Permanently Closed - The Blanchard
Earls Kitchen + Bar - Lincoln Park
Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
We waited for 45 minutes without being waited on. Then waiter comes. Takes full dinner order. We wait for an hour. No food. Then they apologize and make a bogus excuse that printer was broken in kitchen. Then they bring wrong food. Finally we receive our food at 10:00 at night. At this point we aren’t even hungry. They only thing they did to make it right was comp a glass of wine. If they would have cut bill in half I wouldn’t have cared. I paid $145 for a dinner that I had to wait 2 hours to get.
Went here for a graduation dinner with family. Service food was good, occasionally outstanding, but service was awful. Couldn’t get drinks or even order more food. Took FOREVER for food to be served. Too bad because I’d return for food if it hadn’t been such an unnecessarily unpleasant experience overall.
While the food was outstanding, the service was awful. It was slow and badly paced. The service took about from enjoying the food. I’m not sure that we would come return again.
The Blanchard is worth a return trip. The cocktails were inventive and tasty. The menu offered unique appetizers and entrees. The gnocchi with crab is calling me back. The dover sole was light and flavorful. We will definitely be back. However, we did feel the service was slow. It appears that the restaurant was understaffed. The staff was very attentive and friendly but seemed to be overwhelmed.
New menu to.me. New owner and chef???
Birthday. Filet & Dover sole out of this world
Twice there was an error on the bill!
Food was good and prices moderate BUT although server was well informed and very pleasant we rarely saw him! Water glasses were not refilled without hailing someone down and asking. Desert menu came after requested and then no one returned to take our order! This was a weeknight, not a weekend.
Tried Blanchard once before a few weeks ago. We waited 20 minutes after we were seated and no one came to greet us or take an order.
While the food is good this restaurant will not survive!
We came because Phil Vettel had just given the restaurant a rave review in The Tribune. What a terrible experience! The waiter said "There will be a bit of a wait for your drinks...the bartender is new." The wait was 25 minutes for 4 martinis with no special requests, and two had to be sent back because they seemed to have been made with 50/50 vermouth/vodka. Even if you were new you simply open a bartender manual and do what it says. Another waiter volunteered that the menu choices were "weird." All four of us had the cod and we all found it inedibly salty. We understood it was in a sauce of cod brandade but you have to soak the salt cod multiple times before using it and this apparently was not. It was almost like the real restaurant staff had fled and random people had been brought in from the street to run the place.
We had a wonderful meal and great service.
Everything about the restaurant is somewhat unexpected in a wonderful way. The staff was very
knowledgeable and friendly; not in a chummy way, but in a charming one. The site. looking out at the flowering trees and the decor, provided a lovely setting for the non-traditional menu offerings.
Ambitious menu, very small portions. Need more food selections before I would return.
Really enjoyable evening. Beautiful and comfortable dining room. So many items on the menu sounded enticing, so was happy to see an eight course tasting menu was offered (for a very reasonable $85). We opted for that in order to sample more of the menu. The tasting menu was a thoughtful progression; plating was attractive and we greatly enjoyed the dinner - all the way through the amazing dessert. Service was attentive and extremely personable, really enhancing the experience. Fantastic meal.
Fantastic food, terrific service, very nice setting. Highly recommended!
I had really been looking forward to this dinner. I was on vacation with my mom in Chicago for a long weekend and The Blanchard was the last dinner we had and it certainly was a terrible close to an otherwise great vacation.
I should have known when I walked into the restaurant and there was only one other table dining that I should have left right then.
We ordered the tasting menu as well as the burrata and bread and butter to start. The butter may have been the only enjoyable thing during this dinner. After the buratta, the courses came out slow, especially for chilled items and an empty restaurant. The food was grossly over-salted and simply not good. We tried to move on to other courses and were instead given alternate courses that we neither asked for, nor wanted. After four courses (out of eight) and one unwanted extra course we asked to leave. We were given a bill with a pathetic discount. We then were approached by the manager and told that they were sorry for their slow service and that we didnt like the food and that "we must also have something else going on outside of here" and to take a free bottle of wine with us to make it better. We quickly paid, left the bottle and still talk about how disappointing that dinner was.
I went back anf forth, and after a week I decided to e-mail the restaurant about my experience and dissatisfaction. I felt the service, quality, food, and fact that we requested to leave mid-meal warranted a bit more of a discount than what they gave. Its been a week since my email. Two weeks since the dinner. No response. At all. I hate to leave such a negative review, but the customer service, or lack thereof has shown to be matched to the food quality. Simply terrible.
We had a nice dinner experience with very good service. I would tweak the menu offering a mixed salad instead of the vegetables which were fair. I had Dover sole and was disappointed in the flavor meaning it might not have been as fresh as possible. The servers were all very professional.
The appetizers were all tasty and nicely presented.
The entire experience from walking in to enjoying the cuisine was fantastic. Highly, highly recommended; I know I'm going back for sure!
I liked everything about the place. I thought the service was outstanding - it felt very personal, but not obtrusive. The food was unusual, creative and very tasty. I eat a lot of salmon, but that salmon was some of the crispiest and best I've had. And don't miss the vichysoisse butter that comes with the homemade bread! The atmosphere is trendy and cool feeling. Really enjoyed ourselves.
The food is inventive and fabulous. Original combinations of tastes. We plan a return visit in the near future.
