The Ralph Lauren restaurant, aloof about the bend from its retail affinity on Michigan Avenue, has absorbed us anytime aback its 1999 opening. Its old-money brighten was there appropriate out of the box, like a date set for the upper-crusters in the company’s ads. With its dark-wood coffered ceiling, covering upholstery, white tablecloths, bendable lighting and tasteful artwork, the 85-seat dining allowance is manorial. Alike the librarylike foyer, which doubles as a cat-and-mouse area, has abounding bookcases and a alive fireplace, as able-bodied as a bar and a few tables. Wouldn’t diners be ashamed by this accurate account of the Gilded Age?
No. They weren’t, and neither are we, because RL does its job so well. It’s adequate in a way that has about vanished downtown, as come-as-you-are, grab-and-go spots sprout like dandelions. People dress to affect here. At lunchtime, tables are abounding of ability shoppers and businesspeople in apparel absolutely talking business. Polite, absolutely affianced servers zip about efficiently. The food, while unsurprising, is ample and delicious. And the abode buzzes affably all week, clashing the abounding full-service, sit-down restaurants that are half-empty at 12:30 p.m., or accept accustomed up on cafeteria service, or accept abolished altogether.
All restaurant commons are paid for by Crain’s reviewers, who appointment restaurants anonymously. They sometimes chase up with buzz calls to administration afterwards they appointment to analyze information.See added Business Cafeteria reviews
ON THE MENU: Chef Ryan Pitts’ offerings answer what your parents ability accept ordered at their club years ago (shrimp cocktail, $22; calf’s liver, $29; Dover sole, $52) but with a 21st-century sensibility. Soups are tastier and beneath cream-heavy than they were aback then, salads are added carefully composed, and there are turkey and meatless burgers as able-bodied as beef.
FAVORITE BITES: Cheesed crisps and aphotic pumpernickel with raisins. Asparagus soup with absurd dupe cheese ($11); broiled amazon soup with white cheddar and basil ($9). Citrusy lobster bloom with arugula, fennel and avocado ($28). Archetypal backtalk block with red-chili mayo and slaw ($24). Grilled corned beef and Swiss cheese sandwich on marble rye with chips ($19). Turkey burger with white cheddar on broiled challah-oat bun ($19).
WAY TO GO: Black-and-white-clad servers bob and braid amid tables—and anniversary other—at peak, maximally awash times after jostling diners or actualization frantic. They’re pros, not robots or schmoozers. Ours arrested in appropriately throughout our meals; one agreeably explained the differences (size, accoutrements) amid the archetypal backtalk block and the “Ralph’s” adaptation served in Lauren’s Paris restaurant, actuality on the specials menu.
WHEN TO GO: Early in the anniversary may be added peaceful than later. On our Tuesday midday visit, the dining allowance was full, but the affection was aged enough. On Thursday, the collective jumped, alike abutting to 1:30 p.m., and was added of a scene. Or go in the morning any day. Light fare, coffee and tea are accessible in the lounge or on the patio from 7 to 10 a.m.
44 Inspirational Corner Dining Room Set
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