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  • Dancing Marlin

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Dancing Marlin
Dancing Marlin

Dancing Marlin Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://dancingmarlinrestaurant.com
  • Phone: (815) 464-6646
  • Hours of Operation:

    Dinner: Tuesday-Thursday 4:30pm - 10:00pm
    Friday 4:30pm - 11:00pm
    Saturday 3:00pm - 11:00pm
    Sunday 3:00pm - 9:00pm
    Closed Monday
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Seafood, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Chefs John, Jackson & Matt
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: Our level dining room can accommodate up to 60 guests!
  • Private Party Contact: Teresa (815) 464-6646

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 206th & Lagrange Rd (next to Culvers, Lumes & Buffalo WW)
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Plenty of free parking is available at the restaurant.
A word from Dancing Marlin
The Dancing Marlin is all about small plates, sharing & great wines and cocktails on tap! There also is a full bar. The menu has something for everyone with fresh seafood being a specialty. The culinary team has created a small plates menu that is both affordable and amazing! We feature a communal dining table for up to 14 guests. Our bar features 16 wines on tap and 8 "made from scratch", crafted cocktails. The bar also features 30 craft beers in bottles and cans. The restaurant features (3) private dining rooms that can accommodate up to 120 guests. All of this is packaged up in a modern restaurant design, produced by award winning design team. Knauer Inc!Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "Food portions are a joke. Whatever you order is not enough size portion to share. Would not recommend. Very too high price for the small portions of food."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "Stumbled on the Dancing Marlin after trying for reservations at some other well-known places. Took a chance and really lucked out. To say the food was good would be a disservice, it was imaginative, fresh, well prepared and, incredibly tasty. My wife and I had four dishes to share (mushroom flatbread, summer salad, crab stuffed peppers and porchetta) coffee and doughnuts for dessert. We could have stopped easily after the first four but the dessert beckoned. Our server, Katie, was very helpful, explaining how things worked and suggested dishes (there are 39 to choose from, 15 fish-based). Food comes fresh out of the kitchen served immediately as it's done; no warming lights here. We'll be back."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "We are regulars at Dancing Marlin. Chef Jackson is creative, and always finds innovative ways to combine ingredients, top quality fish, beef, and chicken, and unique sauces. This summer the soft-shelled crab sliders, ahi tuna wontons, and designer salads are big hits. The fresh fish specials (marlin or mahi mahi, or ono) are perfectly cooked with interesting sauces to boot. The meat dishes we tried (sliders and steak) are tasty. BM even offers a bone marrow dish with the most delicious short-rib/onion marmalade. The staff is friendly and the chef happily visits to talk food. The room is pleasant, but not fancy. I wish the bar mixed drinks and had a draft, craft beer program. We like the small plate, sharing design of the menu."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Great food, delicious! We really enjoyed the experience & Jay our waiter was fantastic. He was informative, helpful, quick on delivery of food & info."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "I've dined here three times and won't tire of it any time soon. The dishes are imaginative and delicious. Love to share? This is the place to do it."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "6 of us went there for dinner. My parents and brother have not been to the restaurant but the idea they though was interesting. We ordered tacos, flatbreads, fish dip, meatballs, and desert. Everyone enjoyed the food and the idea of small plates to share. Great place to go, but make sure if you go with a group to bring people you don't mind sharing food with. (someone in your group might finger the food)"
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Phenomenal night with friends, thanks to Dancing Marlin and their incredible food and staff."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "This is my second visit to the Dancing Marlin. Enjoyed it just as much as the last time. Katie, our server, was fantastic. Very knowledgeable and made some excellent recommendations. The food was delicious and perfect for sharing. The Shrimp Bahn Mi and the Fig & the Pig were my favorites. My wife had the specialty drink flight and I had wine. Generous pours and fresh. Highly recommend this place and will return."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Mmmmmm my partner and I really loved our dinner! It is small plate tapas type style but I am a vegetarian and she is not so we didn't do much sharing! She got mostly seafood items (their specialty) which she loved even though she is a very picky eater. Their fish is flown in daily so it's extremely fresh. My vegetarian items were amazing too! They have special notations on the menu for people with food restrictions (veg, gluten free etc). It's a fancy restaurant without being pretentious. You can hold a nice conversation there as it is lively. My partner wanted to go back the next night it was so good! It is slightly pricey though (although worth it) so I think we will save for a little less frequently! Definitely recommend!"