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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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Great food and knowledgable wait staff. We went early so it wasn't quite yet busy. I would recommend sheers on the windows because there is no view other than an ugly building. I'd tell the wait staff to be a little more quiet when there aren't a lot of people around to drown out there chit chat. The food is really, really good. I will definitely go back. "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "We enjoyed a number of excellent meals on the Gold Coast while attending a wedding this past weekend. Merlo on Maple, a hidden jewel on a side street, was our favorite. The food, service and ambiance were all excellent. The food is authentic Italian, including many family recipes from the Bolognese region. We shared two appetizers, and then shared a pasta entree. The handmade tortelloni filled with ricotta and served with porcini mushrooms melts in your mouth!The ravioli was unlike any we have ever tasted. The sliced eggplant appetizer was also delicious. While the servings are more European size (smaller), the portions are just right. We loved our visit to Chicago and wish we lived closer!"
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "Merlo on Maple came to us as a recommendation for a friend. I took my better half there to celebrate his birthday and we were not disappointed. The food was phenomenal. The service was amazing. The atmosphere was quiet and relaxing. We will definitely be going to Merlo again and not just for special occasions. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Merlo on Maple is a like stepping into Bologna and having a fine Italian meal. Everything is prepared with love and attention to detail. The best pasta outside of Italy. "
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "The food was fantastic. We had the mozzarella and asparagus appetizer which was amazing. We each had a pasta dish that was great. Our server was energetic and engaging, however, I believe he was a bit overwhelmed and therefore the dinner took a bit longer than it needed to. Portion sizes are perfectly sized for one, not enormous with leftovers to bring home."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "We missed Merlo on Lincoln and decided to try Merlo on Maple to have a family celebration of my husband's birthday and our retirement move to a condo. The food was fabulous as expected. The service and menu adjustment to accommodate tastes from a 9 year old to an 80 year old was outstanding!"
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "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