Chicago >Food & Dining > Marigold Indian Restaurant
4832 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6064041.971036 -87.659738
Neighborhoods: Far North Side, Uptown
Ridiculous prices - avoid at all cost! – Took my teenager out to Marigold Restaurant as we are visiting ALL the Indian restaurants in Chicago - since we love that cuisine! This is the 19th restaurant we have visited thus far. This was hands-down one of the worst experiences we ever had. We ordered a chickpea dish and the tandoori chicken. We were told there was no point in ordering basmati rice additionally as the chicken came with rice. The chicken was about $17 and you won't believe for that price we got a piece of chicken about the size of the palm of your hand resting on a small portion of rice. it took 42 mns to get it as well, by which time we were almost ready to leave. Part of the experience of eating Indian in our view is the sharing of food - you order a few selections and you share. It is impossible to do that in this restaurant unless you forked out $80 for two and shared 5 very small portions. The chicken was dry and awful compared with the succulent tandoori you get in many other restaurants around Chicago. There were possibly 5 mouthfuls of rice. Because I wanted my son to enjoy his time, I let him have most of the food, so I doubt I got more than 3 mouthfuls myself. The nan bread came 15 mns after the food (which itself took three quarters of an hour) - it was not its usual fluffiness, but bread so crisp we almost broke our teeth on it. It was cooked with fennel seeds if memory serves, or another spice, which was original but the texture prevented us from enjoying that otherwise unique taste. The chickpea dish was not bad. It was not awful, it had a rich taste, though it was hard to distinguish the mango that was part of its description - overall I would say that was about average compared with other Chana Masala we have ordered. It was clear from the decor, prices and portion size (and again that comes from two people who don't usually stuff ourselves - we are thin people who stop eating when we are no longer hungry) that this was an attempt to create an upscale Indian restaurant to a population deemed to have money (not true of everyone living in this area). I am sure the money does not go to tripling the waiter's pay, that much I am sure. The problem with this approach is that you lose the authenticity of the Indian restaurant experience, and the food is about average. I think the good reviews must come from cognitive dissonance, a psychological theory that shows how two dissonant ideas must be reconciled in the mind by changing one of them, e.g, 1) the prices are very high; 2) the portions are ridiculously small and the food is only average. Therefore, to reconcile the huge prices I paid I must change my evaluation to suggest that after all the food is rather excellent and makes up for everything else! That is often what does happen in overpriced shi-shi situations like this. We will not be returning but enjoying the more traditional Indian gastronomic experience at other Indian restaurants. Out of 10 we rated this one a 4 for overall experience, including quality of food, where 5 is average.
Teeny portions and promise kept - eventually! – Because I am often in Chicago, I tend to keep lists of spots to visit and Marigold had been at the top of my list for a few months! Our son ordered take out for all of us on the Sunday after Christmas; we ordered a wide variety of items to the tune of $80. Were we surprised when the Tandoori Chicken priced at nearly $19 consisted of a part of one chicken breast thrown on a bed of dry basmati rice! The other items were somewhat disappointing too so my son decided to call Marigold to talk to them. We understand perfectly well that take out does not compare to in house plating but this was ridiculous! He spoke with a person claiming to be one of the owners. Because of our disappointment, he offered to send a $50 giftcard to our son so he could give them one more try either in house or with take out. To date (and it's been 3 weeks) nothing has appeared in the mail, even though the "owner" supposedly took down his name and address. Very very disappointing and just one more reason to never give them another try! As an update our son received the certificates in the mail yesterday (1/17). At least the owner is honorable so now we'll see how the restaurant rates with their in-house service and presentation.
Great atmosphere, very interesting food – Okay, I'll be the first person to admit that I am a picky person, so Indian food isn't something I normally would try, but I have tried it before, in England, London, when I was much pickier as a 13 year old girl and I just loved it. So, when we went over to Marigold I was a little uncertain if I could find anything to eat there, but I had an open mind to the whole thing, plus, the decor and inside of this restaurant is just gorgeous, I love the atmosphere of it. I didn't find any chicken curry, so I was beginning to panick, but I decided to go for the chicken appetizer dish and try other my family's food.
Well, I did come across the dish I really, really liked, though I don't remember the name of it it started with a "M." It was so good, spicy, but not too spicy, and I could taste the many different spices in it and just loved it, it was certainly addictive! The only things cons I have to say about it is that prices are kinda pricey, I wish there was more of it to eat (though, I do need big portions to fill myself up, so that may just be me), and wish there was maybe more of a selection to chose from, though, I'd definitely go back and order what my Dad had, because that was definitely so good!
Our waitor was great, I enjoyed eating there, and overall it was a very good experience, especially for such a picky eater as myself.
Great Indian – After reading Greenmill"s review it is evident that this guy is more interested in letting everyone know he has been to India instead of reviewing this restaurant? What the heck is his point? So with that in mind, DONT LISTEN TO THIS GUY! The food was awesome and it is just as good as the London spots I have been. Go for the chutneys and naan, duck leg is great and the Tandori chicken is juicy, and NOT served on a skillet with onions dry as a bone! Wine list was good, great date place too, the place has a cool vibe. So good food in Uptown is hard to find, this place hits the spot!
