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Ballaro, Highwood, IL

Ballaro

4.3
4.3
460 Reviews
$30 and under
Italian
Ballaro is located amidst the bustling restaurant scene of Highwood. We are an Italian eatery that applies a contemporary approach to classic Italian cuisine set in an urban yet warm dining room, with engaged hospitality offered at a neighborhood price point.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


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Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Italian, Contemporary Italian, Wine Bar

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 8:30pm

  • Phone number

    (847) 780-3396

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Executive chef

    Mark Newman

  • Catering

    We offer offsite catering for any type of occasion. Please call us at 847-780-3396 or email ballaro214@gmail.com for more information.

  • Private party facilities

    Ballaro offers a contemporary, yet rustic take on Italian fare. Our unique "West Wing" private dining room is available for seated parties up to 60 or up to 70 for a cocktail reception. Our entire restaurant is available for rent for lunch.

  • Private party contact

    Josh Kaplan: (844) 800-6194

  • Neighborhood

    Highwood

  • Cross street

    Prairie

  • Parking details

    We offer complimentary parking every day we are open. .

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 460 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.3
4.3 based on all time ratings
  • 4.3Food
  • 4.4Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 4.1Value

NoiseModerate

Sort by

Filters

  1. AT

    AlexT

    Chicago

    22 reviews

    4.0

    22 reviews

    Reviewed on March 8, 2019

    overall4foodserviceambience
    Excellent food. Good service. Go with the recommendations!
  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 17, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Really going to miss this place. A shame to lose food like this on the north shore.
  3. A

    Adda40

    Chicago

    128 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    128 reviews

    Dined on June 17, 2018

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    CLOSING!!!
  4. J

    Joannek

    Phoenix

    37 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    37 reviews

    Dined on June 16, 2018

    overall3food4service2ambience3
    Dined outside and although the food was good the service was quite slow and the waiter did not appear to be paying attention. My husband specifically ordered a salad without pine nuts and it came with them. When we asked the waiter, he said “he forgot”. I think they were understaffed.
  5. CV

    CafeyVino22

    Chicago

    78 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    78 reviews

    Dined on June 16, 2018

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    We went on the last day of the restaurant. It was our first time. We were sorry to hear of the closing. Enjoyed our meal and wines. Waitress was great!!!
  6. BW

    BryanW

    Chicago

    38 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    38 reviews

    Dined on June 15, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Will miss it!!
  7. KA

    KAMc

    Naples

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 14, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fabulous as always. We are gonna miss you!! See you at Greenwood!!
  8. G

    Good

    Chicago

    47 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    47 reviews

    Dined on June 9, 2018

    overall4food5service4ambience5
    Really enjoyed our dinner. Food came out quickly, drinks were good, overall quite nice and we would return.
  9. LM

    LindaMaks

    Chicago

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 2, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food and exceptional service! I will be back soon.
  10. JB

    JodyB

    Chicago

    49 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    49 reviews

    Dined on June 1, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This place just keeps getting better. Stop in for the great craft cocktails and stay for dinner, a burger, or the pizza. The service is always friendly and the food is always great. I always get the octopus appetizer. They know how to cook it so it is very tender. They have a great patio too. Stop here for dinner, then head next door for the music. A great date night!
  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 31, 2018

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Food was excellent! Very fresh, well prepared and a great mix of flavors. Service was excellent and without pretension. We completely enjoyed every bit of our dinner and we will be back.
  12. SP

    SelwinP

    Chicago

    16 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on May 30, 2018

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Limited menu so they made a special request for me which was very good
  13. BW

    BryanW

    Chicago

    38 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    38 reviews

    Dined on May 27, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always outstanding food and service.
  14. SF

    SheriF

    Chicago

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on May 26, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Loved the outdoor patio!
  15. d

    david

    Chicago

    29 reviews

    4.0

    29 reviews

    Dined on May 24, 2018

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    This is a very nice space, and they easily accommodated 10 people at 6:30 p.m. . Food was very good, although not Gourmet. Noise level was moderate, but the restaurant was not crowded either. The outdoor patio in the front is very nice but we appreciated the indoor option because it was warm.
  16. SW

