Arbor

4.7
159 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
"Arbor is such an odd mix of elements that it remains the city's most overlooked and underappreciated high end restaurant." Michael Gebert

The Midwestern Omakase is relentless about what makes for memorable experiences and lovingly seasoned food. It is less about impressing the guest, and more about love; the warmest kind of hospitality. Chef Hollander changes the menu every two weeks; Chad Little creates new natural wine pairings.

There is no cultural bound, just seasonal ingredients expressed through our childlike obsession with the vastness of flavor. Text us to start the journey 312.292.8347

Select 3, 5, or 7 courses and let us know if there is anything you can't eat.
3 courses-$45 & $25 wine
5 courses-$70 & $40 wine
7 courses-$100 & $55 wine

We have become known for our natural wine list. What makes me happy is there is no list. We focus on quirky wines by smaller producers with natural wine practices. If you remotely like wine, then get the underpriced pairings.

-Chad
What 159 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
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TO
Chicago
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience. The Arbor team rocked it

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OT
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

The food was good, wine pairing was fine (small pours and uninspired selections) but service was severely lacking. Have never had such a low quality of service for the price of the meal. Just inattentive and seemingly uncaring.

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MY
Chicago
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing creative food. Excellent service, especially if you like to talk to the wait staff, owners, and chef about food and wine. Modern but non-flashy ambiance.

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GP
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

incredibly creative food, new flavors, beautifully presented in a chill vibe modern space. The servers were extremely attentive and not fussy (thank you) and anticipated our next need at the table. It definitely feels like a hidden gem. One of the best meals I've had in Chicago in a long time.

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JB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great! Love how enthusiastic Chad is about wine and creating such a great experience.

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D
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our party of 4 enjoyed an incredible evening at Arbor. The food was incredible and so special, however the entire was an intimate dining experience that I forward to repeating. I’m hesitant to post this review because I loved that the restaurant wasn’t packed and focused on flipping tables. The pacing of courses was lovely and the explanations by the wait staff were on point. Thank you for an awesome night, Chad!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The entire night was wonderful.

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N
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated my wife's birthday with our adult kids. We chose the 5 course meal Midwest Omakase, first time for all of us. We enjoyed every dish, and several courses were designed to be shared so we could even taste more than 5 dishes. The wine pairing was incredibly inventive and worked well. The service outstanding, and very accommodating to our vegan guest, including some very unique mocktails. I highly recommend this to all folks interested in a unique dining experience. just make sure you don't show up before 6 PM if you have the 6 PM seating as the doors do not open until 6 PM sharp! Thanks for all the good care.

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A
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It’s all about the quality of the food and the wine. Wacky quirky, sure. Pay attention to what’s on your plate, how it’s presented, and how it tastes. Yes!

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OT
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a wonderful experience. We had the 5 course dinner with wine pairings and it was perfect. We're not white wine lovers, but our selections were outstanding and we enjoyed each one. The food courses were thoughtful, and surprising. Music was perfect and so many of us were shazaming! Our waitstaff wad also super attentive, especially our main server Brennan. The location decor is simple and comfortable. We loved it so much and can't wait to go back!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love our experience at Arbor. Intimate. Fantastic service. Loved it!

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b
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We loved the experience. Our only negative was that the wine pairings were poured into the
same glass as the previous wine pairing. I thought since pairing is specific to the food, the glass
should have been a fresh glass. Not a serious error but I was surprised. Other than that, we
loved it.

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C
Chicago
47 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful culinary experience of sustainable food and fine dining. We had the five courses with a series of wine tastings. Fantastic food, good music, and great atmosphere. Very special restaurant and highly recommend.

