About Topolobampo

Topolobampo, specializes in authentic regional cuisine served in an elegant, upscale setting. Sister restaurant, Frontera Grill serves authentic Mexican Food in a fun, casual & relaxed atmosphere. Topolobampo takes advance reservations for all parties. If you do not see what you are looking for, please call us for further information.

445 N Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60610
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Mexican, Contemporary Mexican

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday 5:30 - 9:30; Friday and Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Cross Street:
Illinois

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$50 and over

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(312) 661-1434

Website:
http://www.rickbayless.com/restaurants/topolobampo/

Public Transit:
Red Line - Grand Avenue

Executive Chef:
Rick Bayless

Additional:
Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Topolobampo Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.4

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

89% would recommend it to a friend

Creative Cuisine (52)
Fit for Foodies (51)
Tasting Menu (49)
See All
Special Occasion (46)
Good for Anniversaries (43)
Authentic (42)
Notable Wine List (36)
Good for a Date (30)
Good for Birthdays (26)
Romantic (23)
Worth the Drive (23)
Handcrafted Cocktails (23)
Local Ingredients (18)
Fun (16)
Hot Spot (15)
Seasonal (13)
Neighborhood Gem (11)
Spicy (10)
Cozy (8)
Great for Lunch (8)
Business Meals (7)
Pre/post Theatre (7)
Healthy (6)
Quiet Conversation (5)
Good for Groups (4)
Late-night Find (4)
Tapas (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (4)
Casual (3)
Comfort Food (3)
Organic (3)
Bar Seating (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Afternoon Tea (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
Great Beer (1)
Happy Hour (1)
People Watching (1)
Vegan (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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5643 reviews
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 (New York Area)·Dined 7 days ago

This restaurant is located within the Rick Bayless food compound, along with Xoco and Fontera Grill. We ate at all three restaurants, and I would go back to XO and Fontera Grill, but not Topolobampo.

An upscale restaurant going for the vibe they are, with pre-fixed "gourmet" Mexican food served at the prices they are, needs its own entrance. So waiting at Fontera Grill for our table to be ready just isn't impressive. Essentially, Topo is the side room of Fontera Grill.

There were 3 of us there for a business dinner. I ordered the pre-Colombian tasting menu, and my other two colleagues orders the other 2 tasting menus, with one being a basic, traditional menu, and the other being a menu based on seasonal selection.

With any tasting menu, the portions are small, but the added variety does fill you up. I think the biggest problem was that none of us were impressed with each course of our menu. So for me with the pre-Colombian menu, which I think was 7 courses, I was really only impressed with 3.

Overall the WOW factor was missing from the meal, and when it's an upscale restaurant I think most people have the expectation that they will be WOW'd.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Tasting Menu, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food3
ambience2
service3
value2

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Really original and spectacular 5 and 7 course menu. If you have the means, it is worth it.
I wish we had researched the menu offering before making reservations more than a month ahead, as it is
not the same as our last visit about 20 years ago.
Extremely expensive.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Special Occasion, Healthy, Creative Cuisine, Authentic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Topolo is a required stop when we visit Chicago. The tasting menus are thoughtfully crafted and interestingly different from each other. My husband had the Classic. The Sopa Azteca is one of the best soups we've ever had; Arctic char Escabeche, Eggplant-Mushroom Chilaquiles, and Carne Asada were all perfectly cooked and beautifully flavorful. We shared the Crepas con Cajeta which was sublime. I had the Seasonal menu but requested only 3 of the 5 dishes: Pumpkin Tamal with Goat Cheese was slap-the-table good; Lobster Bacalao was smooth and complex; and the Suckling Pig had me slapping the table again. (In addition to skipping my own dessert, I opted out of the Tongue Tacos. The young man at the next table said they were sensational.) My husband had beer (Negra Modelo, always a good choice). I got the wine pairings which were perfectly chosen. The pinot gris was particularly notable because it's not a wine I particularly enjoy but this one was great on its own and a wonderful accompaniment to the tamal. And the service was impeccable, with informative descriptions of the dishes and wines and comfortable timing of everything.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Tasting Menu, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 10, 2017

Had I realized that only specific prix fix menus were available I probably would have gone elsewhere. However I will give them credit for presenting 3 different options . Their food is unique without being exotic. The chocolate dessert was the best course.