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Never disapointed here. Solid food choices. Service was spotty this time and noise level a bit much. If that does not bother you then it is great."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Dancing Marlin has quickly become our favorite "Girl's Night Out" spot. The wine is amazing and the food is spectacular. The menu is seasonal, so you get the chance to try new dishes along with your favorites. The food is so fresh and flavorful. Our particular favorites were the shrimp bahn mi, oysters rockafellaz, and stuffed peppers...so delicious and fun to share! Can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "Some items were better than others but overall the food was fantastic. The service from our waitress was great but the servers that brought out the dishes didn't seam to have much interest in presentation. They would simply put the plate anywhere on the table - no removal of the old dish and no appropriately centering the new dish in the middle between you and your guest. Ambience is nice and has a cool urban vibe that we liked."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Came for the dueling piano's...again. Just so much fun and convenient that you don't have to go downtown for. As always it was a lively crowd. Sidenote: If you don't like noise be sure to ask for the back room if it's dueling piano night (which has been once a month on Thursdays lately). Many great items on the new summer menu. Incredible flavor combinations on both food and drinks. Our table had many great items...pastrami tacos, fig and the pig, chicken flat bread just to name a few. Whether it's dueling pianos, date night or girls night out, you will love this place."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "My wife and I went here for the first time recently. We didn't quite know what to expect, but we left very pleased with our experience. We really enjoyed 3 out of the 4 items we tried, but that's the great part about the portion sizes. You really do need to order multiple items from the list since it's a tapas restaurant. We both agreed we would definitely go back again."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "We chose to celebrate here in their more private room (less noisy). Mushroom flatbread was very flavorful and a good sharing starter. Sloppy Josephs were surprisingly tasty with more complex than the usual sloppy Joe type taste and texture. The seared ahi tuna made for a fine "main course" rare and tender. Excellent meal!!"
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "I am a huge fan of the unique dining experience at Dancing Marlin. In the past I have dined in larger groups here, but thoroughly enjoyed sharing with just a few friends this time. The small plate concept gave us the opportunity to try 8 different dishes and four different desserts. Their drink selection is amazing, but I'm loyal to their delicious Sangria. Each dish was unique and delicious. Don't miss the Gnudi or the Coffee and Donuts!"
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "We tried many of the dishes from their seasonally updated menu. They were all absolutely delicious! Fig and the pig--yum!! Mo-rocca--the spiciness combined with the lemon jam--to die for... Chicken yakitori--now I don't want chicken any other way! Roasted bone marrow--the boys were skeptical, but wow! It was a real treat--something unique that you wouldn't find in the suburbs. The steak is simply the best around--prime beef served tuscan style so that it is very easy to share. The Smith & Hook Cabernet was lovely because we ordered many meat dishes. Service was perfect as well...what an awesome dining experience!"
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "It was my first time dining at the Dancing Marlin and I have to admit I was a little skeptical about this whole new dining experience. However I was pleasantly surprised and delighted with the whole concept and the food, while unique, was delicious! I was thoroughly glad I came and will definitely recommend it to others. Can't wait to go back myself!"
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "We went to the dancing Marlin for our Anniversary with another couple. We ordered multiple items from the menu and shared them. The boys has beer and us girls wine which was awesome. Food is tapas style so for a party of four we were splitting two sliders. Chef came out to our table to ask how we enjoyed the food as well as the manager who recognized it was our anniversary and gave us a complimentary dessert which was delicious. Overall a great time and great food. Not a place I would bring kids due to menu but great place for a date night..."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Great food. Interesting choices. Loved the concept. We will be back!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Great food! Had a great time celebrating my girlfriends' birthdays. The food was outstanding and it was so fun to share!"