    StanleyW

    Los Angeles

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 23, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    My wife and I dropped in for a casual dinner at about 6:15 on a Wednesday. There were only a few parties there and it was quiet and easy to talk. The service was friendly, attentive, and very professional. The food was excellent--we split the eggplant and the scallop appetizers followed by the housemade sausage pizza. It happened that we were there for happy hour (Mon?-Thurday until 6:30), so half off on our pizza and on the wines made the cost very reasonable. The one possible concern: as we were finishing up a party of five celebrating a birthday arrived at the next table, and made me suspect that when the restaurant fills up, the noise level will get to be rather high. So, Early = quiet and half off on selected items, which is why when we go again, it will be early.
  17. T

    Tallgirl

    Chicago

    26 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on May 19, 2018

    overall3food2service3ambience3
    We were very disappointed in Ballero. I ordered a Mandarin Orange Cosmo. It didn't taste like any cosmo I've had before..meaning not good! My husband's breast of chicken breast main course, was dry and very unappealing!!! The waitress took the cosmo and the chicken off our bill, which was very nice!!! Too many other options to choose from for dinner!! Ballero came highly recommended.
  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 19, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food and service is always excellent
  19. RS

    RoseS

    Chicago

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 15, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Staff was very attentive, polite and helpful made dining there a delight.
  20. a

    allenm

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 13, 2018

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    My wife Judy and I went for Mother's Day dinner which was our first time to Bellaro. The place of course was very crowded (a little sound baffling would be good) with a nice crowd with the bar and every table full. Our reservation was found and we were quickly seated at one of the few tables for two. Five minutes later we had water and then bread and about five minutes later waiter who apologized for the wait. He said he had to take one table order then would be back and apologized again. Came back, answered some menu questions, took our order, and all without giving us the feeling the full restaurant was putting him or us under any pressure. Food was excellent. We like seafood and Judy's cod and my whitefish were beautifully presented and very good, with great plate sides. Also recommend the crispy octopus appetizer and the romaine salad which we shared. Very sophisticated suburban venue, yet very relaxed and a terrific wait person. Complimentary parking and the valets were friendly and polite. Will definitely go back and recommend Bellaro to others.
  21. M

    Mike

    Chicago

    153 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    153 reviews

    Dined on May 13, 2018

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Mother’s Day
  22. PE

    PatE

    Chicago

    34 reviews

    5.0

    34 reviews

    Dined on May 13, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Went on Mother’s Day. Expectation was that we would be rushed but not at all. The service was wonderful with great suggestions. Very attentive but not overbearing. Food was delicious. Outdoor seating but not nice enough to seat out. Will come back again.
  23. LR

    LindaR

    Chicago

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 11, 2018

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Food was great, but became too loud to easily carry on a conversation.
  24. MM

    MargaritaMike

    Chicago

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 5, 2018

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Good food, upbeat, fun. Room to the left is more lively and more noisy than room to the right. Out door seating on Green Bay is nice on warm evenings. Menu limited but good selection. Drinks are very good.
  25. AR

    AnneR

    Chicago

    8 reviews

    4.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on May 5, 2018

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    Ballero has complimentary valet parking, which surprised me. I thought they just had a parking lot. Usually, I don’t like valet because something always happens to my car, but the gentleman who picked up the car was very friendly and gracious. The owner/ manager was at the front desk and was also very friendly and accommodating. Our server was young, but nice, though sadly, not great. She forgot a side order and asked at the end of our meal if I still wanted it. No. Unless I don’t have to pay for it. Her response, “It’s fine.” Maybe she said I’m sorry, that was it. Kind of, “I don’t give a…” She also tried to take away my unfinished cocktail. It still had about $4 worth left in the glass. Hold on, there! A friend had recommended this place, and I was glad we tried it. The food was pretty good, and our young server didn’t interrupt us as some servers do. My friend and I hadn’t seen each other in a long time, so servers, let us chat without interruption. You’ll get a great tip if you do.
  26. DD

    DosD

    Chicago

    15 reviews

    2.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on May 5, 2018

    overall2food2service3ambience3
    Pappardelle was clumpy- the liver pate was a bit too ordinary. Nothing to rush back to. Sorry.
  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    vip
    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 5, 2018

    overall2food2service4ambience4
    Food was not nearly as good as it’s been in the past, very disappointed.
  28. CR

    ChicagoRSFan

    Washington DC

    18 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on May 5, 2018

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Good food - bucatini pasta and veal parmesan were very good. Service was fantastic - David was funny and quick to help out.
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    2 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 29, 2018

    overall3food3service4ambience5
    I felt our food was ok.... I have been there two other times and felt it was better in the past. Maybe they had an off night in the kitchen.
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    32 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on April 26, 2018

    overall3food2service5ambience4
    Food was ok. Service good. Atmosphere pleasant Very quiet which we like but unfortunately restaurant was fairly empty.
  31. J

