Chicago >Food & Dining > Medi By Bice
158 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061141.893476 -87.623339
Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side
Worst Dining Experience Ever!!! Bad Food, Bad Service!!! – I had the worst dining experience of my life on Sunday, July 4. My boyfriend and I decided to get a nice dinner and he wanted Italian so I suggested Bice. We arrived just before 7:00 pm and were seated immediately. At this point the restaurant was more than half empty but it filled up quickly. They seated a couple with a screaming toddler to the left of us and another couple to the right of us. We waited and waited, enduring the screams from the toddler seated next to us, for someone to take our order. And it was really warm, my boyfriend went upstairs to the men’s room and said that he found the air conditioning, and it was upstairs. Finally the waiter came but went to the table to our right and took their order first, then came to our table, this bothered me because we had been seated first and this couple had come in at least 5 minutes after we did. When the waiter finally came to take our order, I told the waiter that I was trying to decide between the lasagna and the linguine and asked what he suggested, he pointed to the 2 house specialties and I asked which was his favorite and he responded that he would choose the Pappardell al Teleforno Come Bice Milano, which is homemade large noodles with tomato, basil and melted mozzarella cheese, so I went with his recommendation. My boyfriend had a dish with homemade pasta quills, chicken, and mushrooms. Once again we waited. The couple to our right and the couple with the screaming child to our left were served their meals, and their bills, paid and left and we were still sitting there waiting. We asked our waiter, who seemed to be the only waiter for the entire room, twice about our order, he said it was coming. We were getting ready to walk out when they brought our food. And after tasting mine, I wish we had walked out. The large noodles were clumped together and lying in a tomato based cheese sauce, an unappetizing Italian version of mac and cheese. I couldn’t eat it, it was horrible. The waiter came over to ask how everything was and I pushed my plate away and told him it was disappointing. He did nothing but walk away, did not offer me another entrée, just walked away. My boyfriend said his dish was mediocre and he only ate half. And I must say that he is thin but has a hearty appetite and I have never seen him leave food in his plate, ever. The waiter removed our dishes and he could clearly see that I had not eaten mine but he still charged us for it; he made no attempt to thank us for putting up with the screaming child and offer us a free dessert, he made no apology for the delayed food, nothing. While we were getting up to leave we heard a woman from another table complain that they had been waiting 20 minutes and no one had taken their order yet. I decided to complain to hostess about the poor service, the lack of air conditioning and the poor quality of the food and when I approached her there was already another customer with similar complaints. I waited until the other woman stopped talking and added my complaints assuring her that we would never eat there again nor recommend it to any of our friends or business associates. Again, a blank expression, not offers to try and make things better. As I said this is the worst dining experience I have ever had and I have had better pasta at California Pizza Kitchen and Pizza Capri. If you are in the neighborhood and considering going to Bice, don’t, go across the street to Viand, which is what we should have done. Bice should refund every person who was inside their restaurant on the night of July 4.
DISHONEST WAITER AND MANAGER – I live in the neighborhood and know the norm for restaurants around here.
I went there for the first time with a friend last night. When I asked the server and saw that there was no Merlot offered by the glass, and only bottles of Merlot at $48 or higher, he spoke right up and recommended a specific bottle of wine at $38 and described the taste and grapes etc, until we recanted and decided to try something new and trust him. Ten minutes later, he returned to appologize and inform us that they did not have the bottle he recommended. At this he asked his manager if he could give us the Merlot for the same cost as his recommendation, at our (now very thirsty) request. He returned with the ME Merlot and we were very happy, it was delicious! Aside from forgetting to order and serve our side of spinach, the food was pretty good-fair Italian cuisine. When the bill came, we were taken back by the expense and I double-checked the cost of the wine and sure enough, he charged us appropriately. So we paid and tipped generously because he had been nice to get us the Merlot. Looking at the receipt this morning, I noticed that they tacked the extra $10 for the wine onto my dinner price! I had the pounded veal with Arugula, which is $17 on the menu and they charged me $28.00!!! WOW! They went out of their way to pretend that they were doing us a favor, way over-doing it on the "bon apetit, Senorita, Salud" stuff, and flat out lied! I feel totally taken advantage of, and they won't blink an eyelash. So dishonest. I would have happily chosen another bottle of non-merlot, if the switcheroo wasn't possible. In a small neighborhood where I could potentially eat here 100 times in the years I'll live here, I will never go back. That's just BAD business!
I do highly recommend Volare, just 2 streets over, for honest, more authentic, delicious, and more affordable Italian cuisine.