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OT
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Lovely atmosphere, low lighting, great for a leisurely meal and extended conversation. The food is innovative, tasty and beautifully presented. A tiny quibble: during past visits, the server was so well-informed about the ingredients used and preparation process for each course presented. And, he was passionate (in an authentic way) about conveying these details. This visit, the server was perfectly nice, but seemingly less informed and/or less forthcoming; personally, I found part of the appeal in previous experiences, was learning a bit about the lovely dishes I was enjoying. Additionally, I may be wrong about this, but I thought, previously, we were presented (or told?) the menu in advance of each course served, which was a nice way to "anticipate" the meal.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great date night. The ambiance set the mood beautifully. Chad was very welcoming and catered to us and all the guest around us. We had the three courses, and perfect wine pairings. I can’t wait to come back to do five or the seven courses!

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S
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious courses and excellent and congenial service. We would go much more frequently if it were less expensive.

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F
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was fantastic and the service was great. I can see some picker wine drinkers not liking the pairings but I am game to try anything.

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DC
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best dining experiences I’ve had in Chicago and I’ve been here for 20 years.

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LT
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I live in the neighborhood and I've been to Arbor for breakfast, lunch, and coffee many times. I've wanted to do the Midwestern Omakase for YEARS. I finally did 5 courses with wine pairings for a fancy date night and we LOVED it. My date said it was the best meal he'd had in months and we were both intrigued by the unusual wines paired with each course. The owner chatted with us after the meal over some more wine and we could really feel his passion. I highly recommend this experience. I will be back!

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SS
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the second time we went to Arbor. Went with my wife for my birthday over the summer and we were both blown away by the quality and creativity of the food. We did the 7 course tasting with wine pairings the first time. We went back this week with a group of friends and got the 5 course with pairings. One of our friends said that one of the courses was the best thing he had eaten this year (and he's a former chef).

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great and tasty food. Very cozy and intimate ambience whether you are there for a date or doing business. Background music is also appropriate for every occasion . Right volume that allows you to enjoy your meal and handle a conversation at the same time. Kevin is very knowledgeable and really does not rush you for the next course or wine glass, if pairing. You can truly relax and enjoy a great fine food.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From start to finish, it was amazing! The food, the wine, the service - just amazing! I am already trying to figure out when I can come back with my husband.
My favorites - the fried gnocchi (so crunchy and flavorful), the sun choke mousse (never tasted anything like this, so pleasant and light yet incredibly memorable), the bison (tender and seasoned perfectly), and the lemon cheesecake (I love cheesecake, always order it for dessert so when this came, I was already excited and it was the perfect way to end the meal).
The wine - so many pairings that it was hard to remember; however, Chad and our server (I’m sorry I can’t remember her name) were so knowledgeable and I loved listening to their interpretations of the wine that was selected.
The service - never felt rushed, our courses came out appropriately timed, and the server was very enjoyable and responsive!
Vibe - very relaxed and calm.
I look forward to returning! Thank you!

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DA
Austin
3 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

What a hidden gem! The food was thoughtfully prepared and delicious, and the wine pairing featured many unusual, but delicious, wines. I have been reading about the places for several years, and I am so glad to have finally experienced it. Arbor does not get nearly the press that it should. Given the season, we were not able to see what the kitchen can do with its own locally-grown produce. I imagine the menu is especially spectacular during the growing season. We will definitely return.

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PH
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I heard about Arbor from a work friend and we were not disappointed. We went for my wife's birthday and enjoyed the 5-course meal. We opted out of the wine pairings and simply had a cocktail and one glass of wine, which was fine for us. The food was very flavorful and you could discern the different flavors in each dish instead of it all blending in together. The menu items were very fresh, creative (both flavor wise and visually), and covered a broad range of tastes and textures. If you get the 5-course, take your time....it was just a little too much for us, but was excellent nonetheless. Ambience was really nice, and a big highlight for us....not a single cell phone was seen during our entire meal! Very refreshing and highly recommended.

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NK
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Easily one of the best meals and dining experiences I’ve ever had. The food was outstanding from start to finish and the wine pairings were truly unique, well outside things I would normally think to try. The best part is with the menu regularly changing we are definitely looking forward to visiting again in the future!

