Chicago >Food & Dining > North Pond Restaurant
2610 N Cannon Dr, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061441.931053 -87.637097
Wed-Sat 5:30-10pm; Sun 10:30am-1:30pm and 5:30-9pm.
Neighborhoods: North Side, Lincoln Park
North Pond is a gorgeous restaurant in the middle of Lincoln Park and has stunning food and a beautiful dining room. It's ideal for celebrations of all kinds.
Fantastic restaurant with a huge reputation for fresh food, great cocktails, and five star service. Lincoln Park's hidden secret deliciousness has an amazing Valentine's Day menu - perfect place for a special couple treat.
A perfect little jewel-box in the middle of Lincoln Park, I love North Pond for the seasonal, local fare, great cocktails and lovely walk by the skyline-lit pond to find the place.
North Pond feels like a secret cottage in the middle of a magical forest with magical food and ambiance.
Best restaurant in the city of Chicago. Seasonal, local and consistently amazing. Plus, they have a garden off to the side of the restaurant. Just go.
The quintessential date spot, thanks to killer skyline & park views. Food is hyper-seasonal & it's best to spring for the prix fixe menu.
I took my mother to North Pond for a post holiday dinner. When I called, I asked to be seated in the dining room with the fireplace. The room is nice and warm, and you can look out on the pond. There were two tables available, a two top and a four top. I asked for the four top, but the hostess denied my request. She said it was reserved for a party of four. When I called earlier, they told me they didn't take reservations! My mother is hard of hearing, and I need to sit at her side so we can have a discussion. I decided against the two top and went into the other dining area where there were ten four tops available. Throughout our dinner we noticed that the table we originally requested remained empty. I mentioned that to the hostess, who was indifferent. We had our dinner. Final bill was $150: two glasses of wine, two entrees and one desert. The dinners were okay. Nothing special. I will never go back to this place. I read other reviews about customers complaining about seating at this place. I don't get it. Never again. Mom Ami Gabi is just down the street for a good dinner for half the cost and less the attitude.
Amazing Food HORRIBLE Hostess!! – So my family and I have gone to North Pond more than a few times, it's one of our celebration restaurants. Everything had been great up until maybe a year ago or so. My wife, mother and Wife's mother went there for a relatively early dinner.
The first problem started when there was no Valet taking cars. So i waited in the car for someone to come, only to get a call saying "The hostess says someone will be there in 5 minutes". Well five minutes passed by, ten, and eventually twenty minutes later i went looking for a parking space, which took a good 15 minutes, about 5 blocks away. So i get inside and the Hostess looks at me with a shit-eating grin "your party is right this way" Like i couldnt see them sitting at the bar 2 meters away. I exclaimed that she told me someone was on his way to get the car. Her response: "Oh we don't have a valet working today" Well what the hell is her problem. I had been there maybe twenty times before and no problems, the wait staff knew us and was always polite. Whoever this Hostess is RUINED a great little spot in the city. And she was the source of every unsatisfactory time I have gone there. Before she arrived it was my favorite place. Now that she's there, the atmosphere is ruined!
As long as this hostess works there I will never return!
A Very Bad Start – We made a reservation for 9 people and were told that we would have to have a set limited menu or be at two separate tables. We opted for the latter. When we arrived, the first of our group was seated and there was an empty table nearby. We asked if the rest of our group could be seated there so we could at least sit near each other. We were told they could not accomodate us on that. When the hostess was pressed on the point, she told us that if she sat us in nearby tables, we would be constantly "visiting" the other table and therbey blocking the aisles and making things diffucult for the waitstaff. She really said this! And in a very rude tone. It is important to note here that almost our entire group was over 60 so rampant table hopping was unlikely. In any event, our friends were given a table on the other side of the room. The table next to us stayed empy the entire evening. We had a good chuckle over the pettiness of the situation (which seemed to be a retaliatory move in reponse to our choice not to have limited menu). The food was lovely. Too bad the service did not rise to the same level.
Wine lovers pay a price – An excellent special-occasion place. The setting is unique and the food very well done. The prices are higher than one might expect with $35 the average main course (that means the tax and tip alone on that $35 is $10). My major gripe however is the mark-ups on the wine. Bottles I have seen retail at $30 are $90. I know North Pond is not alone in this, but that much of a profit seems a bit greedy, especially if wine is an integral part of a meal. Come on guys -- don't destroy the goose that lays that golden egg.
Had to wait 30 minutes on a reservation made 2 months prior – The setting on a pond in a park is lovely. The Arts & Crafts style decor is striking and unique, but these very good first impressions were offset by the fact that, despite having made our reservation two months in advance, we had to wait 30 minutes for our table. We had a party of 11 people and, therefore, were told we had to narrow of choices for each course to a selection of two. In addition, we had to make this decision TWO WEEKS in advance. We happily complied with this request and narrowed our options for the entree to grass fed beef and Arctic Char. Upon finally sitting down and receiving our "specifically designed menu" we noticed our selection had been changed to Wild Salmon in place of the Arctic Char. Although service was very good, the food did not come anywhere near to being the quality it should have been for a restaurant of this caliber and price. The beef contained so much fat it was impossible to cut through most of it and, in the case of one diner, it had to be replaced with a different cut of meat. Half of the group ordered the Wild Salmon and left it virtually untouched as the preparation was so insipid. Since the manager had been so insistent about us making our dinner choices two weeks in advance, i wish she would have shown us the courtesy of informing us that they needed to make a substitution.
