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  • Balsan at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago

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Balsan at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Balsan at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Balsan at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.waldorfastoriachicagohotel.com/explore-hotel/dining/balsan-restaurant
  • Email: chicago.balsan-bernards@waldorfastoria.com
  • Phone: (312) 646-1400
  • Hours of Operation: Breakfast:
    • 7am-11am Mon-Fri
    • 7am-10am Sat-Sun
    • 10am-2pm Sat-Sun
    • 11am-2pm Mon-Fri
    • 5pm-10pm Everyday
    Late Night
    • 10pm-Midnight Fri-Sat
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, European
  • Executive Chef: Herve Cuyeu
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Private Dining Options range from 10 - 200 people
    Customizable menus present varied and delicious market fresh choices

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Rush Street
  • Public Transit: Close to MTA at Chicago and State (Red Line)
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Discounted Valet for Restaurant Guests Available $ 18.00
A word from Balsan at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Balsan at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago is a contemporary bistro showcasing refined, yet rustic fare with an American sensibility. Served in a relaxed social setting, the market-driven menu offers a wide range of options including family-style dining, shared plates and updated classics. It is located in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood on the third floor of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago at 11 East Walton Street. Continued
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Diner Reviews
  • "Balsan at the Waldron Astoria was a great experience! When we first walked in the hostess greeted us and we were immediately seated at our table. The layout was very upscale but nothing too stuffy or snooty at all. Our server was attentive and made excellent recommendations for dessert which was a soft cookie along with pistachio ice cream and a chocolate ganache to pour over the top! I'm not into writing surveys, however if you want to go somewhere and have a pleasant and elegant experience I would recommend Balsan."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "This was my first time here.Incredable service from the time you walk in.The appetizer we ordered came on a wooden board filled with different cheese, honey. Cherries soaked in liqueur ,mustard and grilled sour dough bread.I have been to Paris several times and this is by far the most outstanding appetizer I have ever had .I will return there for there grits and salad as we'll."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Brunch was great. All the girls loved the shared plate that comes out with a variety of spreads and pastries. The entrees were delicious too. We had the Steak and Eggs [fingerling potatoes are amazing], Corned beef hash[delectable], shrimp and grits [fabulous with a kick], and yogurt parfait[not a fan of having preserves instead of fresh fruit]. Also the coffee was Lavazza so it was amazing. Service was unfortunately mediocre. For being in such a ritzy hotel, the service was not up to par. The servers were friendly and great aside from being forgetful."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "In an era when hotel restaurants are often above average this one isn't. The space isn't particularly attractive. The music belongs more in a night club than a restaurant and the food is boring - and expensive. Too bad, because the hotel is beautiful and located in a great neighborhood to capture a regular clientele if some important improvements are made."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Good solid elegant place. Friendly service, good wine but limited by the glass selections."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "The little tray of goodies was terrific, the rest of the menu was just average. Service was inattentive. I am not sure if the servers were over busy, but it did not seem that way to me, they were just annoyed at having to be there and disappeared a lot. There are better places for brunch."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "My steak was horrible. I had to chew it for minutes before I dared to swallow and not choke. Also, I had mentioned that we were celebrating my husband's birthday when I made the reservation and there was no mention of it at all at the table."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "I had been looking forward to dinner at Balsan, ever since it opened. And I was really disappointed with the quality of food. Our meal was during Restaurant Week, so perhaps it wasn't the best time to try it. I went off RW menu and ordered the steak frites--the steak was very greasy and fatty while the fries were well seasoned. My date ordered from the RW menu--the flatbread appetizer was probably the best dish we tried. He had the hot pot with seafood, and it smelled fishy--never a good sign. The RW dessert was so underwhelming I can't even remember what it was--some sort of dry cake. There are much better places in the neighborhood to try. The table next to us had issues with their orders and were comped a dish. Service was average."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "The restaurant was empty and had an odor of chlorine. There were no salt or pepper shaker on table and the table candle was dirty and needed cleaning. Utensils were very cheap and not what you would expect form a restaurant in the Waldorf Astoria. The carrot salad was served in a bowl instead of a salad plate, which was strange. Dessert was stale and had no flavor. Overall--very disappointed. I won't be coming back."