Tags: Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on November 9, 2017

The perfect meal and experience that I was looking for. Server team was both professional and personable. Thank you so much for a great night out.

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food5
ambience5
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value5

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on November 9, 2017

Where else can you have a 7 course pre-Colombian menu? Each dish was beautifully explained, prepared, and presented. A very impressive effort and satisfying dinner!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Authentic, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 5, 2017

The food, as always, was outstanding. This is a perennial favorite. Unfortunately, though, the service was not great. Our waiter walked by us several times while we had empty glasses on the table, without stopping to see if we wanted more drinks. The pacing of courses at the end was also very slow. Despite the not-good service, the food is so good, we'll go back for more. (And just will be prepared to sit longer than we'd like, and to flag down wait staff as needed!)

Tags: Special Occasion, Spicy, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience4
service2
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 3, 2017

Amazing food and great service, perfect formula for success. Would eat here again and again...

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 1, 2017

Oh, what a night! There were four in our party and we enjoyed the Pre-Colombian, Traditional, and Seasonal Chefs tastings with wine pairings. Also loved the trio,trio,trio ceviche for our appetizer. Exquisitely prepared and presented plates. James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant so deserved. Wow!

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food5
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service5
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vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on October 29, 2017

Enjoyed dining at Topolo for the first time. It was a complex and interesting meal. Service was attentive and the explanation of the food and wine pairings informative. Ranking only four stars as the opening soup was not as warm as I expected or would have liked and desserts were overly sweet. Still an interesting and thoughtful meal that I’m glad I experienced.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 29, 2017

It was so great. The food, the parings, the staff it was all just so great. Especially for our first night out away from our newborn twin boys and our 2nd wedding anniversary!

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food5
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service5
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 (Pittsburgh)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Very good meal, but frankly a little disappointed. My expectations were high, and a few of the dishes were outstanding, but overall, we'd likely have had 90% as good a meal at Frontera for 50% the price.

I had the (relatively new) focus "pre-Columbian" tasting (with a walleye substituted for rabbit), while my wife had the seasonal tasting (with walleye instead of beef). We both thought the walleye was the best dish. The mole she had was great too, as well as the starter from the pre-Columbian. Most of the other dishes were a little flatter than ideal, like they needed a little vinegar/acid. Cool place and good service, though the runners were a little quick in their schpiels and one mixed up our dishes (no big deal bc we were sharing). We had cocktails and mezcal instead of wine, and were happy with that choice....

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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

Quite simply astounding. Every visit is a complete delight.

Tags: Seasonal, Tasting Menu, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Freaking amazing - wish we lived closer! Rick Bayless is fabulous!

Tags: Fun, Hot Spot, Comfort Food, Authentic
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food5
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vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on October 25, 2017

We’ve dined in most major cities, including overseas. We always come back to Topolobampo and are more impressed each time. Without hesitation this last meal we had is top three of all. Cannot give a higher recommendation.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Special Occasion, Authentic, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine
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food5
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vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 22, 2017

This dinner experience was not worth the money at all. I got extremely small portions and one of the items tasted stale. The presentation was just OK, but for being a Michelin star restaurant, I was sorely disappointed. The portion was extremely small and the beef was not cooked well

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food1
ambience2
service3
value1

vip
 (Fayetteville)·Dined on October 22, 2017

Really excellent and got to try some interesting and tasty food

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 21, 2017

I asked for my steak to be MW and it arrived rate. I asked it to be c

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food2
ambience5
service2
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 20, 2017

Disappointing experience. For a white tablecloth restaurant, service is dismal. Food is excellent, but the poor service can't save it, especially when you're paying a pretty penny to go.

