Chicago >Food & Dining > Balena
1633 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061441.912042 -87.647950
Mon-Thu 5 pm - 10 pm
Fri-Sat 11 am - 12 am
Sun 10 am - 11 pm
Neighborhoods: North Side, Lincoln Park
I think I could eat at Balena every day and be happy—great, amari-based cocktails, delicious pasta, well-executed dishes like lamb sausage, and a warm atmosphere make it the ideal place for a long dinner.
Known for its wood fired pizza with a bit of a European flare, Balena is the place to go if you love a lightly sweet and chew crust topped with pistachio pesto and fresh mozzarella. Tastes delicious and sexy!
A striking room sets the scene for a seriously tasty Italian meal. Can't go wrong with the pastas, and the pizzas will haunt your dreams. Great date spot!
Go early, make reservations - but get there. The collab between the Bristol crew and boka group is stellar.
Welcome to Barfena, foulest food on the planet at this price point. The four of us went to this lovely place at the site of the former Landmark restaurant, known for great atmosphere and so-so food. Well, the same owners felt they should modify the atmosphere and downgrade the food to just plain disgusting. One high point: The cocktails, which were great, but sadly could not compensate for the overpriced disaster of a meal. Service was pleasant, timely, and professional. Except for not bothering to take off a cheapo 8 buck side of bitter 'charred' radicchio that everyone at the table told the server was 'inedible'. Pizzas are horrible- no cheese to speak of, and wood-burned. Squash side covered in a sauce that was putrid. Ochietti pasta with kale and one or two pine nuts (yup, we counted) and a marked ability to be flavorless, and 'gelato' that was actually icy (Hey, boneheads- don't overfreeze your gelato and store it for 2 weeks before serving it). Appalling, and we ain't never goin' back to this dump-hole.
Balena knows its ABCs: Amari (based cocktails), Bread (salumi, and cheese plate), and Chicken (thighs). Great atmosphere, ambitious eats.
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