Highly recommend. Unexpected and unique presentation and absolutely delicious food. Can't wait to go back.
serving small portions in clay flower pot dishes, give me a break.
The food pairing was fabulous and the service was wonderful. It was a real treat to eat their. We have eaten in many of the finest restaurants in the country and this one of our best experiences.
Thank goodness for the Chicago Tribune review of the Blanchard, or it never would have been on my radar. My husband and I ate our way through four blissful courses after a theater matinée, and the meal was so incredible that we're already planning our return trip from the western suburbs even without an event in the Loop to link it to. The wait staff was courteous, informative, friendly, but never intrusive. My husband and I agreed that we could eat our shared chicken thigh appetizer every day for the rest of our lives. I had the most trouble finishing my main course because I couldn't decide what to save for my final bite, the crab or the pillowy ravioli.
Although our view out the window showed an ugly mid-April rain and snow combo, we could see the chairs for outdoor dining stacked on the front patio under the strings of lights on the bare tree branches, patiently waiting for warmer weather. We can't wait to return on a day we can enjoy dining outdoors. Of course the prices are not what most of us spend on an average meal, but the careful and delicious preparation is worth the cost. We will be back, and we'll be bringing friends to share in the gourmet experience!
We were very impressed by the restaurant from the minute we walked in. Greeted and handled well from the start. The service was amazing. The food was wonderful. We'll visit The Blanchard again very soon. Highly recommended.
The Blanchard has been a personal favorite since it opened and continues to be. With its wonderful decor, great bar and strong drink, a welcoming staff and great service mated with creative and superb plates, The Blanchard always deliver a wonderful evening.
The food, service and atmosphere is terrific
Can't wait to go back! The beef tartare was so different but so, so delicious (it's not a classical interpretation, dusted with smokey goodness); the Kennebec fries with caviar service accents and trout roe were awesome, and the King Crab gnocchi was amazing (the gnocchi were some of the best and the buerre blanc was a perfect accompaniment to the crab and gnocchi). We were seriously considering ordering seconds of each for dessert!
Cloying waitstaff, limited dining choices...not a lettace leaf in sight!, too many types of ingredients in one dish ( peach sorbet with tapioca pudding and other stuff), bland fish, cold steak. And I had a rock in my stomach for two days. Was still nauseaus next day. Will never return although had been there before the partners broke up. Ran into a friend as we left, she e mailed me that they hated it as well. Too bad!
Excellent food. High quality ingredients and creative cuisine. Attentive service. This restaurant should be a lot busier than it is.
I did not like my seafood entree. It was bland I could only eat a portion. Not quite to my expectation. I complained and they took it off my check. Otherwise the appetiser and other entrees were great. Service was excelent.
We were at The Blanchard before and really liked it but under the helm of a new executive chef, it seems to stepped up!! We truly enjoyed our evening! Loved the food and lovely ambiance. Service is attentive and top notch. We look forward to going back. Thank you! And thank you Mr Vettel for reintroducing us to The Blanchard!
Unset tables in the dining room. Poor service, such as not pouring bottled water. Food was fairly good ( not special), but portions were tiny despite high prices. Unpleasant overall.
Great food in a very pleasant setting
Terrible! What happened to this once wonderful restaurant? When my friend and I arrived there was only one other table with 2 people. It was creepy. This was a Friday night.
We were being gently pushed along- really? like they needed our table.
Appetizers were ok, not great.
Dinner was terrible. I had ordered the salmon and it was served cold, not warm, cold. We had trouble getting anyone to come over to the table- how could this be? They were all talking and laughing with each other. When the waiter finally came over and I asked him if the dish was meant to be served cold he quickly acknowledged that it was not and he would have it redone. My friend was totally done eating and we sat talking for awhile while we still waited for my dinner. When it arrived it was hot- but over cooked and very dry with two little pieces of artichoke. None of the other items that had been part of the first dish were included. I was not going to complain again. We just wanted to finish and leave at this point. No one is in the restaurant and they cannot get the salmon correct after two tries?
Not sure what the problem was, but no one in my family will back.
We were there on a Saturday evening and it wasn't very crowded. I don't know why as its a beautiful space, the service is outstanding and the chef creative and passionate about what he is doing. I have been a few times and the chef always finds a minute or two to come out and check on things, answer questions, etc. The food has always been delicious.
We have dined at the Blanchard many times and our meal on Saturday was spectacular. This is one of the outstanding restaurants in Chicago. We look forward to coming back soon. Chef continues to create a unique menu that makes each meal memorable.
The Blanchard was superb! I was looking for somewhere special with French cuisine to celebrate my fiance's birthday. This was it! The atmosphere was quiet and classy without being stuffy; cool modern digs in an incredible old building. Service and staff were friendly, kind and went above and beyond to make this not simply dinner but an experience. Food was mouthwatering and creative, leaving you wanting more. We loved our evening and will definitely be back the next time we visit Chicago!
Great service, delicious creative food. Portions a little small.
Very unsatisfactory. There is a new menu that is really pretentious and unappealing - sort of nouvelle cuisine meets farm-to-table but ultimately just not very good or interesting. The service is great, the room is nice but the food is very disappointing. If you want traditional French, go to Mon Ami Gabi. If you want a playful update on French classics, go to Chez Moi. This place badly needs a rethink.