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Food that rivals any other restaurant. We attempted to eat our way thru the menu starting with the kale chips and delighted with every bite. We ordered two plates of the marrow because we could not get enough of that umami. The only plate that did not meet our expectations was the porchetta but the server kindly took it off the bill, but the oysters, meatballs, pig and the fig and others just kept us wanting to try more. Even the three year old and 14 month old were pleased with their cheese flatbread. My family from out of town just kept thanking me for the experience."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "A very unique menu, with exotic food and drink items! Great service in a very relaxed and casual atmosphere. Prices were on the high side, but well worth it for a special occasion! Definitely a must try."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Fun place to go, especially with a group. Everything on menu sounded great. We had a hard time choosing what to try. We wish we would have had more people, thus allowing us to try more small plates. They all sounded interesting and delicious!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Much need for the south side however I wasn't impressed with all all the plates but will give it another try. I don't recommend the meat balls. The desserts were just ok, the best part of the coffee cream and doughnuts was the cream and salted caramel otherwise the doughnuts were really dry. Our waitress was delightful which made for an enjoyable experience."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Marlin is fabulous. We're used to Cafe BaBaReeba and Emilio's in the city, and this place did not disappoint. It's American tapas, with interesting, yummy takes on traditional stuff. The fries with aioli mayo were wonderful and for $4, the portion was generous. The Gnudi (their take on gnocchi) was an outer pasta shell with ricotta inside and was amazing. Shrimp and Chorizo tacos, Softshell Crab sliders, etc. were all great. For the adventurous, there are also some "different" offerings- the Bone Marrow (don't scoff; it's super good for you and is a Paleo staple) was served with crostini and a Cabernet jam and was also very, very good. We even saw Andy Avalos the night we were there! Go and keep an open mind. You'll love it!"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Excellent American tapas restaurant! It's so nice to have an alternative option to steaks and italian in the south suburbs. Highly recommend their trout or shrimp tacos and the ahi tuna. The whitefish dip is unique and tasty! But there are many other non fish options, like for dessert the coffee and doughnuts. Sooooo delicious, wish i could order it for breakfast! The restaurant decor is adorable, and they have several options for small to large group dining. Never heard of wine on tap... well go check it out! Owner Tom and the chef will visit your table personally to see how your meal is. Haven't had service like that in awhile! I recommend you go tonight."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "We went to the Dancing Marlin for my sisters birthday. We tried their marlin special, white fish dip and a few others. All phenomenal! The first time we were in there, but definitely not the last! Amazing food, service and decor!"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Had looked forward to dining at this restaurant for quite some time. Could not be more disappointed. Took 15 minutes after being seated for anyone to acknowledge us. Crab stuffed peppers needed more seasoning. Flatbread did not have a lot of flavor. Scallops were excellent. Grouper was very salty and when we commented that a part of it was raw, it seemed the chef disagreed and the dish was reoffered to us to finish. Wine selections were not great but we were warned ahead of time, so brought our own wine which they served for a modest $15 corkage fee. All in all, this was not an experience we want to repeat anytime soon."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "I had heard good things about this restaurant and wanted to try it for awhile. I went with a couple friends who were in town for the weekend and we really enjoyed it. The food was excellent...great seafood."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Food and service were good. I made an effort (and staff obliged) to get a nice tucked away spot for my first date and I knowing that its a bight tight and noisy in the main section and people were close. Unfortunately the party next to us was with drunken cackling ladies that just wouldn't let up; the noise from them was terrible and they didn't get any sort of hint they might be disturbing others. this is no reflection of the restaraunt; more of some advise to be very mindful of the folks next to you; you are listenting in on everyones stuff"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "We took 3 out of town guests for 4th of July week-end celebration; 2 were foodies from Portland Or and 1 a food lover from Charlotte, NC. They all raved about the menu choices, the excellent preparation, and tasty flavorful food. It is hard to recommend any one particular dish but the mushroom flatbread probably is tops but the fries, beet salad, scallops, ahi tuna, risotto etoufee with crawfish and shrimp, crab stuffed peppers, artichokes, and sloppy Joseph were among the items we ordered. They were out of the soft shell crab sliders by the time we ordered but we understand they are not to be missed. Yes, we ordered a lot but it was all shareable and terrific."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "the menu changes seasonally and the items are creative! Unique for the area!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "This was highly recommended by a friend. She said the Sangria was great. Personally I did not care for it. I was not familiar with the small plate concept but walked away loving it. You are able to share so many tastes and the food was excellent. Will definitely be going back although the noise level in the restaurant is bad...poor design of room."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Have never been disappointed. Love Dancing Marlin!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Great concept. Terrible layout. Average food. Descriptions all sound great but food disappoints."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "We eat here almost once a week due to the excellent food and variety of options on the small plates. The wild mushroom flatbread has terrific mushroom taste; not overwhelmed by cheese as is so often the case. Tried the crawfish etoufee which was full of shrimp and crawfish; very tasty. The artichoke was rich and flavorful with the method of preparation. We ran out of room before we could consider desert. Will return many times more!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "The food was very good! Our group of four shared nine plates and enjoyed each and every one!"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "It was my birthday and I booked a table for two. The dueling pianos were playing. It made for a fun evening. There was a lot of crowd interaction. The food is different and creative. Many choices for a gluten free diet. It was a fun way to spend the evening. It can get quite loud when entertainment is there. When there is no entertainment, it is great for a date."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Never disappointed with any of our selections. Shared plate is a unique find in the south burbs. Seasonal menus so they are always changing it up."
    Dined on 6/19/2014