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food4
ambience2
service1
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 (Tulsa)·Dined on October 18, 2017

Incredible. A truly remarkable evening of food & service. Our waiter was top notch and made the meal one of the best culinary experiences my wife and I have ever had. The different coursed menus are intelligent and full of flavor that will cause you to hope the night never ends.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 18, 2017

Having been there a few times, I was very surprised the service was so very poor. I had to ask 3 separate people for a glass of ice. I was ready to walk to the bar to get my own. My friend asked about the “wine pairing” and was told a white, red and dessert one. She then asked for more info. Found this very odd, like the staff thought she wouldn’t understand! Then after being there 1.25 hours, we had to ask for our dessert. Then when the bill came, I had asked the waitress to give me one of the ladies bill, as I was treating her. When she came and I asked for it, she said “ you didn’t have a Margarita “I reminded her of our earlier conversation. Don’t think she still got it. It was very awkward. This was the first time in years I didn’t tip 20% plus. Very disappointed. However we did get to see Rick Baylis visit another table.

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food5
ambience4
service2
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vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 18, 2017

Wow.... super shocked to have to rate this so poorly. All I can say is 1 star just can’t be worth much!
1. We picked the Topolobampo in 60. Lunch tasting menu with wine pairing.
$25 each. For 3 courses $25 deal right... well. $25 for 3 tasting size wine offerings... really?!?!
Also is it meant to mean you can eat in 60 minutes? Not so!
2. We were seated and sat. Took awhile to get and find our waiter. Disappointed from the start with service. Isn’t a STAR part of the piece service??? Not so much.
3. Finally ordered. We all 3 ordered one of each of starters and courses. Desert only 2 options.
Things not impressive... but we looked over to see Rick Bayless in the house talking to another table- it’s a small place. Cool? And then he didn’t walk the Restaurant and say hi to anyone else. Weird.
4. First course- I got the salad. Prob worst salad I’ve ever had and had to send it back bc it was full of over wilted greens. I had to ask for my waiter- no one came to check.
Soup was great and presentation cool, but it was warm- not hot by any means. Last option our friend got the ceviche. Said it was five. All wine pairing did match well. Just small pours. I did ask for another pour instead of them replacing my salad.
5. Main course. Good. Nothing special. Wine pours small, but good pairing. Nothing was piping hot and no one raved on their meal. Blah.
6. Dessert. Seriously sad display of flavor and options. Nothing any of us wanted to finish or rave about. Sad. Sweet wine ok.
7. Went to pay and was told the chef was here and they agreed to waive my wine charge bc of my bad salad. Thx! They should have done something. Shocked the chef didn’t come out. A greeting and picture would have gone a long way. :)
8. Just not our expected experience for a 1 star place. Wouldn’t recommend, glad we tried, but lunch fail.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on October 18, 2017

Service was inadequate one waitress for all the tables

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food4
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 14, 2017

Outstanding and inventive!

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Miami)·Dined on October 14, 2017

Everything at Topolobampo was perfect. Not a single dish had an ingredient out of place or missing. Balance and depth of flavor reign supreme at Topolobampo. Our service was exceptional. Our server's knowledge of the food, ingredients, and cooking techniques was comprehensive, and his suggestions for wine pairings (we admittedly had a difficult wine pairing request) were fantastic. We did both the Pre-Columbian tasting menu and the Seasonal tasting menu and wouldn't have changed a single dish.

On the very short list for most memorable meals I've ever had.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Notable Wine List
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food5
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service5
value5

 
 (Detroit)·Dined on October 13, 2017

One of the great meals of our lives.

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food5
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vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 13, 2017

The waiter, whose name I don't remember, paired the food and wine with the characteristics of the city!

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food4
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 13, 2017

We had a great lunch here. The special fixed price lunch was delicious at $25 and offered a small selection of starters, mains, and deserts. We took advantage of the $25 wine pairing and the result was a delightful and very tasty lunch. We highly recommend this restaurant!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on October 12, 2017

I liked a majority of the dishes - we had the classic tasting and the season tasting. However the desserts were a little off - some were over sweet that it tasted artificial. The progression of the courses were nice but some of the dishes lacked a texture component. Overall enjoyed the food but missed the wow factor.

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food3
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service4
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 11, 2017

Lovely dinner with enthusiastic servers. Unique tastes and carefully planned tasting menus paired with unusual wines. My only concern is the lack of "waiting" space. Cocktails are great with no place to sit (or even stand) In the restaurant itself. Really a great experience.

