The Boarding House
The Boarding House

The Boarding House

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.boardinghousechicago.com/
  • Phone: 3122800720x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Wine Bar
    Sunday through Friday: 4:30 p.m. to CLOSE
    Saturday: 4:30 p.m. to CLOSE


    Dining Room
    Sunday and Monday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    Tuesday through Saturday: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.




  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Wine Bar, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Tanya Baker
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Please contact us at Events@bhchicago.com
  • Private Party Facilities: The Boarding House offers catering options from 4 to 500 people. Please email Amy Ermatinger at Events@BHChicago.com
  • Private Party Contact: Amy Ermatinger events@BHChicago.com 3122800720x

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Superior
  • Public Transit: Conveniently located one block east of the Franklin Brown Line stop.
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: The Boarding House offers valet parking on Wells Street.
A word from The Boarding House
Welcome! The Boarding House opened December 2012 and is led by Proprietor and Master Sommelier Alpana Singh. Our historic building, which dates back to 1872, features several distinct areas that a bustling bar area, two distinct private dining spaces, and a comfortable dining room located on the building’s third floor.

Enjoy a curated and thoughtful list of 500 wines from around the world that will expertly complement your dining experience. Guests will be immediately enveloped by our ambient dining room, which is designed for everyday dining with service that is detailed, hospitable and personal.

The wine bar is available without reservations and seating is per availability.

