Chicago >Food & Dining > Tru
676 N. St. Clair, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061141.894523 -87.622937
Mon - Thu: 6:00pm - 9:30pm
Fri: 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Sat: 5:00pm - 10:30pm
Neighborhoods: Near North Side, Central
Tru is one of a few select tasting menu restaurants in the city. It's pretty outstanding, but does have a lot of competition in town.
The prettiest presentation I have ever – The prettiest presentations I have ever seen. One dish is a whole salmon stream contained on a plate, complete with flowing water, mist and rocks. The caviar is more beautiful than ever with the addition of a giant piece of tiered coral.
STILL GLOWING CAN"T WAIT TO DO IT AGAIN – We selected Tru for a 29th wedding anniversary night out on our recent trip to Chicago .We didn't know exactly what to expect but decided to give it a try and are we glad we did!! It was an exquisite dining experience the food oh my the food I can still taste the lavender infused pea soup and all the other tastings were equally memorable. The service was absolutely impeccable, they managed to convey enthusiasm in their presentation and a sincere interest in making sure.you enjoyed your total experience. the wine pairings were Delicious and the extras like pastries for the next morning were a very thoughtful surprise! We also ate at charlie trotters and we were VERY disappointed but that's another review.although we'll never eat at ct again we will DINE at TRU again and have recommended it to all our interested friends.Thanks to all the staff at TRU for a fantastic experience ,you made our trip and we "ll see you again the next time we come to Chicago.
Bad Overall Experience – Our evening started out bad when we were sat in the corner by the windows which were leaking cold air all night. I had to ask twice before anyone did anything to raise the heat and it took about an hour for us to start feeling warmer. We also did not receive our initial drinks for about 25 minutes. Also, apparantly the drink I ordered was $51,00 each and I had 2 but was never initially told about the price. I started out with the Seared Foie Gras and it was the worst I ever had. It was rubbery on the outside and cold and runny on the inside. In fact I had to cut it with a knife and could not really eat it. Then I had the venison for my mane dish and my wife had the jidori chicken. Both were unimpressive and the chicken was extremely bland. We also had a hard time understanding our wait staff. I have eaten at many top restaurants throughout the country and this was by far at the bottom of my overall list. Very expensive for an overall poor experience. You can pick from a host of other great restaurants to experience a great meal!
Good food; stiff atmosphere – The food was lovely but the portions very small and the prices very high. The atmosphere was stiff. When we arrived, we had a hard time getting anyone to acknowledge our presence, offer us a cocktail or give us a menu. In fairness, the service improved as the evening went on. Bottom line: great food in a sterile atmoshpere.
expensive, disappointing food without flavor – The food a Tru was truly a let down. The food was interestingly presented but there was a distinct lack of flavor in most dishes, especially considering the $110 cost of the basic tasting menu without wine. Even worse, everyone was still not really full because of the exceptionally small portions, even for this type of dining. The best dishes were fresh sushi fish pieces and the cheese, which is source externally. The jacket required attitude reflects that the old school attitude towards food that may once have been great. The service was excellent though.
The Emperor's New Restaurant? – Wow--my husband and I couldn't believe our good fortune getting a table at what is supposedly one of the best restaurants in Chicago. It was our first dining experience in Chicago after moving here from New York. We both LOVE amazing dining experiences, but this one was TOTALLY off the mark.
The evening we went was cold--it was snowing and blustery. The appetizers and the "amuse bouche" that came out were all tiny, cold little blobs of what I can only describe as tasteless gelatin. The rest of the meal was also very disappointing, and the service, which has been described here as impeccable, was actually comical, as you could almost see the two waiters who were synchronized in removing and setting plates on the table counting as they did so--very stilted--it made us both uncomfortable.
Having spend $700 on our meal, we thought we would have one of the most memorable evenings of our lives. Four months later, I'm still fuming at the amount of money we spent at a restaurant that obviously is resting on its laurels (we were told Rick Tramonto no longer works at the restaurant, and that a new chef has taken his place).
We were sorely disappointed.
Over priced and under food restaurant – After reading the reviews, and achieving a reservation on a Saturday night, we were excited about the opportunity to eat at one of Chicago?s finest restaurants. We were well aware of the price points and fully expected the evening was going to be a $500 night. Upon arrival, Tru is everything you expect it to be. The ambiance is extraordinary, the service is impeccable, and the wine list is impressive. We selected the chef?s selection for our dinner and two medium priced Bordeaux?s. When the food started to arrive we began to realize Tru is much like the commercial where the people eat at a great restaurant, then have to purchase food for the way home as they are still hungry. There was not a single portion served that was over 2 ounces, none of it was hot, and every course was delivered on a plate that dwarfed the dish. Even the ?Main Course? of Salmon and Venison were each less than 2 ounces. The food tasted exceptional, and clearly the chef is a magician blending taste together that is unexpected, and wonderful. But at the end of the night and $700, we remained hungry. Tru is a place to be seen and enjoy some fabulous tastes, but if you are hungry and expect a meal, you are at the wrong place.