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AS
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been twice and both have been some of the best food I have ever had. It is definitely worth spending the money and definitely worth the wine pairing as well!!

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B
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely amazing dining experience! From the moment we walked in we were treated like we were the only people in the restaurant. All of the food was exceptional. Must must must go on the culinary journey!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I’m a frequent Open Table user, but this is my first review. Start to finish, Arbor was amazing. We had the three course menu + wine pairing. Everything was fabulous and the service was great. We will go back. Highly recommend.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great restaurant! We are organic gardeners from downstate and could not ask for a more perfect dining match. Arbor is beautiful (real candles, real crystal, real reindeer lichens, really pleasant music), a combo of French country and contemporary Scandinavian. The service was excellent (and included advice on the wines, the music, the herbs decorating the tables, and the bees that helped produce the food). Most importantly, the food was spectacular. We ordered 5 courses with wine but got much more than that. I requested no pork, which Arbor accommodated easily. Our meal started with an amuse-bouche of hand-made pitas and an eggplant tapenade; a white bisque ladled over a fall medley of apples, pecans, and crisped parsnips (a different taste in every bite); roasted beets; yellowfin tuna on soba noodles; gnocchi with grilled mushrooms; opah for me and grilled shortribs for my guy; and last, a flourless chocolate cake with elderflower cherries for me and cheeses and honey (raised out back) for my love.

You say, That's more than five courses, and you are right. Staff even arranged for us to move to a bigger table so we could invite friends for cocktails and more dessert.

We definitely will go back!

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DM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was good, but for the money spent, not quite as special as other restaurants that have a stronger tasting menu (Acadia, Schwa, Kai Zan). For instance, some of the wine pairings did not match up with the corresponding dish as well as what we've experienced elsewhere. Definitely commend the owner(s) for their effort, and we could tell the server spent some time trying to learn the make-up of each dish.

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SA
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simply Flawless. Arbor was an incredible experience.

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S
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food, great service. Server (Brennan?) took the time to stop and chat with us, explain all of the ingredients and origins.
I never write reviews but my boyfriend and I left talking about how great it was for days after.

$70 a piece for 3 courses with wine pairings, which were about a half glass each. Not cheap but not horribly priced.

Would definitely recommend!

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JM
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We found Arbor online and took a chance. Very glad we did. The 7-course was a great value, I felt. And every dish was satisfying and unique. The pairings were also a good call & the meal would not have been the same without them. I felt they could have charged more for the pairings.

Service was very attentive and caring without being annoying. The music set the mood nicely.

They change their menus every few weeks. This is one we’d definitely go back to.

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e
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

outstanding 7 course tasting menu, with best wine parings I have ever experienced. Our waiter was superb as well--knowledgeable, funny, spent time explaining the natural wines, etc. Tables were very far apart which was nice as well. interesting combo of very laid back room and service with many details to the food. Having had many tasting menus in Chicago over the years this was one of the top 2.

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K
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Eating dinner at Arbor was an experience - from the staff being genuinely interested in connecting with us to the fabulous meal and wine to the tour of their garden. I told all my friends in Chicago to go experience Arbor and will keep it in mind for any friends visiting!

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KL
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Arbor feels like dining with your super friendly, super hip aunt and uncle who traveled the world and now grow their own garden in their charming back yard. As one of my friends said, “that’s the best service experiences I’ve ever had.”

Thank you for existing, Arbor - and thanks to the wonderful staff for all they do to keep it running!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 1

Service was adequate and his descriptions were interesting. The food was dry and boring. The wine was funky but not good. Expensive for what it was and the ambiance was bad. Would not recommend.

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K
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful spot for carefully curated meals paired with companion beverages.

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OT
Chicago
41 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The waiter was personable, the host remembered our love for herbs displayed at the beginning of the meal and the food was outstanding. We loved every part of the meal!

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OT
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place! The staff spares no attention to detail!

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