We look forward to welcoming you to The Boarding House!
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
The Boarding House reviews from OpenTable diners
216 reviews since May 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.6
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
notable wine list (142)special occasion (140)fit for foodies (139)romantic (96)good for groups (69)hot spot (67)neighborhood gem (60)vibrant bar scene (53)scenic view (26)late-night find (12)great for brunch (2)great for lunch (2)kid-friendly (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Simply the best!!!
    JustgreatfoodandwineVIP
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    This was my fifth visit to the Boarding House, and it seems to get better and better every time. Always a different yet very qualified and well informed server to enhance the dining experience. Just love it! Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Almost great
    eaternotchefer
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Appetizers were terrific. Desserts yummy. Entrees heavily salted. Wine list excellent but pricey. Wine chosen was presented with more recent vintage than on wine list so we chose a different more expensive bottle. They honored the other pricing. Shame about the entrees.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • WONDERFUL!
    drlato
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    We saw a picture of the wine bottle chandelier and said "this will be fun." GREAT place, GREAT ambience, GREAT food and TREMENDOUS wine selection and WONDERFuL waitstaff. The green garlic risotto was lovely. The salmon was extrememly fresh and expertly prepared. The flat iron steak tasted like a wonderfully marinated masterpiece. Now, the wien selection is awesome. We had the priviledge of Kelly (one of the Somms at this place) helping us out, giving insights about the wines and the regions, and being fantastically engaging with us and really an enjoyable person to have some wine dialogue and wine education! Try the bold wine from Uruguay or the great wine called Anima Negra, AN2. GREAT prices and amazing wine by the glass selection!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So nice!
    RandyVIP
    Dined on 5/15/2014
    From our first step in the door, it was smooth. Beautiful decor, delicious food with a nice unique touch, and great unpretentious service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall an intersting experience
    Piglet
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    I wouldn't say the food was outstanding--like, I struggle to remember what I had. Not offensive but not outstanding. I did love the fascinating wines by the glass, even if the waiter couldn't tell me much about them. I was there on a quiet night, but the main dining room, and the bottle chandelier, and... the atmosphere was pretty good. So all in all, better than I expected, but not really outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great room and service, good food
    Kenny
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    The 3d floor dining room is beautiful, with views of the near north lakefront high rises and a ceiling of wine bottles. Service was excellent, the food good, though not terribly memorable. Not surprisingly, a very extensive wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • BAD PLANNING!!
    genoVIP
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Reservation specifically asked for a table in main dining room: NOT BAR, NOT" mezzanine". Host brought us to mezzanine, we declined table due to prior request. Told we would have to wait ? amount of time @ hostess station. TWO large round tables were open, we convinced host to seat us @ one of those, which he did. Table was small, cramped: Should have been better planning in concert with our requests which I also made to 2 people who called to confirm reservation. The room never filled, and we should have been seated @ a more comfortable table!!
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It was good, not great
    hbomb
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    I loved the decor of this restaurant. It has an interesting design and feel. The bar is on the first floor and the restaurant is on the third. The food was good the beer list was decent, but the service just sorta sucked. Our waiter was awkward and took forever in between visits. Glad we went there, but probably won't return.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent quality!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    Everything worked very well: the environment, the decoration, the service, the wine list, the appetizers (octopus, squid), the main course, the desert, the desert wine. I will be back there soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Dining tables were too close
    Tobysmom
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    The experience of the bar was wonderful! I wish we had stayed there to have our meal, but we had never been there and wanted to see the upstairs dining area as well. The tables were so close I had trouble concentrating on our conversation, because we couldn't help but listen to the table next to us. The table was only about 8 inches from ours, not enough room to even enter on that side. My husband had to squeeze in around the other side to sit across from me. Thank goodness we were at the end of the long row of tables, or we would have been mushed in the middle of two conversations! I think they should take out some of the tables, and make it a little more private for diners.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great food great service
    5nick
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    From the warm greeting thru after dinner coffee this restaurant was superb. Went with 4 people and no one had a negative comment, all the food was great, service was spot on, this was probably the best meal of the year and ranks as one of the best ever.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful and delicious
    LisaD
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    As soon as you walk in the door you know that care has been taken toakenyour dining experience special. The wine glasses and bottles that act as chandeliers are a nod to the owner but also simply gorgeous. The staff was very helpful in every way, very polite and pleasant also.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Def worth a visit
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    One of the best waiters we have had in a log time. Knew when to come over and what to say. The food was good. We loved the appetizers. Entree protein was fantastic - the sides were so so
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Thoughful service excellent food
    StCharlesfoodie
