After thoroughly enjoying my very first experience with Ralph Lauren’s restaurants in Tokyo, at Ralph’s Coffee, which is attached to the luxurious Tokyo flagship store, I knew I wanted to seek out other fantastic dining opportunities by Ralph Lauren. The RL Ralph Lauren Restaurant in Chicago is attached to the largest Ralph Lauren store in the world, the Michigan Ave. flagship store. Famed for their luxurious and beautifully appointed surroundings, the RL Ralph Lauren Restaurant in Chicago was a beautiful way for fans of the brand to enjoy an extension of the Ralph Lauren lifetsyle, enjoy great food, and learn more about the brand’s history in the process.
RL Ralph Lauren Restaurant Chicago
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Address: 115 E Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
Food Type: American
Dining Experience: Indoor or Outdoor (Seasonal)
Price: $125+ per person
Dress Code: Smart Business Casual
Special Diets: Pescatarian, Vegetarian
I’m very thankful we made our reservations a day in advance, because when we arrived at our reserved time, the restaurant was already busy, and the staff had to turn guests away at the door who tried to dine without a reservation. Evidently, RL Ralph Lauren Restaurant isn’t as busy during the week and one may be able to get a table without a reservation, but I don’t think it would be possible to do so on the weekends.
It’s easy to see why RL Ralph Lauren Restaurant was so popular. The decor, all of which is from Ralph Lauren’s home and design division, was beautiful and truly made the restaurant feel like an authentic extension of the brand itself. If someone had told me that I was dining inside Ralph Lauren’s very own dining room, I would have believed them for how elegant the decor was. Paintings and sketches carefully protected by golden picture frames covered nearly every available centimeter of the restaurant’s walls. Green ivy and ferns protected the exterior patio dining section, which was closed for the season, from the public eye, creating an intimate and charming cloistered space. The space was almost exclusively lit by candlelight save for a few small, flickering sconces tucked away in the corners of the room. A classic navy, brown, and mode color palette tied everything together both indoors and out.
The menu greeted us guests with an extensive selection of seafood, steaks, salads, and soups, which highlighted the brand’s American roots effortlessly. Signature cocktails, like the Strawberry Fields and the RL Bellini were prepared swiftly by Ralph Lauren’s expert mixologists, and our server gave us excellent drink and meal pairings, which meant we didn’t have to wonder which drink would best compliment our meals.
Speaking of food, the items we chose, the Seared Tuna Niçoise Salad for me, and the Crab Cake for my husband, were absolutely delightful. Unfortunately, the presentation was lacking. We expected something more impressive than just food tossed onto plate, especially when it was evident that such care went into the rest of the restaurant, so we were disappointed by how sloppy our food looked. Despite our dishes’ sloppy presentations, the food itself tasted wonderful, so at least that made up for the lackluster plating at RL Ralph Lauren Restaurant .
Overall, our experience at RL Ralph Lauren Restaurant was a wonderful dining experience. I would love to see a bit more effort in the presentation of the meals, because we expected much more from such a classic brand, like at least an attempt at garnishing, but that’s really our only complain. If you’re in Chicago, stop in to see the masterful decor, splendid and surprising cocktails, and to try the flavorful meals for yourself!
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