Chicago >Food & Dining > RL Restaurant
115 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061141.896577 -87.624985
Monday To Sunday From 11:00 AM To 12:00 AM
Neighborhoods: Near North Side, Central
Put on your best polo (and do us favor, make sure you brush your hair) and head to RL for food worthy (and equally pricey) of Ralph Lauren himself.
RL has a gorgeous room and executes the classics, like the Dover sole and Caesar salads, well.
So technically they don't allow photos here, but I snuck this shot of "Bunky's Cookies" when they weren't looking. RL a special-occasion type of spot (read, "ladies-who-lunch," but SO worth it for the lobster bisque, crab cakes and Key lime pie. And of course, a entire plate of fresh-baked cookies.
After Brasserie Jo and Spago, both gone, this has always been my favorite restaurant in Chicago. It is not all the way **** cooking (nor was Brasserie Jo), more like social club cooking or Cape Cod restaurant cooking, but notheless sophisticated enough food and simple food cohabit like at a Spago restaurant, and I love that. The barman kisses the regular and I love that too. It is always crowded, lunch and dinner but they always handle people gracefully and with style. I love this place. It is easy to feel intimidated if you think you don't belong there, like in a private club. They don't need to and they almost don't advertise themselves on Chicago Ave. beside the outdoor terrace in the summer, like private club do, drawing only people adventurous enough to open the front door. They get the crème de la crème customers. You can smell the money. Somewhat RL is a much updated, more modern version of the Drake Hotel Cape Cod restaurant of fame.
Citysearch Editorial Review – Ralph Lauren’s debut into the restaurant world is conveniently located next to the world’s largest Polo store and attracts exactly the classy crowd one would expect: ladies who lunch, businessmen and socialites. And it is a classy scene, with sophisticated white linens topping the tables and waiters crisscrossing the dining room with trays of afternoon cocktails. The decor mimics the inside of a Ralph Lauren store with navy-colored walls, dark leather booths and equestrian-themed embroidered pillows. The menu offers a satisfying--albeit pricey--taste of just about everything, from salads and sandwiches to grilled fish and even a make-your-own omelet. The signature Polo club, served with veggie chips, is a predictable but popular order with the lunchtime crowd. For dinner, the dover sole with Meyer lemon butter sauce is a house favorite. But one of the most popular indulgences at this restaurant is checking out everyone else who comes to dine.
So So – The food was good but I need a little elbow room!
Don't expect perfection – With Ralph-you expect perfection. Food was good, but a couple of things stood out that Ralph would not have been happy with: Always serve pate with French bread, not crackers and when ordering a pinot noir, the waiter tried to pull the "another year switcharoo" by bringing a 2007 instead of the 2006 I ordered. Huge difference. Its OK to be out of stock, just tell me you are out of the 2006 instead of trying to push thru another vintage. Our best reataurants back home don't pull that. There are alot of restaurants I would try in the windy city before going back to RL.
Ask for a special table in advance – I had lunch here and had a reservation. I asked for a corner table when I got there but was told they were all reserved. Apparently, those reservations never turned up because when I left, a few corners were still available. That really irritated me! The host was intimidating and I felt like they thought they were doing me a favor by serving my table. It was sort of like it was a club and I was not a member. The food is good but it is also kind of expensive.
Elegant,a definetly see and be seen spot!!!!!!! – RL has it all, from decor, service,food,to ambience and atmosphere.RL maintains a posh and elegant scene, our server was very helpful and on point.Now the food i must say was one of the best i ever had,from the crab louis to RL's steaks and sides.It's a place where you could dress up and won't feel left out or lonely, everyone here is pretty much dressed up. The only negative comment i have is the wait, although we had reservations we still had to wait a while, make sure you have reservations,i won't recommend walk ins especially on the weekends.
Outstanding service, wonderful atmosphere, good food, reasonable prices – The decor in this establishment is wonderful. I felt like I was in a private club. RL obviously set out to create an atmosphere akin to a private club and they accomplished that, right down to the menu. All of the classics are represented here. We were promptly seated, honoring our reservation. The wait staff provides impeccable service from hostess to waiter to bus men to captain. All were delightful. We started with cocktails. His g&t and my French martini were perfect and quite strong. Next, we sampled the crab Louie and cheese platter. Both were very good. The bread basket is excellent, especially the cheesy crackers. We opted for lobster bisque as our second course. It was good, but could have used a larger chunk of lobster. The one provided was tiny. It was also just barely warm, instead of hot. He had the Amish chicken. I ordered the steak Diane, a house specialty. We shared the scalloped potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Both side dishes were very good, although, again, only warm. His chicken was tender and tasy, but came warm, not hot. I ordered the steak Diane, because I was under the impression it was prepared table-side, a nice novelty. It was not table-side. They prepared it behind a wall near the kitchen door. The only show I got was a reflection in the mahogany paneling of the flames. The steak was tough and chewy. We were stuffed, so we chose to forgo dessert, but they presented us with a complimentary dessert, since it was our first anniversary. That was a thoughtful and nice touch. All in all, we will return. However, RL needs to work on the serving temperature of their dishes and the quality of the steak used in their house specialty. My biggest disappointment was that the steak Diane wasn't prepared table-side. The best feature was the impeccable, friendly service and the warm, classy atmosphere. We stuffed ourselves, enjoyed cocktails, parked valet, and tipped 20% for a total of $190, not bad for Chitown.
OMG what a great place! – I decided to stop in on a lark - the restaurant I wanted to visit had closed. Boy am I glad I did. The wait staff were very attentive, the patrons were surprisingly friendly, and the food (scallops) was a revelation. They make a nice vodka martini too. I can't wait to go back again!
Fabulous Decor, Wonderful Ambiance, & Great Service – My fiance' & I visited my cousin in Chicago for the first time in November. She had mentioned as we were walking down Michigan Ave that RL was her favorite place to eat in Chicago, and I highly agree. From the elegant decor to the tasty food, RL is a wonderful dining experience. We had to wait about 10 minutes for a table which we didn't mind at all. It was fun to people watch bc they were pretty busy. The front room is seat yourself, so we grabbed a table with the best view in the place. We ordered Fried Calamari for an appetizer and I enjoyed Eggs Benedict while my fiance' had the Ribeye Sandwich and we both ordered champagne to celebrate my birthday. I loved everything about this place. I don't know....Maybe I was just on cloud nine from being in the most amazing city, shopping on Michigan Avenue & drinking champagne before noon! I would highly recommend to anyone who has taste and is fabulous!
Did not meet my expectations – Well, I'm a big Ralph Lauren fan and I had high expectations for the food. However, the food was just ok. The service was less than expected. The place is very noisy and my waitress was not very attentive. Nice pictures, decorations, and restroom. Overall, just OK.
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