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    First time at The Boarding House. Beautifully decorated. Comfortable seating. Service was thoughtful and well paced. Our wine selection was not cold enough, so our server brought us a glass of sparkly to "apologize" for the wait. Such a nice touch! Our dinners were very well prepared. Overall wonderful experience. We would recommend this restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Girls Night Out
    GirlsNightOut
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    We thought the food was very good and so was the wine selection. We loved the interior of both the bar and the dining area. The service was just okay though and at times kind of rude. The worst came during dessert. We had ordered a dessert to share and after 20 minutes it had not arrived. We asked our server about the dessert and in a very rude fashion she informed us that the dessert had been ordered and walked away. Our dessert did come about 5 minutes later. However, 25 minutes is a bit long to wait for dessert. Our server could have offered to check on the order. It would have made for nicer customer experience. As it stood, this was the last thing we remembered about our dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ok
    2pinelake
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    We thought the atmosphere was cool but the service was a bit cold and snobby. For the price, we did not feel we were as welcome as we should have been, so it left us all- group of 6 business people not feeling like we would want to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food, Tables too Close
    Willarocks
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    This was the 3rd restaurant in Chicago that my wife and I visited on our recent trip there. The main course was excellent, she had the scallops and I had the venison. Carrot cake for desert was good but not great. Service was very good, attentive without being annoying. My only issue is that the tables are right next to each other, so you get to hear 2 other couples conversations as well as your own. Nice place for the food but not very romantic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    Was our first time here - Very nice venue. Wait staff were very knowledgeable about the wine list, great with recommendations to pair with our appetizers and entrees. The owner, Alpana Singh, visited our table to inquire about everything, and that was such a pleasure. We will definitely return to this restaurant again.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Scenic View, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wine Switch
    Eagle779VIP
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    The food and service were again great on our second visit to The Boarding House. My only issue was that they did a bait and switch with my wine order. I ordered a wine that I knew well. When the bottle was presented I pointed out that it was from the same winery as the one I ordered, but it was a cheaper wine from a different vineyard, and was a different varietal. It wasn't even on the wine list. The server took the bottle back, but then returned with the same bottle, saying that he had checked and this was the wine I had ordered. Even though it was obvious that it was NOT the wine I had ordered, I decided to try it out, so I accepted it. But a restaurant run by a sommelier should do better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find!
    Foodie12345
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    I was very happy to take my husband here for his birthday. Our service was excellent, our wine and beer was good, and the food was excellent! We loved our polenta with eggs and the carrot cake was the best we have ever had. It was a great recommendation from our waiter.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Late-Night Find, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Couldn't make a decision
    Greatfood
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    We ordered 5 apps instead of an entrée a piece. The food was awesome. The timing on the delivery for each app was perfect. We also ordered 2 bottles of wine. The wine pared perfectly with the food. I highly recommend this pkace.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful space and great food!
    nomadVIP
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    Highlights: the decor, including the much talked about ceilings, is interesting and attractive. The ricotta agnolotti and the scallops were delicious, as was my wine.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and wine; lovely setting
    kandm
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    Welcomed by great decor with fabulous wine bottle/wine glass lighting sculpture. Service was professional, extremely knowledgable and friendly. Wine list amazing. Food offerings creative but approachable, impeccably prepared. Disappointed that they were out of sturgeon but venison and scallop entrees were wonderful and smoky and did NOT disappoint! We will be back to try more!
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent dinner!
    formerChicagogirl
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    I used to live in Chicago and wanted to try The Boarding House after I saw it featured in Midwest Living. It was wonderful! I went with one of my best friends. For appetizers, he had the beet and goat cheese salad and I had the the Boarding House salad, both were delicious. He had a risotto with asparagus, mushrooms, and lemon zest, which he loved (and so did I when I sampled it). I had the salmon with baby carrots and it was perfect. Our waiter was superb; he didn't hover but he made sure he kept our Chardonnay topped off. For dessert, we split a piece of carrot cake and it was great. I would highly recommend The Boarding House for a wonderful dinner. Of course with Alpana Singh as the owner, the wine list was extensive.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Phenomenal food & stunning decor
    PQHockey
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    During our search amongst over 50 restaurants for a special birthday, we came across The Boarding House and were intrigued by the decor and menu displayed on the web ... and we were not to be let down at all ... from the first floor bar to the more cozy second floor dining area to the exquisitely prepared food we were enthralled ...
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • suijurisVIP
    Dined on 4/22/2014
    The food is not as impressive as I wanted them to be. The octopus salad is quite salty and the greens nor the fingerling potatoes did not really compliment the octopus. The pea soup is good, but not great. The dessert list did not impress me at all.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/18/2014
    excellent experience. energetic bar ambience. restaurant more subdued, just the right amount. the green risotto was amazing.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Late-Night Find, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Awesome in Chicago