Better than the typical Indian fare, but still room for improvement. – It is well understood that Chicago does not have many (truthfully, any) decent Indian food. In fact, New York's Soho district, Washington D.C., and Los Angelos have far more sophisticated options for those who seek inspired Indian cuisine. India's cuisine is rich and greatly respected by the world's greatest chef's like Thomas Keller, Adrian Ferrar, Grant Achatz, etc. It is indeed tragic that it is so poorly represented in one of the greatest cities in the U.S.- Chicago. India House, Viceroy, Gaylord (one of the best, but still far from extraordinary) faithfully serve the standard North Indian Cuisine that has been imitated and duplicated without any real thought or innovation. Marigold strives for something more- which I truly commend. There space is quite nice, as are their presentations. However, though i commend them for doing more for Indian cuisine in a city mired with mediocrity, I must still say there is MUCH ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. Since they've taken a step in the right direction, I sincerely urge them to try SWAGATH restaurant in Defense Colony, New Delhi (five star review by the New York Times, this restaurant was covered on our NPR station). This is Indian cuisine executed at it's best. Brilliant flavors and aromas from every region of Indian take the diner on a culinary odyssey he is not bound to ever forger. If somebody could do Indian food here in Chicago like Swagath does in Delhi, it would be an enormous success!
Excellent twist on Indian – Atmosphere was great. Staff was friendly and very helpful. Our server was 5 star - Neal. Very attentive. Great Recomendations. Naan bread and chutneys were awesome. Every appetizer was excellent. Duck Leg - Superb! Mussels - Superb! Everything had robust flavors and well balances spices. Not for everybody - If you don't like indian or thai type of spices then it will probably be to spicy/strong for you, but if those type of cuisines are down your alley then you will love this place!
gorgeously spiced and presented! – A friend recommended Marigold to us. We went on a Sunday around 6:30. The ambience was classy but not stuffy or overly trendy. Quite gorgeous red/warm decor. We found it easy to converse... although I see this place getting a little crazy/noisey later in the day and on the weekends!
The food was absolutely fantastic. I used to date an Indian gentleman, and have dined in Indian restaurants here and also in Philadelphia and New York. While I don't know how "authentic" this food was, I do know this: Compared to other Indian food I have had, this was THE BEST!
We ordered samosas, lamp chops (perfectly cooked) and a vegetarian plate. The presentation was beautiful - no silver trays here, but individual white plates and beautfully arranged food. My saag paneer was so good - I couldn't stop eating the spinach (usually I pick out the cheese first!), which was the star in the dish - fresh and tasty, not gloppy and over-sauced.
The thing that stood out was that every dish was perfectly spiced - and not overly hot, which is a problem I find with many Asian cuisines. (Spicey is one thing, but hot for the sake of being hot - so it obliterates all other flavors? Not a big fan!) Everything was fresh and complex and flavors just exploded in our mouths. Our waiter later informed us that all spices were ground/toasted fresh daily in their own kitchen. Obiviously makes such a difference.
Marigold is a little pricey; it's definately an "upscale" dining experience and not your average "Indian restaurant". 1 appetizer, 2 entrees, and 2 beers were about $65. Didn't try any dessert as we were so full - and have leftover to enjoy today. We can't wait to go back!!! :)
Average food, above-average prices – I've been eating Indain food all my life, starting at the age of 5 when my Indian baby-sitter would cook for me and my sister, so when my friends raved about this place, I was excited to try it. I was let down. Granted, this place is gorgeous - candles on the walls, warm colors, elegant table presentation - but the food is below average to average. One dish my fiance and I did enjoy was the lamb vindaloo, but everything else was just ok. On top of that, our waitress was too chatty and didn't ensure a smooth flow to the courses. We ordered appertizers, salads, and dinner, and the apps and salads came out quickly, but there was over a half-hour wait for our main dishes. Desserts were un-inspiring as well. For people that don't know Indian food all that well, yes, I can see that they're going to think this place is great. For those of us that know better, please do not waste your time or money. We won't be going back.
Exceptional restaurant, perfect ambience – I was a little skeptical by the idea of upscale Indian dining, but decided to try Marigold based on a friend's recommendation. I took an out of town guest there and we LOVED it. First of all, the ambience is fantastic. The walls are painted warm colors, candles glow throughout the restaurant, and the best part is the music - a mix of ambient/trance Indian and ethnic mixes. The music stays true to the Indian part, but is hip and trendy, too.
For a starter I ordered the calamari bhaji - this dish is fabulous. I'm picky when it comes to calamari, but this was one of the best I've had! For an entree I had the kalonji chicken which was cooked perfectly - amazing flavors! Our waiter suggested a nice wine that paired perfectly with our dinner.
For the price and the ambience, you cannot go wrong at Marigold. I plan to take my fiance there very soon - it's the perfect spot for an intimate, fun dinner.
YOU MUST TRY THE LAMB VINDALOO..IT'S GREAT!! WITH FRESH NAAN BREAD – My boyfriend and I decided to try Marigold for a date night before a play. The atmosphere was amazing and the wait staff was incredibly helpful. Our waiter explained everything and included all ingredients in the dishes. Our glasses were always full and the food was great. The calamari appetizer was fantastic and I would recommend it to everyone. The portions were very filling and it was some of the best indian food I have ever had. If you want a romantic and comfortable date spot I would highly recommend Marigold for any couple.
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