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  • Merlo on Maple

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Merlo on Maple
Merlo on Maple

Merlo on Maple Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.merlochicago.com
  • Email: comments@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 ingrediants 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!!Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "The pasta was out of this world and the service was excellent. My wife had the lamb which was also great. This is my favorite authentic Italian restaurant."
    Dined on 4/14/2014
  • "Nicely spaced tables. Great for conversation. Great variety of well-prepared dishes with seasonal fresh ingredients. Good for a lovely, unpretentious, enjoyable evening."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Best Italian Food ever. Every plate has been cook to perfection. I eat slowly to enjoy every flavor. The service was great. Our waiter Sam went out of his way to please us. Every detail in the restaurant made this a pleasant experiences to remember."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "This was my second time at Merlo on Maple. It is one of my favorite restaurants of all time!! Wonderful food, service and ambience!!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "This was my third visit to Merlo on Maple and it just keeps getting better. The menu is innovative and original. The preparations are beyond compare and the flavors are just wonderful. I always get great service and enjoyed the evening immensely. Thanks for a great dining experience."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Romantic setting, pasta outstanding but the seafood pairings were disappointing."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Another great Chicago Italian restaurant. Northern Italian with a good wine list in an intimate manor home like setting. Would recommend and will come here again."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Many years ago, we dined at the previous establishment in this location. They closed a couple of weeks later! After sitting idle for a couple of years, somebody moved in and after a few years, we finally found an opportunity to dine there and it was a magnificent job that they have done in an amazing space! We aren't big eaters so a shared antipasto along with main courses, a lobster pasta and the outstanding risotto du jour had us grinning beyond satisfaction. Maybe next time, we will go lighter in order to try the desserts but we had to pass this time. Ken was a wonderful server who was able to discuss every aspect of the menu since this was our first time and his assistant ensured that everything was done right."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "I was looking for a special restaurant to celebrate our anniversary. Merlo on Maple proved to be perfect. Nice table, nice room, great food and helpful wait staff contributed to a memorable evening. Chef and owner Luisa Silvia dropped by our table for a hello. Then, she prepared a special desert for us that was out of this world. We will definitely be back."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We actually found Merlo on Maple via a Gilt City promotion, and it is now our new favorite Italian restaurant. The owners and Executive Chef are from Bologna, and the tasting menu we experienced was authentically delicious. Our waiter was very personable and knowledgeable. All in all a fantastic experience - would highly recommend!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "This was the second time we visited this restaurant. This time was as great or better than our first! Outstanding server. Really knew her wines and help make recommendations on our dishes. The food was superb! We would highly recommend choosing Merlo on Maple!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "I find myself wanting to try all of the restaurants Chicago has to offer so I rarely repeat dining experiences. Yet here I am dining at Merlot on Maple for a 3rd time. This is an italian restaurant tucked away on a side street inside a beautiful townhouse. The food here is absolutely amazing!! We shared the bolognese dish and it was the best I've had thus far! I've tried the peppered Ahi Tuna, Veal Osso Bucco with risotto, and the Grass Fed Filets with pumpkin souffle and every single dish blew me away with flavors! Our last server, Sam, was very fun and vibrant and made us feel like we were right at home! I heavily recommend this restaurant for a quiet romantic night out with some of the best italian food you will try in the Chicago area!!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "In a city full of great restaurants, I always make my way back to Merlo - and it NEVER disappoints! Lovely staff, especially David the bartender. Food I am already craving the next day and a great reasonable wine list ( I don't get in huge trouble on my expense report ). If that's not enough, the brownstone building gives it so much character. It's a good thing I don't live there - I'd weigh 300 lbs."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "The menu selection is filled with delicious choices authentically prepared with incredible flavor!"