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    I loved it and will be back next time I'm in Chitown!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday bash
    RobinVIP
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    Our family is over running with April birthdays We choice to celebrate at boarding house. We had a large group and thoroughly enjoyed our bash. We have two vegans who were easily accommodated with special preparations. Our 1 y/o grandson was also accommodated with a bowl of veggies The food was excellent Of course the wine parrings and drink specials are what boarding house is known for. Overall a wonderful experice The service superb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very nice set up, modern decor,
    MPSAGradStudent
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    Very nice set up, modern decor, a very wonderful dining experience. Our waiter was very attentive to the wine selection and did all that he could to give us the best service. I was VERY impressed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Starters and Deserts
    Bluestarbutterfly
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    The décor feels like a very fashionable friend’s home. I thought it was neat that on a Saturday night Ms. Singh was in the restaurant and greeting guests at the door. The drink and wine menu is great, but at 30 plus pages could be a bit much, our waiter was great about making suggestions and offering tastings. The menu changes often to be seasonal. On our visit, the appetizers were the highlight and good portion sizes for sharing. Main courses were tasty but not special the steak was the stand out, and I thought all of the seafood options were overcooked. Deserts were fantastic, especially the oatmeal cookie. I’d suggest going with a group of friends and order all the appetizers and desserts to share and enjoy some cocktails and wine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A wonderfully memorable dinner
    winedinedivaVIP
    Dined on 4/5/2014
    made especially great by our incredible server, Amy, who's wine recommendations made our dinner over the top.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice but not spectacular
    jennyg
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    The Boarding House was nice, but I don't know if I'd go back based on price to experience. Food seemed a bit overpriced - $29 for a plate of scallops, but they were good and presented well. Atmosphere - the chandeliers, many times mentioned, are something to see. The waitstaff was very professional and informative. Our reservation was rather early for dinner - 6pm - and the atmosphere reminded me more of lunch dining than dinner dining, the Dining Room was empty and felt a little stiff. Once we were leaving it seemed the room was picking up and better ambiance. It also seemed odd that the Bar Room menu was larger than the Dining menu. I think its a place to go for a one-time experience to see for yourself.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • **Check Please**
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014VIP
    Dined on 3/30/2014
    read the reviews online and must omit they were not very favorable. But I needed to try for myself and was pleasantly surprised. Every good restaurant has a story and I l love this one-Wine list+++Polenta fries were outstanding as well as all my dishes, Service was on-time and steady throughout my 3hr experience **Check Please**
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Superb food
    jknott
    Dined on 3/30/2014
    The atmosphere here was very quiet and comfortable. The service was excellent. Everything we ate, we thoroughly enjoyed. I had the squid ink pasta as an appetizer and could've made a meal out of that. The scallops as an entree were delicious as were the brussel sprouts that came with it. My husband had the salad with cherries and the salmon and he said both were extremely good. I would highly recommend The Boarding House for it's great service and excellent food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We really enjoyed our dinner
    Foodie
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    We really enjoyed our dinner here. It was a little too noisy and the tables were a little too close together to be considered a romantic spot. The food was very good and innovative. We were warmly greeted when we arrived. The wine glasses and wine bottles hanging from the ceilings were a very creative decorating touch. We also liked the high windows, which also had a heat source to keep the diners warm.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, great atmosphere
    apalifer
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    I was very pleased with the food and the atmosphere. Service was excellent as well. Not just the waiter, but the other service professionals were very nice and friendly.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Trendy and Delicious
    ChicagoLover
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Really cool ambiance inside--and unique dining experience in the sense that you have to take an elevator to get to the dining area. A little on the pricey side, so would be good for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Place to be seen but not by foodies
    bmorgen
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    The energy level is high, the decor is fun, the staff are good looking and very cool. But the kitchen lets them down. Not one of 7 courses we ordered was better than just okay. And at these prices, I expect top quality. I could have made just as good a carrot cake at home. Not better, but just as good. Worse still, the other courses ranged from boring to offensive. Sure the salmon and pork chop were nice quality. And they were grilled correctly. But everything else on the plate was dull. The main course stuffed zucchini was undercooked, under-spiced, and just plain not worth eating. My lobster bisque should have been creamy but it was thickened with something besides cream. The lobster flavor was not fresh & the crab garnish was weird.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Rushed Service yet again
    FoodgirlchicagoVIP
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    We always have delicious dinners and enjoy the unique ambiance at Boardinghoise. However after experiencing seriously rushed service by our servers, we will sadly not be returning. The past four times we have visited this restaurant, our server constantly comes to the table asking for our order often just after we have sat down or ordered our drinks. We ask for more time to enjoy our drinks and look over the menu only to have the server return after a couple minutes. We tried to explain that we needed more time but this request was ignored. This is obviously a policy of this restaurant. We have never experienced such extreme rushed service at any other restaurant we have visited.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic