Blackbird
Blackbird

Blackbird

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.blackbirdrestaurant.com/
  • Phone: (312) 715-0708
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday–Friday: 11:30am–2:00pm; Dinner: Sunday–Thursday: 5:00pm–10:00pm, Friday–Saturday: 5:00pm–11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Paul Kahan, Chef de Cuisine David Posey
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wine
  • Special Events: Please contact Sarah Humphreys, our Private Event Coordinator, at 312.496.0012 for more information.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Jefferson
  • Public Transit: Clinton Green Line;
    56 Milwaukee Bus;
    8 Halsted Bus;
    20 Madison
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet is available for $10 during dinner service, and for $5 during lunch service.
A word from Blackbird
Critically acclaimed Blackbird is home base for Executive Chef Paul Kahan, winner of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 2013 and Best Chef of the Midwest in 2004.


Chef de Cuisine Perry Hendrix joined Kahan in the kitchen in 2014, and together they craft elegant and imaginative Midwestern cuisine, showcasing farm-fresh ingredients to create a menu both classic and utterly approachable.


Managing Partner and Owner Donnie Madia and Architect Thomas Schlesser crafted a unique and timeless atmosphere in 1997, earning the James Beard Award for Best Restaurant Design and Best Restaurant Design Graphics in 2002.
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Blackbird reviews from OpenTable diners
313 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (257)special occasion (177)hot spot (101)notable wine list (99)romantic (78)neighborhood gem (65)great for lunch (59)great for outdoor dining (25)good for groups (22)vibrant bar scene (15)late-night find (7)great for brunch (6)scenic view (2)Show More
  • It's been awhile but not as good as I remember it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/24/2014
    I've always been a huge fan of Paul Kahan and Blackbird for many years. A true innovator and a great business man. This visit wasn't as strong as visits in the past. It's tough to stay at a high level for so long as they have. We had the tasting menu with the wine pairing. Only three of the dishes on the menu would I say were great and very solid, the rest were very sub par and underwhelming. The salmon dish with sunchokes is really really good. But the salmon was a little over cooked but still the strongest dish even with that misstep. The chicken dish is also very strong and very flavorful. The intermezzo dessert was incredible and perfectly balanced but the actual dessert failed to impress. It needed something else maybe an ice cream to balance out the richness of the pumpkin purée and to introduce a much needed temperature variety to the very one note dish. The amuse was weak and felt like an after thought. The bay scallops were a little overcooked and would've been great if they would've used less cocoa nibs. Overall the service was great. But there was one service note that I didn't really like. When the server/somm brought our wine for each course he didn't pour from the bottle table side, the wine was pre-poured ahead of time and we weren't shown the bottle or label which was disappointing. I can understand utilizing this during a busy night when one is trying to keep up with a pairing but there were only a handful of tables and it was not busy at all. I still think it's a good restaurant and definitely it's not in it's hay day any more but I still think a stronger effort towards excellence could've been made considering they're reputation and all they've accomplished throughout the years.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exceptional restaurant
    Pehata
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    Blickbird is a restaurant that offers amaizing food. The menue is small but the food is delicious. We celabrated my fiancé birthday and we were more than amazed with the service and atmosphere. We ordered pinot noir, smoked white fish, salmon and duck breast and were trilled with the taste. Will definitely recomend and go back!
    Special Features:
    late-night find, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    KCM1
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    Somebody get me some soap. Ima wash my hands if this one!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Anniversary lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Was a great culinary experience. From the bar choices to the food. They made us feel welcome and special. Highly recommend to locals and out of towners. We will def be back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unique experience
    Ayceman
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    The key to enjoying blackbird is to not compare it to the typical restaurant experience. The service is beyond great--upon arrival for our first visit we were treated like long lost friends. The wine list is eclectic and extensive. And while as some have commented, the portions are on the small side, the flavor and preparation of the food is extraordinary. The endive salad with egg and pancetta was quite simply the best salad I have ever eaten. Everyone in my party had fish for their entree and each plate was perfectly prepared. The deserts, while equally delicious (try the angel food cake with caramel ice cream and a hint of mustard) are presented in an aggressively unstructured fashion literally smeared across the plate. Another first for me- I had never seen good food presented this badly. But perhaps this is a new trend that I missed. It all tasted great. If you tweak your expectations a bit you will love blackbird.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic
    PP5458
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Worth a visit. Delicious food, great wines. Service was top notch. Great variety.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A special place to dine!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    Perfect for entertaining! The experience was thoroughly enjoyed by all in our party of 4. Food - tasty, creative & beautiful; and service was fantastic! Would highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Absolutely Fantastic
    DelightfullyDelicious
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    I have worked at a fine dining restaurant for about 5 years. Sometimes I feel like I have too high of standards when it comes to service and food quality. This restaurant came highly recommend by the executive chef at the restaurant I work for, and it did not disappoint. Everything was absolutely delicious! It's a shame that we were only in town for a few days because we would have loved to come back. Blackbird is definitely on our list for when we come back in to town.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Epecurian Delight
    Blackbird
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    First time at Blackbird and abosutley loved it! From appetizer to dessert, everything was presented with percision with wonderful combinations. Great recommendations from the staf that actually translated in to people who cared and were genuinely product of the food that came out of the open kitchen.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food was wonderful.
