Merlo on Maple
Merlo on Maple

Merlo on Maple

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.merlochicago.com/
  • Phone: (312) 335-8200
  • 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
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Merlo on Maple reviews from OpenTable diners
86 reviews since July 28, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.6
    Service4.7
  • Ambiance4.6
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (62)fit for foodies (58)special occasion (53)neighborhood gem (49)notable wine list (46)good for groups (9)great for outdoor dining (4)late-night find (3)hot spot (3)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (1)great for lunch (1)scenic view (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Excellent ambiance, food and service
    FoodWineVet
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    Hadn't dined at Merlo for several years, but I was reminded that I have been overlooking an excellent restaurant. It is located so conveniently, just off Rush/State street on Maple, but in a quiet place so easy to miss. The chef takes her food and preparation quite seriously with excellent ingredients, with many imported specialties. We all loved the food and ambiance. It was like dining in your grandmother's home. The Italian wine list was very good and priced competitively. I will return with guests--particularly when having a quiet conversation is desired.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderfully Authentic Italian
    ILoveItalian
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    The restaurant is beautiful and romantic. The wine list has many Italian labels that you don't commonly find at regular Italian restaurants. The food is delicious, handmade pastas, hearty soups and sauces, the closest to the food I had all over Tuscany. Service was fantastic, the entire staff was genuinely friendly and helpful. Also made my friend's birthday special with a delicious panna cotta.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • winefood
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    The downstairs rooms are very romantic and table spacing is very good to facilitate low-level conversations. The food is excellent. We followed the advise of our server and began with a pasta tasting that certainly did not disappoint the tastebuds!! Not much "red sauce" on the menu, but in fact, was not missed by us for this delicious meal. The pace was also just right so we could enjoy the food, the setting and of course, the great wine!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not what it used to be
    Windyletdown
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    My husband and I loved this restaurant and would visit everytime we were in Chicago. Seriously our favorite restaurant although went to the one on Lincoln. Made reservations to take our family and the food was nothing compared to the past. We loved it for the delicious, fresh and hot pasta. This visit the food was sub par. Pasta was not hot and steaming. Everything was just OK. We will not be going back as we left so disapointed and it cost a small fortune for a party of 8. Having said all this our server was fantastic but couldnt compensate for the food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • So Authentic
    A1A1A
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Just like being in Bologna. We travel often to Italy and no restaurant in America matches the authentic taste of Merlo.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    A real enjoyable experience the service , food and wine were all excellent, Osso Bucco was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • White Truffles: In Season and Here!
    PandJ
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    Love to have dinner here when we travel to Chicago. This is our 3rd visit. Located in a house there are three levels for dining. Dinner is beautifully served by candlelight. The bar is small and intimate and offers a superb collection of beverages. Make sure to stop there for a drink. The menu is unique. It is white truffle season so there were additional items to select from. The raw artichoke salad with white truffles was a special treat. For the pasta we shared the taglioline paglia e fieno served a dente and topped with a hard boiled quail egg. I had the beef tenderloins with black truffles which were served with a pumpkin soufflé. My husband enjoyed the very tender lamb shank. We enjoyed a great Italian wine with the meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    the omiounce was great and the waiter was very knowlagble and helpful in the selection of wine and food. i definately would go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A very special dining experience
    Fredy
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    A "must" stop on every trip to Chicago. Best restaurant in town
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect late evening meal
    omnomnom
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    We found Merlo on Maple because it was close to an event we were attending later on in the evening and it was a lucky find. Their menu is excellent, as well as the service, and it was a great dining experience all around. The space is great because it's an old town home so no room is too big or causes too much noise and allows for it to feel busy but small at the same time. The food was delicious, definitely legit Italian food, and the wine selection was great as well. If you're looking for a great date place or dinner location for a small group, I could not recommend this place more.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love Northern Italian
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Old grey stone converted into a charming restaurant . A hidden oasis right in the heart of Chicagos best shopping district. Atmosphere was perfect for the 4 of us. Right from the start the staff was gracious, Cocktails and food superb !! Highly recommend you won't be disappointed .