    Jriff

    Chicago

    4 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on April 22, 2018

    overall1food2service1ambience2
    We have been to Ballaro several times in the past with very good service and food. This time was very different. When we were seated, our waiter came over and said he would be right back to go over specials, etc. he then came back three times to apologize for not coming back. We finally ordered after going to speak with the host because we could not find our waiter. It was almost comical as we watched the waiter go to other tables many times over before coming to us. Our food was just ok and when it came time to pay, our waiter was no where to be found. We again had to go to the host to get our bill/retrieve our credit cards. As we were leaving (at 10:30 for a 7:30 reservation) we noticed our waiter talking to the host about us. It was completely unprofessional especially since we had been incredibly patient throughout the night. The waiter never apologized and instead seemed to be mocking us-we couldn’t figure out why. It was a very strange night and our table commented that it takes work to ignore a table like our waiter did. Very disappointed in a place we had previously enjoyed going.
  32. e

    eagle2000

    Chicago

    139 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    139 reviews

    Dined on April 21, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious food and a great server. We are definitely coming back for pizza!!!
  33. CG

    CycleGirl

    Chicago

    39 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    39 reviews

    Dined on April 20, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food is outstanding...... the bread is beyond delicious!
  34. 2

    2phatties

    Chicago

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on April 11, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious food and atmosphere. Loved it!!
  35. JR

    JulieR

    Chicago

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 8, 2018

    overall5food3service3ambience4
    Food was tasty, our apps were great, love the crystal drinking glasses. Our veal parm was a little tough to cut but tasty.
  36. SB

    StephenB

    San Diego

    5 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on April 4, 2018

    overall3food3service5ambience3
    Great service, food was okay but the place was empty making it a strange experience.
  37. MK

    MichelleK

    Chicago

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on March 30, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Went to this restaurant for a girlfriend get-together. The décor is beautiful. Initially had reservations but chose to sit at the bar. Gary (the bartender) made great recommendations for an enjoyable food and beverage dining experience. Two favorite items were the Octopus appetizer and by far the best was the pasta Carbonara with an egg yolk served on top, would go back for that alone! Owner made a recommendation for my girlfriend that drinks only organic wine! This place is a must visit.
  38. GT

    GroovyTraveller

    Chicago

    159 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    159 reviews

    Dined on March 25, 2018

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Five of us for dinner. Each of us enjoyed our selection. The wait staff was friendly and efficient, making for a very pleasant dinner.
  39. T

    Theluncher

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 21, 2018

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    One of my clients invited me there. It was the best experience. The food was amazing. I had the short ribs. They were wonderful. My friend had the burger. So good. We will definitely be back. The staff was very attentive to our needs and made sure everything was perfect.
  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Louisville

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 18, 2018

    overall3food2service2ambience3
    We really wanted to like this place a lot more than we ended up liking it because friends of ours recommended we go. The experience started with about 15 to 20 minute wait for our ability to put our first cocktail order in. The server recommended against ordering several things on the menu that we had attempted to order as a result of the items having been returned to the kitchen. The food was fine, nothing stood out; nothing I would probably order- nor seek out again. We also probably could’ve ordered another two cocktails per person if the service was more attentive /or if he wasn’t stretched as thin. Really nice guy/very personable though. The restaurant was about half full as we came in around 830 in the food took forever to come out-pasta we ordered just does not take that long.

FAQs

Ballaro offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (847) 780-3396.

Ballaro is rated 4.3 stars by 460 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Prairie

  • Neighborhood

    Highwood

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 8:30pm

  • Cuisines

    Italian, Contemporary Italian, Wine Bar

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Parking details

    We offer complimentary parking every day we are open. .

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Mark Newman

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (847) 780-3396

  • Catering

    We offer offsite catering for any type of occasion. Please call us at 847-780-3396 or email ballaro214@gmail.com for more information.

  • Private party facilities

    Ballaro offers a contemporary, yet rustic take on Italian fare. Our unique "West Wing" private dining room is available for seated parties up to 60 or up to 70 for a cocktail reception. Our entire restaurant is available for rent for lunch.

  • Private party contact

    Josh Kaplan: (844) 800-6194

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