Run, don't walk, to Tru for special occasions or when you don't mind paying to be pampered and tastefully thrilled – The entire staff makes you feel welcome and pampered with their warm, efficient service. It is highly unusual that every member of a restaurant staff is superb, but Tru manages to deliver that. The valet was friendly and courteous. The hostess/coat check girl was a smiling bit of welcome who ushered us into Tru's zen-like dining room. The banquette was comfy and luxuriously upholstered. The fine modern art on the walls was a sight to behold. The captain truly run s a tight ship. Your water glass will never even approach empty, let alone half-full. Elana (sp?), the sommelier is knowledgeable and friendly. She is a pleasant departure from the usual stuffy, pretentious sommeliers one encounters when fine-dining. She chose a Cabernet for us that was sublime. The wait staff was very warm and extremely efficient. As for the food, we chose the $95 three course Prix Fixe option. It is actually more than three courses. Every time we thought we had a respite, they brought us another culinary wonder. The cuisines spanned the gamut from melt-in-your-mouth to a party on your tongue. The lobster bisque was extraordinary. Tru's food is fun and delicious which is what truly fine food should be. The pop rocks in one of the treats they brought to us put a smile on our faces. The cheese course was outstanding. My chocoholic self favored the candy cart at the end of our dinner. The captain handed us caramel chocolate truffle suckers that were amazing. Holy Toledo! Gale Gand's sweet-making talent is unsurpassed. The tiny ice cream sandwiches are to die for. It is true that Tru is a serious investment. By the time we paid for our meals, beverages, tip, and valet, we were out $450, but it was worth every penny and we've had higher tabs. We will definitely return. If you seek a special occasion experience (saw lots of birthday celebrations going on) or are fortunate enough to be in a position to dine here on a regular day, run, don't walk. Tru is an experience not to be missed.
for a TRUly memorable evening – I cannot say enough wonderful things about this restaurant. In fact, to even call it a restaurant is like calling the Mona Lisa a painting or the Grand Canyon a big hole. It has everything - high-quality, well thought out preparations, class, decor (including amazing art), expertly-trained serving staff, etc. etc. I will be honest and say I have had better food in my life (at least for the appetizer and entree. I have NEVER had better desserts. Pastry chef, Gail Gand is a sweet genius. And I don't even "like sweets"!). But the entire package is unsupassed. The price tag is considerable for the average diner but well worth it. I would eat frozen vegatables and eggs for a month straight to go there again. It is a place where dining is considered an art form. The staff took such care in our experience. For example, it was my dining companion's 60th birthday and besides the candle and birthday note in chocolate at the end of our meal, they presented us with personalized menus, wishing him a happy Birthday. He was fully stunned! Our waiters were so well-trained (but I think I said that already...). I also admire the layout of the room. Tru could easily fit a few extra tables in there and increase the headcount by 10 or 15/night. But instead they allow the diners plenty of room and privacy to enjoy the meal in the beautiful surroundings. Ah - and one last note. THey are one of the few restaurants that offer TRUly gender egalitarian service. My male dining companion and I were always served at the EXACT SAME TIME (including the water). I was even the wine taster. Thank goodness for dining in the 21st Century!
If you have a special occasion coming up or just want to experience a meal in a way that counters the "stuff yourself" mentality that dining in America has sadly become, I recommend that you go to Tru. I admit that the meal would not be appreciated by someone who prefers more hefty flavors and portions. But for those who see dining as art, Tru is the place to go.
Overrated food and oppressive service – I have been using this site for years, but this is the first time I have been motivated to post a review.
Food: Mostly unimpressive. While hardly a die-hard foody, I've been to a fair number of high end restaurants in Chicago across a range of price levels. The food at TRU, while appealingly presented, was almost uniformly disappointing. At this level of price and sophistication, I expect food that is not only well-prepared but also interesting to eat. Of the 9 courses, only a small handful met the latter goal, and shockingly, a few even failed the former. Emblematic was a lobster dish smothered in some sort of broth that rendered the entire course a monochrome of bland.
Service: Obnoxious. A stark contrast to the warm service I have received at other high (and low!) end restaurants, the staff at TRU was cold and seethed with a sense superiority. I constantly felt like I was being judged as a diner. For example, waiters repeatedly stopped by the table to adjust wine glasses so that they were perfectly in line. In one particularly irritating display of condescension, a drop of wine rolled down the side of my glass onto the tablecloth. The waiter who came by to micromanage my glasses glared at the spot with disdain. He returned a few minutes later and?while I was eating!?lifted up my plate to put a napkin over the spot in the manner of putting a piece of newspaper over doggy doo on the carpet.
Overall: Based on the food alone, I would have given the restaurant three stars. But the offputting service and exorbitant prices have resulted in an overall "Not Recommended" review. Shortly after my visit, a friend went for a business dinner and had similar comments. I now warn away anyone I can.
Alternate suggestions: For about the same price, Moto is a much better way to spend your time. For less than half the price, Spring does a wonderful tasting menu.
Chicago Fine Dining: A Tru Story – Of all the restaurants in this city and elsewhere around the world. I have encountered nothing that has swayed me away from Tru being my favorite. The service is amazing. Everything is done like a dance. I recall once, someone in my party mumbling about her lack of reading glasses- and as soon as she turned her head, someone was there on knee with a box of reading glasses at her disposal. I've always done the 9 course spontaneous menu and was ALWAYS beyond please. The portions are perfect, though the cheese course is usually when the stomach signals the "Help! I'm getting too full for my own good and there's not even chocolate in here yet!" alert. Each experience here doesn't even take away from the last. Everyone I have brought here from the West Coast to Europe has declared it their favorite restaurant- and they're no strangers to fine dining, either. Some are saying it's too expensive, but honestly- especially at my age and being close to broke myself, it's definitely worth it. There are only a handful of uber-fine dining experiences that are offered in Chicago and this one's up at the top. So if you stop busting your brains about the pricey bill- which I think you should know about before you even enter- and let Tru's impeccable service and kitchen work their whimsical magic, you might actually enjoy yourself...a lot.
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