance, excellent food, welcom ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 22, 2016

Amazing ambiance, excellent food, welcoming service! Will return in the future!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Groups, Special Occasion
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food4
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service4
value4

The decor helped to set the ambiance and ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 16, 2016

The decor helped to set the ambiance and the food, service, and drinks were all top notch. This is a good place for a date or special occasion.

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food5
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The Boarding House is wonderful in ever ...

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on October 16, 2016

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.

Tags: Romantic
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food5
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service5
value5

My girlfriend and I are in our golden ye ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 16, 2016

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...

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food1
ambience1
service2
value1

Great wine list, great food. You pay for ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 14, 2016

Great wine list, great food. You pay for what you get. Good spot overall for a date or dinner with friends

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food5
ambience5
service4
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The cuisine and cocktails are divine, th ...

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on October 10, 2016

The cuisine and cocktails are divine, the wine list is extensive, the decor and atmosphere are top notch. Ask for Kerry to be your server if you want impeccable service with a fabulous sense of humor.

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food5
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We started at the wine bar downstairs wh ...

 
 (London)·Dined on October 6, 2016

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!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Business Meals, Special Occasion, Modern Decor, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Romantic
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

The Boarding House has a beautiful dinin ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 30, 2016

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.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

We had a thoroughly mediocre experience ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 30, 2016

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.

Tags: Modern Decor, Pre/post Theatre
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food3
ambience2
service2
value2

Excellent food, mediocre service. We wai ...

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 27, 2016

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.

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food5
ambience5
service2
value3

Great food. Service was SLOW!!!!

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 27, 2016

Great food. Service was SLOW!!!!

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food5
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service3
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Second time visiting. First time everyth ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 25, 2016

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
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service5
value4

The fact that there was a difference bet ...

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 23, 2016

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
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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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