Great food, great atmosphere, great service – The location of the restaurant is wonderful on the shores of North Pond in Lincoln Park, and the restaurant is very interesting - we loved the decor inside, the lighting, and the atmosphere. It was very cool to think that the building was a former ice skating warming shelter.
As far as the food, it was very good (expensive, but good!) I really appreciate the efforts and using seasonal and organic ingredients, and wished the waitress had talked more about where the different ingredients came from. The service was good in general, but the waitress wasn't really that talkative and could have explained things a bit better without us asking. There were a lot of other servers that brought stuff to our table and explained things when they brought them.
I had frog legs for 1st course, which were quite good, but I probably wouldn't get again, as I found the meat a little weird in texture. My fiancee got a ramp soup with a crab cake - it was phenomenal - so smooth and very very tasty. For dinner I got the duck which was seared to perfection - it was served with the duck tongue and gizzard and a beet broth. I didn't care for the beet broth much, but the meet was very delectable. My fiancee got halibut with an asparagus mousse and a potato pancake thing underneath. The fish was cooked so well and was so tasty, and the potato and asparagus puree were also very good. The only thing we didn't like much was the caviar they put on top - it kind of overpowered things with its salty taste. The wine list was great, and we got some good rose and red wines.
The dessert we ordered was absolutely phenomenal - some of the best dessert ever! Vanilla custard, orange marmelade, donuts - good good stuff.
GOOD FOOD, LOUSY ATTITUDE – My wife and I invited a prospective client and his wife out to dinner on a Tuesday evening when the weather was close to 0 F. We called North Pond and asked for 7pm, they offered 6 or 8. We chose the latter and arrived at 7:30 to find the restaurant more than half empty. We mentioned our attempt at a 7pm reserevation and got brushed off very flippantly. At our table the ladies asked for martinis but the waitresss indicated that no fresh fruit or flavorings were available and pushed some awful cider as an alternative. When they indicated they didn't like it the response was-"oh well".
When the menu arrived there were several salads offering fresh fruit! But not for martinis! Admittedly the dinner choices were quite good, though the wine list has many obscure french reds and very few choices from california, italy, or spain. There was a tasting menu with selections we would have ordered alone but we were told that ordering individual items was strictly forbidden. The restuarant was now 3/4 empty!
When we were ready to depart, I gave the hostess (with the leastest) the claim checks for our coats. She returned with 3 coats and said in a huff that the other claim ticket did not match up with a man's coat. As if it were I who had put the coats away. Our client/guest offered to go with her and identify his coat. She said (quite snottily) that other people's belongings were back there and she could not allow anyone to enter. He would have to identify the coat and she would retireive it. Mind you, there were now about 8 people left in the restaurant (most were women). She went back and forth a few times, each time becoming more indignant about his inability to identify his coat precisely. When it finally arrived she tossed it to him and said: "It's Dolce and Gabanna, you'd think you'd remember that"! I will remember not to return.
Cold, unfriendly wait staff – North Pond did not start off on a good note with me from the get go. I made a reservation for five people, and they require a credit card for reservations of that size or more. This was a bit annoying. (If you don't cancel within 24 hours, they will charge your card $20 per person.) Our reservation was for a Sunday night at 6:30. Three days before I called to see if I could switch the time to 7:00 to accommodate my out of town guests. They said no and offered no alternatives. However, I took note when I was in the restaurant that there were plenty of open tables the entire time we dined -- granted they were tables for four, but they could've easily put two together for our party. When we passed on the drinks our waitress was visibly annoyed. Then we asked how big the first courses are, because we wanted to split a few among the five of us, and it was as if we were speaking a different language. She stumbled over her words, and said "I don't know, first courses aren't usualy shared, but I guess you could." She made us feel stupid for even thinking about sharing. (We ordered three and they were all delightful and easy to share, by the way. They weren't huge but everyone was able to get a taste.) The entrees were great as well -- I had the walleye and ate every bite. It was, surprisingly, a decent size. The pasta dish wasn't nearly as large. The dessert I ordered (a fancy chocolate cake) was delectable as well. Throughout the night, though, the waitress seemed annoyed with us and was the most cold, unfriendly server I've ever had, which was what compelled me to write. She had absolutely no personality and never smiled. When you go out to dinner at an expensive restaurant, you expect to be treated kindly; this experience was far from that. It's a shame because I enjoyed the food and the ambience is charming. But the service ruined it for me -- I won't be coming back.
Exquisite and Romantic – In the most beautiful Lincoln Park location, nothing about North Pond falls short for the diner. The food is delicately seasoned, enhancing the freshness while showcasing the kitchen's talent. (Anything involving beets is to die for!) Service is solicitous, competent, and blissfully unobtrusive. Crumbs are swept away, silverware replaced, and delicious bread and butter replenished all in a mere moment. Having gone there for a very special occasion (engagement), I recommend it to all, for any reason. We were made to feel special, catered to, and left utterly content. It certainly is expensive, but well worth it.
Romantic and well worth the tasting menu, great customer service – I went to the restaurant after proposing to my girlfriend and had told them in advance - the food was absolutely spectacular, and the service was attentive to detail. We got a seat next to the fireplace, with a view of the Chicago skyline behind us - an absolutely perfect experience overall, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good date spot. The fact that most cab drivers can't locate it, adds a bit to the charm of walking down a footpath into a park to find the restaurant.
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