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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
  • 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
  • "Our dinner was wonderful and our waitress Nicole was outstanding"
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "Love the food and the ambiance . The chef is amazing!"
    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."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "One of the best..if not the best Italian food in Chicago! Great spot for a romantic night out!"
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Never disappoints. Food is always a delectable treat and the service is incomparable. We make this a mandatory stop every time we visit Chicago."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "My favorite place in Chicago. Sammer was a great waiter. We really love the food."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "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 !"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Excellent restaurant. Not enough characters here to give a proper review but see my full review on Trip Advisor, if interested."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "This is a wonderful place! We've been 3 times when we've visited Chicago and has become one of our favorite restaurants anywhere!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "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"
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Great meal as usual. This place is hard to beat."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "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."
    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!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Great food, great service and nice relaxing ambience!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    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."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Amazing dishes. It is a bit pricey but worth the money."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Always recommend merlo to our traveling friends always enjoy"
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Over priced food items.....$28 for figs & prosciutto.....$58 dollars for beef shortribs??"
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "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"
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "We had high hopes for Merlo. The site is an old house, so dining areas on three floors offer small rooms and quiet dining. Rather than tell us what the specials were, our waiter asked us what interested us on the menu. Then he "helpfully" suggested alternatives to what we wanted, which did not include those items we actually said we wanted. Halfway through the meal a cold blast of air hit us. I put on my coat and scarf. The waiter said he would put up the heat, talking over my efforts to say that it wasn't a lack of heat, it was cold air entering the room from somewhere. None of the other tables were subjected to the same draft."
    Dined on 5/19/2014
  • "Amazing food, great flavors, perfect presentation. From beginning to end really enjoyed the entire experience. Will definitely do it again, in a city where there are so many great choices, this definitely ranks near the top. Pasta made in-house, you can't go wrong!"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "We are never disappointed in our dining experience at Merlo and our most recent one is no exception. Chef Silvia has taken to featuring a unique main course every Friday and Saturday from the vast cuisine of Italy. Often, the special entree has a historical significance. Many originate outside of the standard Bolognese cuisine featured at the Merlo. Every special is a special work of art and exceptional taste experience. We are never disappointed."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "I live in San Diego, but travel to Chicago once or twice a year. The first thing I do once I've settled on my travel dates is make a reservation at Merlo. My husband and I have been coming for years and love everything about this restaurant. Starting at the top is chef/owner, Sylvia, who hails from Bologna, and her food shows it. We have never had a less than excellent meal or service. Sylvia's husband is a welcoming host and David, the manager and bartender, always has the perfect cocktail. food and wine recommendations. Sam and Jesse are attentive and helpful waiters. We make it a habit to try new restaurants wherever we travel, but Merlot is the exception; we wouldn't think of going to Chicago without having dinner at Merlo on Maple."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Should have maybe stuck to the reviews and had their house made pastas which everyone seems to say are great. Instead I couldn't pass on the braised short ribs and the wife went with the daily risotto special. Both were good, not great. Short ribs were not worth $56 and wife thought the risotto was a bit undercooked. Loved the ambiance and would go back, but would probably stick to the "cheaper" pasta dishes that seem to garner the good reviews. 2 glasses of champagne ($26 each), 1 glass of wine, 2 appetizers, the 2 meals above and we split a dessert. The total came to $250 without tip so it isn't particularly easy on the pocket book. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Very quiet, conservatively decorated multi-level dining room. It feels like an old house because it is in an old house. Simple, well prepared Bologna cuisine with lots of meat-free options. The tomato sauce was very fresh and light."
    Dined on 5/15/2014