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "We went for brunch. The first course had one piece of each item for us to share (check menu). The curd n goat cheese were inedible for me. The second course, i ordered a plain omelet and their unique potatoes. The omelet was small this time. My fruend's steak was undercooked, but they changed it. When paying the bill, i noticed it was less than expected. I guess they brought n calculated one first course, explains the one pieces. Im not going again for brunch. Only breakfast."
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "Food was delicious. The duck liver pate was excellent. The charcuterie plate had the most amazing cheese. The seafood pot was so well seasoned and the steak was wonderfully cooked. I would have never had thought that this restaurant would be so good."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "2 courses with lots of great entree choices make this a contemporary yet gastronomically filling spot for Sunday Brunch. Baked goods/savory 1st course tray examines several traditional brunch items in small bites for all to share. We find it easy to walk to from anywhere in the Gold Coast and occasionally they will offer the Waldorf Astoria car service if you need to leave in a cab!"
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "This was our first time back to Balsan since the Waldorf Astoria took over the former Elysian Hotel. The last time we were there, we loved everything about the restaurant. The energy, the service and the food were all great. We ordered two different entrees this time and both were horrible. We will not go back."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "artistically presented savory food! not overdone-just flavorful food set on appetizing plates. all three of us enjoyed our ordered meals-seafood, vegetarian and carnivore. polished and attentive service. great drinks. had a grand time. will surely be back!"
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "Just had a nice quiet lunch at Balsan. Food was very good. Beef bacon BLT and homemade chips were delicious. She had the seafood salad with an amazing green goddess dressing. Will definitely return. It was nice fund this quiet uncrowded spot to unwind from the power shopping."
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "The menu designed at Balsan is spectacular....my folks are still begging the chef for the recipe for his Brussels Sprouts"
    Dined on 11/27/2013
  • "Really enjoyed lunch here on New Year's day. The breakfast and lunch menus were both available and the staff was super friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable. Loved the toasty cumin flavors in the carrot soup. Just wish I had pumpernickel for dipping. The artisan greens salad had a lovely mix of carrot, apple and fennel with shallot vinaigrette. I think they forgot the toasted almond, but I don't mind. Seared Faroe Island salmon was fantastic, with a light thyme lemon nage a little heat from fresh cayenne slivers and a combination of melted leeks and matsutake mushrooms. The chips that come with the club sandwich are crazy good too. I'd definitely return! The menu is small but focused and everything looks great."
    Dined on 1/1/2014
  • "Best brunch ever! We had the two course brunch. I had relatives from out of town, we all enjoyed everything. The first course was special donuts, domestic cheeses, freshly baked scones with chocolate hazelnut spread, passion fruit curd(out of this world). Second course, I ordered my usual plain omelet with potatoes and fruits. The only down side was that we ordered bread with her second course, we got the bread after ordering our check."
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "Had breakfast on a week day and wasn't disappointed except for the fact that I wish it was a weekend and I was able to eat from the brunch menu. Some really delicious sounding items on the brunch menu. Enjoyed a well prepared omelet with well seasoned fingerling potatoes. Service was great and noise level is what one would expect on a weekday morning. Look forward to returning for brunch. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "I would have given Balsan an excellent rating since it obviously aspires to a higher level. But we were there for Christmas Dsy and for what we paid, the meal was just very good, not wonderful. We've eaten there before (when it was not the Waldorf-Astoria) and were much happier with the food and the service."
    Dined on 12/25/2013
  • "I really don't know how to say how disappointing this Christmas meal was..."
    Dined on 12/25/2013
  • "The french toast was not cooked in the middle and our food took 30 min to arrive when the restaurant was not crowded. The food did not arrive together for the two of us and I noticed other tables had the same issue."