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Nice Surprise
    EMWA
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    We visited Chicago for the David Bowie Is exhibit and had supper at Merlo on Maple. Chicago is filled with great restaurants, this one is a standout. Started with an artichoke and truffle salad. We had Tagliatelle - Handmade tagliatelle with fresh summer black truffles, imported from Umbria, tossed in butter and Parmigiano Reggiano and Ravioli di kamut erbette e noci - andmade kamut flour ravioli stuffed with bietine and Parmigiano Reggiano, tossed with walnuts, parsley and garlic melted in butter. We shared the Halibiut special, had great wine and the best service by Sam Musa. The trio of Gelato and Amaro Nonio made the perfect! Cant wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfection in Chicago
    Kristina
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    I live in the NY area and visited Chicago for work. I found Merlo on Maple through an online "Top Ten" list - it was my good fortunate that I did. Dining alone, I felt cared for by the entire staff, most notably my waiter Jesse. His attention to my needs, willingness to help me find the right menu and wine selections and skill in pacing my meal was perfect. As for the food, what can I say? Luisa Silvia's authentic Italian cuisine is one of the best I've had in America, and I come from a part of the country known for its authentic Italian fare. Her homemade pasta, inventive sauces and high quality seafood are worth discovering. I am so impressed with this restaurant that I'm already looking for reasons to return for another meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • MARVELOUS MERLO
    Luv2eatoutVIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    WENT USING GILT CITY COUPON. NEVER FELT THAT WE GOT SECOND CLASS FOOD. IT WAS FIRST CLASS ALL THE WAY, AS WAS THE SERVICE. THE 8 COURSE TASTING MENU WAS DIVERSE AND ECLECTIC. EVERY DISH WAS EXPLAINED TO US. I ATE THINGS I USUALLY DON'T EAT AND LOVED EVERY BITE. IF YOU GO, AS FOR SAM MUSA TO BE YOUR SERVER. HE HAS A GREAT PERSONALITY AND ANSWERED ALL OUR QUESTIONS WITH A SMILE. WE WILL GO BACK AND WE WILL ASK FOR HIM AGAIN. THE OLD GRAYSTONE AMBIANCE OF THE VENUE KEPT ALL THE CHARM EVEN WHILE ADDING THE MORE MODERN NECESSITIES. CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Classic Northern Italian
    guest
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    Merlo on Maple consistently delivers the highest quality northern Italian dishes made with the finest ingredients. Tutto delizioso!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I loved the food!
    Ben1
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    I loved the food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Chefs tasting
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Went there with gilt city chef tasting. It was a great way to try a bit of everything. Was my first time here. And when feeling like a good Italian meal I will be back. Service was fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Compassionate staff, ignorant diner
    MichelindinerVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    We had a Wondeful meal, great service, courteous and warm staff from the moment we entered. Our waiter was very engaging and made awesome recommendations for the three of us. Unfortunately we did not have desert...a fellow diner found our special needs son to be annoying and requested that someone ask us to leave, since he was disrupting her "evening." Thank you so much you Midwest snooty blonde witch! The restaurant is on three floors, the dining tables are not exceptionally close, but you can hear your fellow diners due to the layout. For those of you who believe that special needs children should be hidden, you may want to alert the staff so that you can request a room AWAY from any non-adults.The food and staff was great, thanks.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Date night with my wife in Chicago
    Patrick
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    If you are looking for a quiet, romantic place, this is it. Service was wonderful, food was off the charts good and it was quiet. Love to take my wife to Merlo when we get to Chicago and this restaurant never disappoints. My dinner was a special recommended by our waiter that was not even on the menu. It is the beginning of the white truffle season and he recommended an egg pasta with a simple butter / grated cheese with the truffles. It was amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Business meeting
    Bignightout
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    So different from most downtown restaurants, very quiet, allowing normal conversation. Very fine, personal service and good Italian food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Merlo on Maple - Great Restaurant!
    Pumpin
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    My second visit to Merlo on Maple was just as wonderful as the first visit! My friend and I did the Gilt City 8-course chef's tasting menu, having done it during my first visit and having a great time! The second visit was no disappointment! Prompt and attentive service, great bread, tasty courses and being treated like the only customer in the house always wins with me. Our server described each course, she was very articulate and professional; yet, not stuffy - she smiled and very genuinely personable - GREAT JOB! My friend had never been to Merlo on Maple and she loved it! We both agreed with would definitely be going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best dinner ever!
    PatWVIP
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    This was by far the very best dining experience I have ever had...literally! The waitress, Harmony, is the best! She not only had culinary knowledge, but she knew her guests and was passionate about her career. It was not a J-O-B to her, it was a pleasure to help us experience a very wonderful dining experience. The food was awesome, definitely all homemade, and the presentation came with a flair! The entire evening could not had been any better...it was perfect!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • hannaBannana
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Fabulous in all ways. We needed a quiet table for one quiet voice and one hard-of-hearing and ended up with our own dining room. This plus the superb food and service produced an idea evening for four long-time friends to re-connect!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • kirkandjane
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    I found this restaurant on OpenTable and I was not disappointed. From the curb to the table everything was charming and made me feel likeI was back in Italy. Chef/Onwer Luisa Silvia was sitting at the table next to us and was most gracious when I approached her. The food was authentic Northern Italian, the wine list was wonderful. The only challenge with the wine list is that they only keep one bottle of the reserve wines so if you choose one and want another of the same it's not possible. I would go back and sit at the bar and have dinner. The bartender was very knowledgable and talkative. A very wonderful secret that I wish I had know about years ago!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special Occasion
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Excellent restaurant for a special occasion. Ambiance, food, and service were wonderful and expensive.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect date spot
    gobears
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    We dined at Merlo on Maple to celebrate my girlfriend's birthday. I told them ahead of time that we were celebrating a special occasion and was pleasantly surprised to find beautiful roses on the table upon arrival. We sat upstairs beside a window and enjoyed a wonderful dinner. We ordered an appetizer and two pasta entrees along with a bottle of wine and loved everything. Our waitress recommended gelato for dessert, and she brought it out with a candle but without any fanfare. It was a perfect night at this restaurant and I would highly recommend to all.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 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.
  • ChicagogirlVIP
    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