Merlo on Maple
Merlo on Maple

Merlo on Maple

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.merlochicago.com/
  • Phone: 3123358200x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Luisa Silvia Marani
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Dearborn
  • Public Transit: Train stop at Clark/Division only leaves a nice 4 block walk to Maple. Busses throughout Gold Coast are minutes from restaurant.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: $13 for valet
A word from Merlo on Maple
Merlo features authentic Bolognese Italian and serves the freshest ingredients possible, many imported directly from Italy. Executive Chef, Luisa Silvia Marani, takes great pride in her handmade pastas, homemade sauces and her ability to acquire the freshest ingredients available. Each course is made to order and requires accurate preparation time. Merlo is a slow-dining establishment; so come for romance, or for an important business dinner. Merlo will accommodate private dining with prix-fixe menus for any special occasion. Italy is known for more than just the cuisine, which is why Merlo also offers the finest Italian wines to compliment the food. Along with regular wine selections, a Reserve List is available for those wine enthusiasts with a taste for something special. Along with the cuisine, comes the heart and soul of generations before this chef and her husband, Proprietor, Giampaolo Sassi. Bon Appetito!! We invite you to take a tour of our restaurant. http://bit.ly/1ByZtoJ
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Merlo on Maple reviews from OpenTable diners
75 reviews since June 4, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelQuiet
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (57)neighborhood gem (47)fit for foodies (45)special occasion (44)notable wine list (34)great for outdoor dining (6)good for groups (6)late-night find (2)great for brunch (1)great for lunch (1)Show More
  • gem of a restaurant
    docboss
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We had a wonderful experience. for appetizers we had melon with prosciutto, and the beef carpaccio. For entrees, my wife had the special risotto (with pumpkin puree and gorgonzola), while I had the gnocchi with black truffles. All dishes were outstanding. The portions were appropriate and presented well. Our waiter, Jesse, was informative and attentive without being intrusive. We allowed him to choose wines for our dishes. Well done. Time between appetizer and entrée might seem excessive to some, but we liked it. The upper level was 1/2 filled, so the noise level was low. Although we arrived 1/2 hour early, we were seated immediately. Two cocktails, appetizers, entrees, three glasses of wine, gratuity and tax came to $240.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • AMcoupleVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    The restaurant was in an old three decker home. We sat downstairs in a quiet corner and enjoyed the several courses we ordered. Service was great and he recommended several dished that were great. Overall very nice time and definitely will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Solid food, but ...
    WaldoVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    ... just a little pricey for what you get, and the service is a bit spotty (very slow the last time we were there).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Provisimo!
    HariJVIP
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Great food, great old world ambience and great service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Has become a favorite!
    lovestodineout
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    My husband and I have dined at Merlo on Maple a few times. Impressed with the decor and homey elegance of the restaurant. The food is always wonderful and the staff, very helpful and pleasant.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice but pricey
    dining4
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Food is always good but a bit pricey. We live in the neighborhood and have been there several times and would recommend it for special occasions.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food and great service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Our dinner was wonderful and our waitress Nicole was outstanding
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dinner
    Raydawg
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    The food was excellent and the waitress was superb and knew everything from food prep to wine list. A great place to carry on a conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The service was good, but we felt pressured by our waiter to order his suggestions and they were just not that good. It was super expensive and the food was disappointing. Loved the atmosphere, though.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Neighborhood Gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Love the food and the ambiance . The chef is amazing!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food
    Chicagonative
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Food was delicious, but a bit over priced. Service was very good. Server was helpful and described food in detail.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful Italian food!