    Small
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We had the chef's tasting menu. It was outstanding. Ask for Steven!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch
    HeatherVIP
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Great prefix lunch. Many selections and decent price. Good for work or personal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still good after all these years...
    Speedster
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    A bit noisy, but an intimate dining experience with a good vibe.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • My expectations were high
    MarcoTomas
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    I did the $25 prix fixe lunch. By no means was the experience not enjoyable; the food was all delicious. But by no means did anything blow me away, either. And for a three-course meal, it was surprisingly not very much food. The hanger steak entree was literally only a few bites. Perhaps, had I not heard so much about this place, I may have left feeling a lot more satisfied. But after looking forward to indulging here for weeks, I can't help but say I left disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fixed Price Lunch
    johnVIP
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    I have had excellent lunches hear before. But the fixed price lunch was a bust. Seriously tiny proportions with far too much acidity on e revert. The squash salad was almost literally swimming in dressing. My cocktail waited on the bar for 10 minutes before someone bothered to pick it up and serve it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • good food
    nonameVIP
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    It's a beautiful restaurant with beautiful food, eaten and served by beautiful people. There's something a little too pretentious for me. The duck confit was outstanding, the Paloma ok, the burger good but not great, fantastic fries. I just wasn't comfortable enough to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • wonderful dinner
    stressed14
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    this place was buzzing! the food and atmosphere were great! love the open kitchen too! our server was very friendly and made some great wine recommendations too! i would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unique experience
    VisitorVIP
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    What I most love about Blackbird is that what they serve is unique. The conception of the dishes, combinations of ingredients, choice of sauces: they aren't following any roadmap. What you have at Blackbird you can't find anywhere else and you can't make it at home. And they pull it off: their food is as delicious as it is interesting. The main reason I eat at Blackbird is that it's a breath of fresh air. They also have wonderfully knowledgable waiters.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent, but one big mistake
    Sarah
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    The food was really great--truly excellent. I've had the tasting menu at Next, and the dishes I ordered here were comparable in excellence. The atmosphere was nice (I prefer less ambient noise or else they should seat us closer together instead of across a table where we have to speak loudly to reach each other), the wine selection great, and the server went to great lengths to recommend or alter dishes that didn't have meat or lactose. However, they missed the fact that my dining partner was celebrating a birthday. I called ahead to make sure it was noted, and I arrived 15 minutes early to make sure it was set up, and I was assured everything was in place for a little cake and candle. However, when the time came, nothing appeared.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Felt too fancy for its own good
    dijjnn
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    Food was good, a bit too loud with the music for a lunch. Waiter was able & friendly with only the mildest touch of superiority, barely perceptible & may have just been a veiled desire to turn the table over quickly. Conversation was difficult because of the noise, but the food was good. Slightly confusing portions (smallish appetizer salad, but way too many frites with entree). Pork belly was great, butternut squash salad similarly excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent experience
    racer
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Some of the best food and service I have had in a restaurant, but very pricey. No complaints.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Dinner Ever
    Jerleo
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    My wife and I made reservations at Blackbird in celebration of our 7th wedding anniversary. I have heard great things about this restaurant and now I can truly attest that it is one of the best dining experiences I have ever had. From the first class staff to the incredible meals, Blackbird provides a one of a kind experience that I would recommend to all.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We were disappointed this time out
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    We'd eaten at Blackbird a year ago and simply loved it. This time round - not so much. The food did not live up to our first experience - the flavours were not as inventive and some seemed over salted. And we found that the tables are so crowded and there is so many staff, that the servers were often reaching in front of us to pick up a plate rather than moving to the other side of the table. We were really looking forward to the evening, and were disappointed, especially at this price point.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Decent time
    Idliboy
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    I was expecting a lot from the reviews. The soup and dessert were very good. The celery and lobster soup was fantastic. I had the salmon and my friend had the duck. We were both disappointed- especially in view of the cost. The salmon was dry and a bit salty. Not at all what I had expected. Disappointed by service at bar.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect for a Business Lunch
    CeeceeVIP
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    They've really upped their game for lunch - just as good as their marvelous dinners in less time and money.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • wwonderful meal
    operalover
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    My wife and I had three courses each, all different. The dishes were all well-presented and delicious. Good wines were available by the glass. The service was attentive and knowledgeable. The place is noisy, chiefly because of the blank walls. The music was low-key, the conversations were not. Still, the meal was very satisfying.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • near perfect
    lovetoeatandcook
