Arbor

4.6
141 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
***Unique dinner - April 5 - "A New Kind of Wine From Chile" see website.***
The Midwestern Omakase is a passionate expression of Garden To Table, it’s clandestine…yet it exists for all. The menu changes every few weeks, and Thrillrist even listed it as a must have dining experience!

Please specify in notes whether you would like the 3, 5, or 7 course option, in addition, please let us know if there is anything you can’t eat.

There are four primary options :
3 courses- $45 + $25 wine
5 courses- $70 + $40 wine
7 courses- $100 + $55 wine
The wine list is extremely fun and quirky with focuses on smaller producers and natural wine practices. If you remotely like wine, then get the pairings.

We aren’t the stuffy type but are relentless about what makes for memorable experiences and lovingly seasoned food. It is less about impressing the guest, and more about love, as that is the warmest kind of hospitality.
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, American, Global, International
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Hours of operation
Midwestern Omakase
Thu–Sat 6:00 pm–11:00 pm
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Phone number
(312) 292-8347
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Leonard Hollander
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Catering
No souless cooking or lifeless service. Catering does not need to be boring, you just have to put love into it and have the skill and technique to execute. Arbor catering is just like the rest of what we do by specifically designing experiences that over-deliver. Be it an ornate wedding, boisterous cocktail party, or corporate gathering: everything is made fresh, on site, from the best and most delicious items that we can get our hands on. Real ingredients: local grains, breads, rooftop honey, fruits and vegetables, often grown a one-minute walk or an elevator ride away.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Rockwell
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Parking details
Arbor is on the SECOND FLOOR, Street parking (Diversey, south Maplewood, and south Rockwell st) and neighborhood parking available (On George just west of Rockwell)
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Public transit
4 blocks north of California Blue Line stop
#28 Diversey bus, stops at Rockwell
#49 Western Bus - walk 2 blocks west
#52 California Bus - walk 2 blocks east
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Special events & promotions
We have done everything from 400 person holiday parties with four custom cocktail bars, to an eight person 10 course thematic driven dining experience. We are a rare breed and would love to talk if you value the kind of execution that leaves you with something to talk about.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 141 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Quiet
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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F
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
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
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
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 3 days ago
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 3 days ago
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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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
7 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
10 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
8 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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D
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Creative, engaging food. Just show up and trust the chef to be the master you know him/her to be.

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JS
Salt Lake City
2 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Arbor was amazing! The food & service were excellent & well paced. The wine pairings were interesting. The space is elegantly minimalist. An excellent value. The experience & food quality reminded me of much-missed Grace (but at a price point that makes Arbor easier to frequent.)

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D
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Very creative cuisine stressing an extensive variety of flavors in the tasting menu. We thoroughly enjoyed everything we ate. The hospitality was wonderful. Chad was a great host who explained each dish and the wines which were paired with each course. We highly recommend Arbor.

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AS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 3

The food was pretty good. We did 7 courses.with wine pairings. Variety could have been better, 3 of the dishes were focused on corn. Dessert was a fail, no good at all. As for the service, we sat for 20 minutes before being served anything but water for no apparent reason. Our 7 p.m. reservation lasted more than 3 hours due to lengthy times between courses and a lack of attention to start and end the meal. I wanted to love this place so bad, we live down the block. Honestly, though, I don't see a need to return and would not recommend. There are places with as good or better food and far better service.

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S
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Loved our server but not the food. Food was more fluff and presentation than substantial. Liked idea if farm to table and wine flights Gad great wines but very small pours. Hope they grow into themselves.

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PP
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been both for lunch and dinner, food was delicious all around and the service is impeccable. The tasting menu with the wine pairing is a great value, they pay close attention to dietary preferences.

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A
Chicago
176 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Hidden Gem
Very creative menu. Attentive service. Hidden away in an office building He would not realize this place was there. Pull back the curtains and enter. Reasonable prices considering the level of cuisine and service. We had the five course tasting menu without the wine pairing. We were quite satisfied.

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O
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sshhhh... this place is amazing and the best kept dining secret in the city. The food and flavors are creative but comfortable. The wines are unique, natural, tasty, and perfectly paired with each course. Book a table, put yourselves in their capable hands, relax and enjoy. Midwestern omakase is a real thing

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent staff and incredible food. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

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SQ
Chicago
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My girlfriend and I made a reservation at Arbor to celebrate our anniversary. Chad (one of the partners) was our server and experience was exactly as advertised. Arbor catered to our pescatarian restrictions, offered a completely unique dining experience that was interactive and educational without being pretentious, and, very simply, the food and wine was outstanding. We have two friends who are aspiring chefs and we look to bring them in (and hopefully introduce them to Chad) very soon.

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SC
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Definitely an unusual experience, and came with a certain level of pretension, but both at an endearing level. Really loved the ambiance, the service, and the adventurous plates.

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JJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We went to Arbor to celebrate my husband's birthday. He loves thoughtfully prepared, unique food and flavor combinations and Arbor knocked it out of the park. They even texted me ahead of time to find out flavors/foods we did not like so they could avoid them. Every dish was interesting, but not too overwhelming and the portions were perfect. We did the 5 course meal with the wine pairing, which I would also highly recommend. Every wine had a story, making the whole dinner an experience. Four thumbs up from this family of foodies!

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JW
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on June 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Terrific experience all around! Fabulous food, great wines, super service!!

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LC
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 3ambience 3

It's fancy, hipster fancy, which is not my cup of tea. The need to explain every dish was obnoxious. I'm not one to care if the fennel was picked 2 hours ago, just give me the food & ask me if I need anything else. I'm old school. It was an experience. Don't go here if you have somewhere else to go afterwards.

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j
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Super local, super tasty. Every meal is catered toward the diner. The tasting menu with the pairing is just sublime. Highly recommend.

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JT
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really delicious, well thought out flavors. Fine dining reasonably priced.

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MB
Chicago
222 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a find! I am so glad to have found this restaurant that focuses on the locally grown aspect (they have a huge garden). Menu changes often based on what is available. Service was very attentive and engaging. We opted for the 7-course and were not disappointed. Very, very reasonable prices given the portions and quality of what you are getting. We ordered a couple of bottles of wine (which were also very reasonably priced), opting not to have the wine pairings. However the co-owner offered us tastes of what we would have had if we had selected the wine pairings, which were really great. We will be back more often for sure.

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