    JosephV
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    One of the best..if not the best Italian food in Chicago! Great spot for a romantic night out!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome Food, Wonderful Service
    Foodlover
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Never disappoints. Food is always a delectable treat and the service is incomparable. We make this a mandatory stop every time we visit Chicago.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The best
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    My favorite place in Chicago. Sammer was a great waiter. We really love the food.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • IggyVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    A quick and authentic trip to Italy describes the outstanding food and wine. David the bartender knows his wine and cocktails and is a great person to meet as you enter the restaurant. His command post is in the intimate bar where you can linger for drinks befor or after a wonderful meal. In the summer there is a delightful small patio outside the bar. The home in which the resataurant is located still feels like a private residence and the warmth of the staff certainly confirms this ambience. Each week there are really interesting specials featuring truely fresh ingredients. You just don't find places like this very often. It is a treat !
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Brilliant Restaurant
    adgilcan
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Excellent restaurant. Not enough characters here to give a proper review but see my full review on Trip Advisor, if interested.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!
    LoriinNM
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    This is a wonderful place! We've been 3 times when we've visited Chicago and has become one of our favorite restaurants anywhere!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Merlo on Maple
    Chicagofavs
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    We arrived slightly early and were offered a choice of outdoor or indoor seating. We chose outdoor as the weather was unusual for Chicago in late July. The waiter explained the cooks approach to northern Italian cooking and we read the menu with delight. The menu was fantastic with many flavors blended. The service was attentive, but not overly solicitous. The choices were moderately limited, but still had ample offerings. The serving sizes were more than adequate and neither of us left unsatisfied. This will rate as one of my top choices in Chicago for outstanding northern Italian cuisine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • DockVIP
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    This was the second time we have dined at this restaurant and find it one of the best, great food, great service, enjoyed the ambience. Would recommend this place without hesitation. Ask for Jesse for your waiter
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Merlo on Maple
    Dino
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Great meal as usual. This place is hard to beat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    HenryVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We have enjoyed Merlo on Maple several times and the food has always been terrific. We dined there this past Saturday and we were lucky enough to have Harmony as our server. Harmony knew the menu like it was her own restaurant. She made our experience even better than it normally is. We'll be back again and again.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Food......but
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Food was great, the portions are incredibly small. Was not expecting Macaroni Grill size dishes, but for a Italian restaurant that serves Pasta as their specialty the portions were closer to a Mexican restaurant serving Tapas. Service was good, wine list was nice, pricing would have been fine if portions were larger.
    Special Features:
    romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best meal we had in Chicago
    Julsfoof
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    We consider ourselves foodies of sorts. The meals each of us had were to die for. Our server was very knowledgable and headed us in the right direction for our meal choices. This was my fourth time to dine at Merlo and will go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Merlo
    jeepbeep
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Great little restaurant. We showed up about 45 minutes before our reservation, expecting to just sit and have a drink until our table was ready. But lucky us, they said our table was already available so we could sit right down. Food was good. Portions are small, so go ahead and order all 3 courses. A couple of strange things- we weren't given a wine list immediately. We had to track someone down and ask for it. Also, our server was kind of rude and pushy. I expected a little more class from him at a fine dinning place but he was joking around and being quite bossy. Over the whole night I was called Ma'am, Kiddo, Mommy, Miss, Darling, and sweetie. It was pretty ridiculous and unprofessional. Great little place though! I'd go back!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent!
    MazmanVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Great food, great service and nice relaxing ambience!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful food- service was lost
    1urbancabin
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We do not mind a "leisurely " pace for a nice dinner, however, either the kitchen was slow or an order was lost but we waited 45 minutes between antipasti and dinner. Diminished an otherwise exceptional dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always feel special there
    PrairiequeenVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We have been to Merlo several times and have always been treated well and have enjoyed perfectly prepared food. The servers are always pleasant, knowledgeable and take an interest in what everyone wants to order. The restaurant itself, it very romantic and cozy. It is our go to place for our special occasions.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great potential-almost there!
    ChitownfoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    We started with a fried zucchini appetizer that was mediocre; the puree served with it was like wallpaper paste. Many items lacked seasoning. The tortellini were great; gnocchi mediocre. We both loved our main entrees. Wine was over-priced.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent food and Service
    WindyCityFoodie
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Amazing dishes. It is a bit pricey but worth the money.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Old World Elegance
    michellb
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    This is one of my favorite places to dine. The service is excellent, especially the bar tender, David. The food is delicious authentic northern italian. There is a strong family feel, where the owners ensure high quality service and customer satisfaction.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • fit for a Queen
    silver
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Always recommend merlo to our traveling friends always enjoy
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Jcb456VIP
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    Over priced food items.....$28 for figs & prosciutto.....$58 dollars for beef shortribs??
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best Italian in Chicago!!!
    GoldCoastGirl
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    We went to Merlo on Maple for my finance's birthday and the service was exceptional! We got the best table and the best waiter, Sam. Honestly the entire dinner was like a scene from a romantic movie, every little detail was perfect. I had the special of the day - scallop risotto, which was out of this world! My fiancé's mushroom ravioli was outstanding as well. I cannot stress enough how wonderful the evening went, if you have a special occasion and ready to pay for quality, then this is your spot! Oh, and we got a free birthday desert! Definitely 5 stars!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dining at Merlo
    FromNewOrleans
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    This is a very nice restaurant on the near North side of Chicago. The restaurant has three floors and is nicely furnished. The wine list is extensive (and expensive). The server was on top of all of the wines and described them in nice detail. The osso bucco was excellent in this Italian Restaurant. The Ahi Tuna, however, was rather bland and tasteless. The desert of flowerless chocolate cake was very good. All courses at this restaurant were rather expensive and the food is not that great so we cannot recommend it. We dined at the Italian Village in Chicago and found it to be less expensive and the food was much better. The service at the Italian Village was excellent, one of the best servers we've had in our 55 plus years of dining.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing dinner
    Lovesgreatfood
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Absolutely loved everything about our dinner here. Our waiter, Sam, was so friendly and warm and very knowledgable. The food was really outstanding and we've eaten a lot of authentic Italian! The homemade pastas are a must - they melt in your mouth and have the most fresh and delicious flavours. We will definitely be revisiting this place the next time we're in Chicago.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • somewhat disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    I didn't have a good experience at Merlo on Maple. To start we were seated in the basement with low ceilings and closely spaced tables. Although pleasant, the service was slow as they had only one server for the room. I had the artichoke appetizer which should be named the fava bean and arugula salad since it didn't contain any artichokes. The pasta bolognese was good, not great as was the lasagna. The veal had an odd flavor, was room temperature, and looked as though it has been sitting out for some time. The lone server was responsible for six other tables so sending back our food was not an option. The wine list was good and the pasta prices reasonable, but with so many dining options in Chicago I don't see a reason to return
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 39 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 4, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.7
    • Food4.6
    • Ambiance4.5
    • Service4.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 713 reviews are from the Merlo on Maple reviews archive.
  • Giovanni
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    This was an incredible experience of artisanal resaturant cooking, worth each single minute. The attention, passion and love for the food is apparent in each single dish. To prepare each fresh pasta dish is unheard and truly artisanal. This was such agreat find that should be experienced with leasure. Silvia & Giampaolo You are true artists with such respect of the art of cooking. You have inspired us with your humble and passionate of operating your restaurant. I thought that the word Artisan was lost in this world major chains and so called Italian restaurants. Stay true and wish you prosperity and much success.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    Food, ambience, and service were all superb! Halibut special was quite pricey at $42. Stick with the Italian menu items for better value. Pasta was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing food, superb atmosphere
    PennyHF
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    What a delightful resturant. The food is always fantastic I ordered, Black truffle mushroom risotto it was one of the many specials.My husband had the lasagna from the menu. Dinner was beautifully plated, served hot, and over the top delicious. We can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Absolutely yes...
    LisaVIP
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    The food and service were both absolutely amazing. Probably the best Italian food that I have ever had... I will certainly go back again next time that I'm in Chicago.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.