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    very thoughtful menu/dishes ... components all belonged and worked together. our server was impressive as he spoke to dishes in a way that truly demonstrated he understood why the chef put each ingredient on the plate ... a rare, but very appreciated, trait and shows all staff pride in what they do ... my first time and hope my travels bring me back to Chicago as this joint is a real keeper!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food for foodies
    WineguyRI
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Fantastic food. Chefs tasting menu was exemplary. A long initial wIt before service resulted in free bubbly for the table. Would return for sure next time I am im town.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Well orchestrated dining experience
    GoodFoodGuyVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Full-house and tight seating, but we had a nice table at the back of the restaurant overlooking the kitchen. Service was very efficient - this is a well run restaurant where everything works smoothly and like clockwork. Food was delicious with some very unique ingredients and pairings. Desire the growing crowds for the second dinner seating we never felt rushed. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Cheja
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Food was delicious, service fab. Tables a little too close together for my liking.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Evening
    SueBVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    My husband and I were visiting Chicago with our grown sons and one of their companions. We wanted a special night out and chose Blackbird. We were not disappointed. Every dish was special and perfectly prepared. My husband ordered the sweetbread appetizer with some trepidation, but was rewarded with delicious, lightly battered and fried morsels. Salads were creative and unusual. I had the sea scallop appetizer which was accompanied by pickled blueberries and corn - a very inspired combination. We were very pleased with every detail of our meal, and I highly recommend the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • special place
    bozemanite
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Really like the food, service outstanding. A mite spendy, but very good for a splurge. Close to the Lyric, other theatres, train, so nice for us little old ladies from the suburbs as well as the hip urbanites.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Review
    notapVIP
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Only writing this to send private note to the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Easy 3.5 overall
    dcfoodieVIP
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    The decor is what you expect from the pictures on the website; no frills, tables in close proximity, but clean. The food was hit and miss; I ordered the hits and my friend ordered the miss. The veal sweetbreads were great, as was the sturgeon/pork cheeks. I was very happy with my order. My friend ordered the tartare and the salmon. The tartare was overly pungent, like taking a shot of toasted sesame oil. I found it unpleasant. I found the salmon to be similar in that the flavors were too strong. I understand that wild sockeye salmon is to taste more gamy, but I found it unpalatable. The service was very good, as was the wine menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, exceptional service!
    gourmetchic
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    The food here is always of the finest quality, love using Open Table to reserve. They always accommodate whether you are on a time constraint or dietary restrictions. If I have to meet up with friends for lunch I always come to Blackbird. Never a bad plate, in fact they change the menu so you always have new choices. This is a unique gem found in the West Loop! A restaurant that does it right!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our New Chicago Home
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    I love nothing more than being a regular at a restaurant. This was my second time at Blackbird in a couple months, and since I have lots of friends in Chicago -- and work in the restaurant industry in New York -- there is always a reason to visit. I hope to dine at Blackbird on a regular basis. It has that quality that will put you in a better mood after a visit. The only thing that might be better than the food is the service and hospitality -- outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not as good as expected
    Princecharming
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We had great expectations, but left disappointed. For $185 per person (total for tasting menu and wine pairings), the food and service should have been outstanding. They were not. Rather than being taken care of by one attentive waiter, the numerous courses and wines were delivered by 4 or 5 different people, often with unreasonably long gaps and the need for us to actually get up and report the inattention. Despite an exciting menu with many unusual ingredients listed in each dish, some of the items were totally absent or in such a small portion to be unidentifiable. Also, we were a bit surprised to have a 7:30 reservation, arrived at 7:25, and were seated at 7:55. No, I don't want to have a seat at the bar.....
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent food!!!
    eddieVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Not to be missed when visiting Chicago! The appetizers were fantastic and the Walleye Pike and the Salmon were simply delicious! Dessert was amazing from a prize winning dessert chef. Service was good though the plates sometimes took a while to arrive. The room is very noisy as it is packed with happy diners! The bar was busy all through our visit. On my list to return to when I'm back in Chicago.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Better than the pack
    JimmythepickVIP
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    The restaurant could make the seating a bit more spacious but everything else was very very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • KPLNeighborVIP
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Blackbird is always great ... The endive salad in the potato nest is one of the all-time most photogenic dishes ... And tastes as good as it looks - the ravioli this week was outstanding as well
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • When in Chicago...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    Visiting Chicago for the marathon weekend and Blackbird had been recommended to us by a friend to who travels there for business frequently. Blackbird did not disappoint. Friendly hosts greeted us at the door; seated immediately. Abundant conscientious serving staff tended to every need. Didn't get our server's name but he was pleasant, informative and very attentive. He made a great wine recommendation for our meal specifically. Highest compliments to the chef! Separate appetizers of sweetbreads and scallops were delicious. Then the duck, and the lamb. Finished with the parmesan cruller - fantastic! Restaurant isn't huge so lots of good energy around the room and fun action watching food come out of the kitchen. Really enjoyed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.