Chicago >Food & Dining > one sixtyblue
160 N Loomis St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6060741.884749 -87.662623
Neighborhoods: West Side, Near West Side
West Loop hot spot sheds French accent for seasonal American – Where French-inspired cuisine once ruled the roost, under executive chef Michael McDonald the focus has shifted to seasonal contemporary American. At this cobalt-blue former pickle factory in the far West Loop, precisely prepared, whimsically presented renditions of comfort foods like chicken and biscuits (with luxurious foie gras sauce) are right at home next to world-inflected entrees like Thai barbeque-style Sonoma duck breast. The plush, sprawling dining room, anchored along one side by a sparkling open kitchen, is a slick, civilized space for a mix of business diners and young couples on date night. The sultry lounge strikes a convivial chord for the after-work crowd, complete with a playful list of bar bites and a mix of seasonal and classic cocktails.
Experience lacking – We were really excited to try this restaurant, but unfortunately it fell short on every point. We waited exceptionally long for a dinner menu and first drink to arrive and later had our food sent to another table (which resulted in our server visibly telling off the back wait staff). While the warmed herb cheese and endive salad were phenomenal, the delmonico was rather tough and fatty. When two glasses of the same wine showed up on the bill at the higher price rather than two different glasses, instead of correcting the total, we were told that we were given two glasses of the same wine since "Burgundy blend" (listed on the menu) had been interpreted as the "pinor noir" from Burgundy. While only a few dollars in difference, it left a lasting impression. For the price point which it is, this restaurant missed our expectations by a long shot.
Buyer beware: Overpriced and underwhelming – In a city like Chicago, where you can find high quality fare for very low prices, it is astonishing to find a place like onesixtyblue doing well. My husband and I celebrated Valentine's Day there and we were extremely disappointed, to say the least. the first thing that struck me when we got there was that when I called to make the reservation, they told me that they didn't have room for that night. But then, miraculously, they found us avalued spot. We were ecstatic! However, when we got there last night, it was half-empty the whole night (we got there at 8:30 pm). That captures the pretense and bluff of the place.
The food was ok,- just ok- but we felt cheated when the bill arrived. The waiter suggested two wines (by the glass) and when we saw that one of them was $20 and the other $15, we were shocked. He never warned us of the price, given that the wine was actually underwhelming,and, more importantly, those prices almost doubled the ones we had seen on the wine list.
In short, overpriced and pretentious. We won't be going back there.
The staff tried to pad the bill – We arrived promptly for a 9pm reservation and had to wait for 1/2 hour at the bar before finally inquiring about our table. We were then (finally) seated. That I could have forgiven.
We ordered a cheese course and waited 22 minutes for it to arrive. Now, I know that they don't ferment their own cheese at 160 Blue. All they really had to do was slice and plate the cheese. But 22 minutes later it arrived. It was decent cheese, about the quality of cheese I get at Whole Foods, but not bad. Anyway, all this I could have forgiven.
My husband ordered the "Boneless" Squab but kept picking the bird's ribcage out of his mouth. I ordered the Halibut and it was good, not great. The squab, despite the millions of tiny little bones, was quite tasty. The food took incredibly long to come out. All this I could have forgiven.
So, now we have been at this restaurant for THREE HOURS, mostly wondering why our food was taking so long, and the bill comes. At first glance everything looks OK except a mysterious apple martini that neither my husband nor I ordered. OK, weird mistake but, whatever. At a second pass over the bill, we noticed that our entire bar tab was transferred onto our dinner bill. That would have been fine, if we hadn't closed out our bar tab before being seated. I've waited tables at high end restaurants in college and have seen this trick used a hundred times. Bartenders and waiters do this to pad the bill to increase their tip. It's an old trick and it left a bad taste in my mouth. After we complained the hostess come over and gave us some half-baked excuse about the bartender's forgetfulness, which was funny because it was obvious that she hardly believed her own story. And this was the final and inexcusable straw.
I do not go out to dinner to get swindled by the staff. The lax attitude of the management implied that they condone this treatment of their customers. If you go, check your bill very carefully because you just might find an added surprise.
Big time bust! – I tried out the prixe fix menu and was not impressed. The only thing I cared for was the corn soup. The grilled arctic char was bland..the apple pie was way too tart I couldn't even finish it!!! Who walks away from warm apple pie? Three courses cost $45 without wine, tax or tip. The wine list by the glass was VERY limited... Note to owners: Expensive, overpriced doesn't always translate into great experiences, especially in Chicago where we are spoiled for choice.
I would recommend other places such as Block 44 for their excellent 4-course w/wine pairings - all simply exquisite
GOT TO TRY!!! – This is one of my favorite spots to try. Everyone whom I have sent or brought has loved the food and the wine! The service and the ambiance of the location is just fantastic.
absolutely loved it – I went for my birthday last night with my boyfriend. There was a 10 minute wait for our table, even when the dining room seemed half full. But the food was fabulous, the wine fantastic and dessert was great. Even though our waiter had a party to attend to, he checked on us often, made suggestions, etc. We lingered for about 30 minutes over our wine (we wanted to finish it) before ordering dessert and he didn't even blink. It was a great evening.
would return – excellent / knowledgable waiter (good wine rec). each steak was overcooked - usually bad news - but they still tasted very good (and the bill made up for the kitchen's mistake). duck is good app; delmonico is a good entree choice. chef visited the table. portions were appropriately sized.
A brilliant infusion of French influence ups the ante at this ultra-stylish, contemporary West Loop standout. – The Scene
Power money meets urban chic at this stunningly handsome makeover of a former pickle factory. The dining room is sleek and loft-like. Servers are friendly and attentive to a fault, refilling every sip of water. One partner is a guy by the name of Michael Jordan.
Debonair Chef Martial Noguier brings his deft French influence to contemporary dishes, like a subtle, stellar appetizer of chilled shrimp with creamy celery-root remoulade, sweet Anjou pear and a substantial, musky vinaigrette. Thin-sliced loin of lamb is paired with a flavorful, garden-fresh vegetable casserole, and perfectly sauteed grouper swims in a vegetable "bouillabaisse" redolent with fennel, garlic and orange juice, garnished with mussels and spiked with briny black olive tapenade. For dessert, try the limited, but exquisite, cheese selection from Sofia Solomon--or head to Cocoa Bar in the lounge and indulge in house-made chocolate creations, truffles, wine, cigars and more.
a little disappointing – I spent a lot of time researching chicago restaurants before our trip. I ended up choosing "nine" and 160 blue, but expected more from 160 since I favor french food. Unfortunately I was really disappointed b/c the service was awful and the food was good, but nothing special. I really enjoyed my chocolate dessert but everythinge else was less than memorable.
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