Good service, good food and great value – I was at Bice on Ontario last night an I had one of the most terrific experience as fare as italian fine dining. We celebrated my wife bday and we have a wonderfull time. By checking the other reviews I'm surprise by some of the negative feedback. I had great service and great food with atmosphere to match. We will be back .
Terrible Service – We waited more than an hour despite having a reservation. The waiters were not informed and rather rude. We were there for a birthday dinner and they still couldn't bring themselves to deliver a normal standard of service. I ordered a drink when I asked about it 30 minutes later the waiter did not even apologize for failing to bring it. Further, because we were seated late we decided to order the pastas and entress we were sharing (one pasta and one entree per 2 people after a round of many many appetizers) and they flat out refused to split in the kitchen which made sharing very difficult. Finally, the grappa I ordered was on the menu but not available, when the waiter returned to inform me he told me that only 2 were available, but couldn't tell me which they were! To add insult to injury they added an 18% gratuity (I normally tip more, but not for service like this) and started to clean the patio making noise and disturbing us while we were still eating. The food was good, but you can get the same quality with better service at many places in the city.
Bad service – I had such a bad experience at this restaurant. I had ordered something that was heavily over salted. It was so bad that a salt dish must have fallen in the dish that was prepared for me. I informed the waiter and I told him I would like to send the food back. The waiter started arguing with me and telling me he was going to remake the dish. I informed him that I was going to a show after this and I just wanted too return it. He eventually did take the food back, but then it was on my bill. The waiter would not take it off (which is rather ridicules because I only had one bite). I ended up having to have the manager take it off. I am in the service industry myself, and I would never act that was to a customer!
Embarrassed that I suggested we try! – Just Terrible! From the waiter to the food. Not one person said hello, welcome or how was your meal. The waiter was the worst ever. Miserable man. Never asked how anyone's meal was or if everything was OK. Actually didn't say more than 10 words to us, just shook his head and stared. With notebook in hand, his stare prompted each of us to place our order. Uncomfortable feeling. All 4 of us had to laugh after awhile. For the price you pay one would expect a few words back. Bar area was freezing, door was open and the cold was just blowing in. I have never written a review before but because of my experience I felt I just had to do it in this case! If the food was good, the service could be overlooked but in this case it was just awful in all areas.
Parents! Control your children, please! – I suspected I would be disappointed when we, a party of 9, were seated right next to the kitchen and a table with several loud and obnoxious children. Not conducive to conversation at all! For a restaurant that claims it handles large groups well, Bice was extremely disorganized. No one got their food at the same time. We seemed to have about 12 different scatter-brained people attending to our table. Requests took several reminders to be met. Finally, even after insisting 2 or 3 times that good old Chicago tap water was adequate, we were brought several bottles of water at $5 a bottle. The food - My husband ordered lobster risotto at $25 and had all of 4 bites of lobster in the entire dish. Overall - horrible service, terrible value, loud and annoying atmoshphere.
Contemporary Italian restaurant draws a well-heeled Streeterville crowd with big portions of upscale Tuscan fare. – The Scene
In a neighborhood where good Italian restaurants abound (Coco Pazzo Cafe, Volare, Caliterra), Bice stands out with its urban, sophisticated feel. Buttery walls, high ceilings and sleek light fixtures give the handsome dining room an airy, contemporary feel, warmed by buzzing business diners and families. The compact front bar beckons with tall windows that open onto a sunny sidewalk cafe.
The Italian menu features generously portioned dishes with appetizers large enough for two, and sometimes three, to share. Classic beef carpaccio is a specialty starter, as is spicy seafood soup, abundant with mussels, clams, octopus, sea bass and tuna. Among entrees, porcini mushroom risotto is a brimming, hearty bowlful. Several dishes reflect Executive Chef Roberto Ruggeri's Milanese origins, such as signature pan-fried veal, pounded, breaded and served with cherry tomatoes and arugula salad. Panna cotta is lovely, light and not too sweet.
What a Great Place! – We spent the weekend of the 4th in Chicago, and stayed near Bice. We found the food to be spectacular, and the service to be excellent. Get a window seat of you can! One of the people in our party is true Italian, and found the food to be impeccable! We will go here again!
What a find! – Italian cuisine is my favorite, and while staying in Chicago, decided on Bice for lunch. My husband and I have eaten at most recommended Italian restaurants in Chicago and frankly I'm surprised Bice hasn't rated higher. We liked the ambiance, the service was attentive and the food incredible. I had a lobster and avocado cobb salad that I'm still dreaming about. My husband also thought the beef carpachio was one of the best he had ever tasted. We'll definitely dine there again on our next trip to Chicago!
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