    Dined on 12/1/2013
  • "Wife, daughter & I attended dinner here on Thanksgiving. After some confusion about where we would be seated (we had dinner reservations), we were seated in area by the bar. Noise was high and difficult to carry on conversation between the three of us. Prix fixe dinner menu offered at $68 p/person. Very disappointed, first course was good, however main course(s) and all sides were cold, ham was dry, rubbery and salty. Pasta (ravioli w/ bolognese, mushroom and shaved truffles) was salty as well. Service through dinner was decent, not exceptional and found we waited to have a water glass filled on several occasions. Desserts were ok at best. Overall, for a $320 tab (including wine) we expected something different."
    Dined on 11/28/2013
  • "We went to Balsan for Thanksgiving dinner. The dinner could not have been better. The food was wonderful and service superb. The restaurant was busy and energetic creating a festive atmosphere. Our server (Ian) was always there when we needed him but let us enjoy our meal without hovering. The special Thanksgiving menu was perfect with several course options; we went the traditional route and had the Turkey and could not have been happier. This was a price fix 4 course meal. Given what we saw on line for menu and price options at other restaurants Balsan felt like a bargain in regards to quality, quantity and atmosphere. As we will not be able to travel at Christmas; we are thinking of Balsan again."
    Dined on 11/28/2013
  • "The meal was delicious. The service was great. I will definitely be back for dinner another evening. Our waitstaff person was so kind and attentive. She placed the flowers I had bought and had delivered to the restaurant in a box/bag so we could carry them home. One thing spoiled the evening. We walked downstairs to have a after dinner drink in the bar one floor below. When I sat the bag behind a post so that it would be out of the way, the young, female barkeeper or cocktail waitress told be I would have to put it under the seats where we sat at the bar. We decided we would go to another place where we would feel more welcome and in a more friendly atmosphere. She needs to be provided customer service training. Dave Cervone"
    Dined on 11/22/2013
  • "Dined in for our 6 year anniversary we informed the Balsab staff prior to dining in & received complimentary champagne. Chicken liver mousse was alright. The scallops & sirloin were superb! We did not have dessert because the menu did not offer anything that caught my interest or anything new and eccentric for that matter."
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "A superb dining experience! A very thoughtful wine list with some very special offerings. Deep in coverage of Old World as well as New. Meaningful and deliberate selection of White Burgundy. Now for the food: Grilled Octopus Salad starter was just perfect. Red Snapper main was one of the best composed dishes I have had in a long time. If no one was watching, I would have licked the plate. My wife's vegetarian dinner was very unique and delicious. Her Mushroom Bolognese was deep in flavor, thoughtfully prepared, and surprisingly, vegetarian... the dish could easily pass for traditional bolognese... so much so that we had to verify it was meatless! Food, spectacular. Wine carte, one of the best. All that's needed are tablecloths!"
    Dined on 10/26/2013
  • "Balsan is always good for a quiet, classy client breakfast."
    Dined on 10/22/2013
  • "We had a great experience at the Balsan. Our server (Amy) was outstanding. Food and drinks were very good."
    Dined on 10/18/2013
  • "We dined Sat. evening at Balsan. Our server was Amy, and the food, service and experience was absolutely fabulous. We enjoyed ourselves very much, and will definitely be back. Amy is the best waitress we've found in the city, after being here for 11years. Total delight."
    Dined on 10/12/2013
  • "This place needs to redirect the air flow from the upstairs swimming pool away from the dining room! I couldn't enjoy a decent meal (but unexceptional) due to the smell of chlorine."
    Dined on 9/13/2013
  • "We had a wonderful time at the D'Usse Cognac paired 4-course dinner - small event in the private room, every course was incredible and although each course seemed rather small, the total amount of food was perfect. Our drinks prior to the event (off of Balsan's menu) were fantastic - perfect sake/lychee/gin combination and a fantastic Oatmeal Stout."
    Dined on 9/10/2013
  • "did not know what to expect, but do expect to be back, and soon. Great menu, outstanding service,"
    Dined on 8/24/2013
  • "The Balsan offers a quiet atmosphere with great service. The menu is simple yet offers original takes on some classic seafood/steakhouse fare. The presentation of the plates are phenomenal, but the length of time to between courses is a bit staggering and unbalanced. Lastly, while the prices are reasonable, there is a service charge applied to the check that is a bit unreasonable."
    Dined on 8/5/2013