Chicago >Food & Dining > Lockwood
17 E Monroe St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6060341.880807 -87.626937
Neighborhoods: Central, Loop
Very Enjoyable – Went on a whim with my family for lunch and we all enjoyed this reasonably priced elegant meal. Service was friendly, yet not patronizing or brown-nosy. Very down-to-earth staff who followed-up on their promises. Interesting menu with some standards peppered with a few surprises. The food was perfectly prepared, cooked and presented well. Loved the star-anise ice cream and the basil creme brulee. Will definitely return.
Best In The Loop – My wife and I had eaten lunch at Lockwood and found it good, but not in the stratosphere. In late July, we decided to try the place for dinner and found that it's a whole different world. That's when the chef gets his chance to shine. We did the tasting menu with wine pairings, and were at table for a well-paced three and a quarter hours. Within that time, we found the service excellent (one server for each of us, and no hovering) and the food a fine balance of the new with the traditional. When's the last time you were served a brandade? Or sweetbreads? Both appeared in our meal, and neither seemed stodgy. We're talking the place up to our friends and planning to go back soon.
"Have you finished enjoying that?" – "Your question's taken care of it."
I understand people might want to feel they're getting attentive service when they shell out $80 a person but there is such a thing as too much hovering and this place certainly fits the bill. Waiters who swoop in and out at a breathtaking pace may make some people feel like royalty, but I just wanted them to leave me to my meal and my dinner partner.
As for the food, it feels like an episode of Top Chef: everything is "fancy" with regards to ingredients and presentation but the imagination and the surprising tastes are not there for the prices. You do better at a joint like Avec, where they get creative without being a caricature of a "fine" dining establishment.
Also, beware, they may separate the lamb from the wrack (sic, citysearch seems to think I'm trying to be inappropriate with the correct spelling), but that doesn't mean they got all the little bits of bone off.
Oh and don't order the creme brulee, which is substandard.
As for the pluses: portions are generous for this type of establishment and the drinks were good.
A disappointment – We were excited to try the place after reading the great review in the Tribune. But what a disappointment. We were seated just inside the entrance, so didn't really get to see any of the restaurant and had to listen to the wedding party in the lobby outside. We ordered a Goose Island IPA from the limited beer list, and got a Fat Tire instead; when we summoned the waiter to return it, he came back to say that they were out of the Goose. We found it a bit condescending that they had poured another beer and tried to pass it off as our order, instead of simply telling us they were out of the Goose in the first place. Frankly, insulting, as we do know the difference between the two. In addition, we paid $46 for a halibut dish that included morels. Husband is a big fan of morels, as they grow all over the countryside of his hometown and he grew up eating them; however, these were full of sand and grit, obviously not washed carefully. He couldn't even eat most of them--and for $46! We probably should have complained, but had already done so with the beer and basically just wanted to get out of there. All in all, a waste of $170 and 2 hours.
An enjoyable fine dining experience with superb customer service, an excellent value for your money – I had the opportunity to dine at Lockwood Restaurant and Bar last month when in Chicago for a meeting. I was delighted to find Lockwood in the Palmer House Hilton hotel. The sous chef on duty took a personal interest in my experience and checked in with me more than once during the meal. All of the server staff and the wine steward had intimate knowledge of the menu, including all the ingredients and preparations. As someone who loves to cook, I asked alot of questions, and they didn't hesitate to answer all of them. I recommend the customized multicourse chef's menu with wine pairings. I was able to select my courses from the entire menu. Everything was delicious, and the wine pairings were perfect. If you are in the Chicago area, don't miss Lockwood Restaurant and Bar. I was pleased with the portions of food, the variety and quality as well as the preparation, and a level of service I have only seen in much more expensive restaurants, such as Charlie Trotter's in Lincoln Park area of Chicago. I look forward to dining at Lockwood again on my next visit to Chicago.
The storied Palmer House Hilton settles on contemporary American in a handsome, surprisingly edgy setting. – Food and decor nails that continental cool found in hotels abroad but without forfeiting a grounded American style. The century-old opulence of the lobby is tempered by diaphanous curtains, colored acrylic panels and modern fixtures as guests pass into the restaurant space. Original flair remains in travertine marble and ornate chandeliers. Chef Phillip Foss jumps creatively between Italian and French, but without deviating from a hearty meat-starch-vegetable formula. Notable starters include lobster bisque that seems enriched but without cream. Entrees are substantial, like seared sea scallops paired with cauliflower and golden raisins, drizzled with browned butter. Serious-looking business types share space with post-theater groups and lively couples, keeping things tame but this side of dull.
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