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
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Merlo on Maple reviews from OpenTable diners
82 reviews since June 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelQuiet
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (62)fit for foodies (54)neighborhood gem (52)special occasion (49)notable wine list (38)good for groups (8)great for outdoor dining (7)late-night find (2)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (1)great for lunch (1)scenic view (1)hot spot (1)Show More
  • 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.
  • 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.