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food5
ambience3
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vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Wonderful, fun, excellent meal and overall experience.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Indiana)·Dined on October 8, 2017

We had an amazing time. The food was unbelievable

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food5
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·Dined on October 6, 2017

It used to be good. Now is just over-priced. Food is not as good, service is not as good.

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food3
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 4, 2017

The food is great. However we were forgotten about for 30 minutes. When the waiter figured it out he moved to solve the problem, and a kitchen person apologized, but it was a bit upsetting to having to wait 30 mins between courses. The ceviche was great, but several of the crackers (whatever) were burned to blackness but still served. We were surprised by the inattentive service and the lapses of presentation. The sommelier was cool and the wine was great, as was the dessert course.

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food5
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vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 3, 2017

The 7-course Pre-Colombian tasting menu was absolutely fantastic!!!

Tags: Tasting Menu
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food5
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·Dined on September 30, 2017

Amazing food and great service! Took my lady to Topolobampo for her birthday and they made everything perfect! We both chose the Oaxaca 7 course tasting menu and everything was beautifully presented as well as absolutely delicious! Besides the 2 desserts that came with the tasting the gave her a birthday surprise dessert and the chocolatier brought a couple tasty delights to try. Also it was our first time, so while we waited on our first course they brought us a free hors d'oeuvre to try! The whole meal lasted just over 2 hours and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a high end contemporary take on Southern Mexican cuisine. We both have already planned our next visit! Thank you Topolobampo! And thank you Open Table for the help with the reservation!

Tags: Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Tasting Menu, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Miami)·Dined on September 30, 2017

We decided to go to Topolobampo because we could not believe we had never gone there despite the fact we have lived in Chicago for 25 years. Walking through Frontera to Topolobampo is a pleasant surprise. When the sliding door opens you are welcomed into a beautiful space. We were taken to a fantastic location in the restaurant. Our server along with the entire wait staff was wonderful. My review is more about the tasting menu versus the "taste" of the food. The flavors presented were fantastic . However, the tasting menu is definitely problematic. The portions of the first couple of courses were what one would expect of a tasting menu- small to very small . I ordered the "classic" tasting menu and was truly looking forward to the Carne Asada . I was incredibly disappointed. Not only was it lukewarm at best, the dish consisted of 3 pieces of meat the largest measuring 1"x1 1/2". The other two pieces were barely an inch a piece. It was served with one very long green bean.
I realize it is posted that it is a tasting menu for dinner but I still was expecting more food----silly me. Also the dinner lasted 3:30 minutes . At the beginning of dinner the pacing was quite good. As the evening went on the time between courses was at least 20 minutes if not more. Quite surprising for a restaurant of this caliber. Really did not think it was worth the money..Sorry

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food3
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value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 27, 2017

We had the lunch menu, which is great value, given the quality of the food. The first courses were the best: the 'Sopa Azteca' is a really interesting dish (fantastic corn crust !), and the ceviche was also very tasty and well prepared. The entrees were a bit less exciting, especially the fish of the day which was rather bland (the strips of ribeye with mole were more flavorful). The raspberry sorbet and fruits as desert were excellent. Overall, a good meal and great value, but it is quite clear that the restaurant is managed as a brand/company, not as a small operation with an artisan chef who is truly in the kitchen... This is also reflected in the tape you get when calling reservations, which is frankly hard to bear, with Rick Bayless bragging about all the good things in his restaurants. A bit of modesty and more devotion to the real art of being a chef - which is to create and cook him/herself - would make for much more interesting and powerful food !

Tags: Business Meals
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food3
ambience3
service3
value4

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined on September 24, 2017

We enjoyed the food, evening and experience. The tasting menu was amazing! We celebrated a birthday and anniversary and the cards signed by the staff were thoughtful. Everything we could have wanted we got and more! And for these Arizonans the corn tortillas were the best anywhere! The moles were excellent and we got to enjoy three very different types.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on September 23, 2017

It was a very good evening. The service was outstanding! It's not very affordable. I knew that going into it. It was a anniversary dinner, so we indulged in this rather than buying each other more junk. I'm still not sure if it was worth it, but it was fantastic.

Tags: Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

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