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Best Gnocchi I have ever had in my life! So authentic and true Italian food. Portions are just perfect. You leave feeling satiated. The service was amazing. Almost felt like our waiter didn't have any other tables to wait on, but he did. The bartender was a little slow in pouring our wine, but our waiter made up for it. Love this restaurant. I have been 3 times now and will keep going back."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Great neighborhood gem. Very homey and comfortable feel. Waiter was super friendly and staff was very attentive. One of the few standing places that still put value on customer service. Food was incredible. We bought a Gilt City voucher for the 8 course meal and each dish was exquisite and in its own category."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Good food, let down by servers who were arrogant, ignorant, and condescending. Don't lecture Europeans on 'European dining'. Don't refuse to reveal the specials because there are "too many"--which turns out to be four. Don't confront the non-wine-drinker in the party with a lecture that everything else is so far below wine that it diminishes the food."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "We had the pleasure of celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary and then Merlo's tenth anniversary by dining at Merlo. As always, we were exceedingly pleased with bot hexperiences. Silvis continues to prepare some of the tastiest, most authentic and exciting Italian food in town. We are transported back to our days in Italy each time we enjoy her cooking. What a gem! Should be more recognized in this community."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "We arrived a bit early and went into the bar area while we waited for a friend. A gentleman removed his coat from a stool and we sat at the end of the small bar which was full at that point. The bartender was at the other end of the SMALL bar and never acknowledged us but continued his conversation. We waited until our friend arrived and went to our table without ever getting a glass of wine. Our server was very animated but pleasant. The food service was slow and seemed a bit disjointed though the people at the table next to us must have had an event to attend and were moved along. This is the second time that we had the same service lag. The food is very good but the service dulls the kitchen's efforts."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Every dish we tried was better than the next! Our server was attentive, our Food was delicious and the atmosphere was cosy. Lived it all."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "My fiancé and I went to Merlo on Maple for a late Valentine's Day dinner. We loved the building itself and thought the atmosphere was very romantic and quiet. I am pretty sure we got the best seat in the house, right by the big window looking out onto the street. The food was excellent- We had beef carpaccio, osso buco, lobster risotto and panna cotta. We also enjoyed our Amarone. Our server was friendly, personable, knowledgeable and had good timing. Both of us have been in the restaurant business for several years so we appreciated that! Thanks for a great Valentines Day experience Merlo on Maple!"
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "I took my girlfriend this past week and we had a blast, I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone who loves Italian food, I had the chef's special Lobster Risotto and it was some of the best risotto I have ever had."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "Pricey but worth it for a quiet, romantic date night or special occasion. Not too many restaurants in Chicago anymore that offer this type of ambience. Initially thought it was outrageous that they required a $100 deposit to hold the Valentine's Day reservation; but we wanted to dine there so badly that we decided it was worth it. It did not disappoint. The red roses in the wine glasses with one candle in a sterling silver holder was just perfect as a centerpiece. The food was divine and our server was wonderful. Thanks for a memorable evening!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We went here for Valentines day. Its a nice spot, for very traditional Italian, and the nice ambiance of being in a house added the perfect feel for a romantic Valentines day dinner."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Had an early Valentine's celebration on Thursday night and could not have been happier. They food is ALWAYS delicious, but what made it great this time was our waiter. He had fantastic recommendations was attentive and very friendly. We love going to Merlo for the food, but the waiter but our night even better with his phenomenal service. Can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "food sounded much better than it tasted. we ordered the gorgonzola salad, which could have used more dressing. as entrees, our party ordered the tortellini w/mushrooms, risotto w/pork special, and beef medallions. the beef dish was the favorite of the group. the pancetta in the risotto was not as flavorful. very quiet ambiance, good for a romantic dinner. tables are in various rooms. our room had 4-5 tables, one of which was occupied when we arrived. it was slightly awkward as we tried to converse quietly as to not disturb the other couple. after some time a third table was seated in the room, which helped with this issue. service was impeccable, our server was very attentive & checked on us, refilled water, etc."
    Dined on 2/5/2014
  • "Great food, wine and service! A pleasure to be there! No complaints!"
    Dined on 2/6/2014
  • "Food was delicious. Came for restaurant week and really enjoyed ourselves! Wait staff was very fun and attentive."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Wow...our regret is that we haven't discovered this restaurant sooner. The service from Harmony was superb - what an asset to the restaurant to have someone like her. She was so helpful and knowledgeable (and accurate!). The preparations by Chef Silvia and her remake of recipes from the 1500s by chef Bartolomeo Stefani were simply outstanding. I still can't get the thought of the lasagnette in duck ragu out of my mind! The wine list is very notable, so much so that we headed to the bar after dinner. There again, the bartender's service was thoughtful. Again, our only regret is that we just learned of this awesome restaurant, and that we missed the Christmas Eve Pannentone dessert! 2014 for sure!"
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "I loved Merlo, it is a great place to dine, nice and quiet, great service and food. love love love"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "So romantic with a lit candle on each table and cute little rooms! It's an older restored house-all original woodwork. Just beautiful!! The food was delicious and impeccable service!!"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "We had never heard of this place, but decided to try it based on recimmendation from our concierge at The Thompson Hotel and noticing it on the Restaurant Week list. We cannot say enough about the place. The food was perfection. Emphasis on fresh ingredients, where you could taste every flavor. The server was so knowledgeable, professional, and delightful. We will go back often now that we discovered this gem. Best prepared authentic Italian food we have had in a long time."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "I picked the Merlo because of the proximity to the Thomas hotel,.. Was looking for a quiet place with a good Zagat rating. I picked a gem... beautiful, quiet, great food. The only draw back was that the room downstairs was cold.., It was cold outside,,-1 however the room could have been warmer,,.. Our waiter was extremely knowledgeable and accommodating. I would highly recommend Merlo."
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "My boyfriend and I have fallen in love with this place! It is now our special gem in Chicago that we will celebrate all of our special moments at! Sam was our waiter both times we have been in and he is the best!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "It was dinner for two and we both ordered 3-course meal, the lamb shank is a must try in entree, also they have a great wine list, we ordered a bottle of 2009 Jermann Vinnaioli Sauvignon Blanc, it was very tasteful, crispy and not too sweet, recommended."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "I could not have been more disappointed with my experience at Merlo on Maple. Waiting 30 minutes for my drink order to be taken, being given the wrong entree and then trying to be convinced to eat the wrong entree instead of what I ordered was just the beginning. I cannot believe adjsutments were not made to our bill for the multiple inconveniences. I could not wait to get out of there and I will never recommend it to anyone. Terrible experience."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "The food is authentic Italian and is absolutely delicious. We had the artichoke tart appetizer which was outstanding. It comes with a small greens salad on the side. The pasta bolognese entree is always perfect. Our server (Nicole) was very knowledgeable about the wines that were available and knew the food preparation down to the smallest ingredients. The food prices range from about $20 to $42 for the entrees. The ambience is quiet with soothing music in the background and a very cozy, romantic atmosphere. I would highly recommend this restaurant."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Fresh ingredients and the food got better as the meal went along the panacootta was mind blowing. Our server was very polite and bubbly"
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Easily one of the best restaurants in the city! GO! To start, we ordered the slicked eggplant with parmigiano reggiano and it was a great way to kick the evening off. I then had the vegetable minestrone which I didn't expect it to be great, so was pleasantly surprised by the great flavors. My husband tried it too, having gotten the artichoke salad, and liked it better than his salad. Conversely, I liked his salad more than the soup. For our entrees, I ordered the tortelloni filled with ricotta, served with porcini mushrooms. My husband ordered the Ravioli di erbette con le noci, which was cheese raviolis tossed with walnuts. I couldn't decide whose I liked more. Mine probably, as his was just a little more rich than mine."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Wonderful pasta, great wine selections, great service. Two greats and a wonderful. Will return, will recommend."
    Dined on 1/19/2014