Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Restaurant That Keeps Me Coming Back By Lori

Lori has traveled the world as a flight attendant and has experienced the food and cultures of many countries. Now, a hotel concierge, Lori gets to enjoy dining at restaurants in the River North area as apart of her job. One of the reasons she loves dining out is because you can never have the same experience twice. Every restaurant and meal is a new experience and makes life interesting because you are able to live in the moment.

Merlo on Maple is my idea of the perfect restaurant dining experience. The restaurant is located in a beautifully restored, four story, 19th century town home in the heart of the Gold Coast, just steps from the exciting Rush Street area of Chicago. During the Winter months, the cozy rooms invite you into the warmth of the restaurant with it’s understated elegance. Flicking candles in silver candlesticks are on every white linen table. You enter the gracious town home and immediately see the intimate bar. Perhaps a drink before dinner. 
During the summer months, the second floor bar extends outside to form a charming balcony. There is outside patio seating in front of the restaurant. The lovely wooden staircase greets you as you walk into one of the dining rooms. Many of the rooms are used for small, intimate gatherings. Fresh flowers are on the tables, it feels like you are entering a beautiful home. This restaurant is Class!
Chef/Owner Luisa Silvia Marini spent many years in her native Bologna, Italy where she was able to refine the flavors of Bolognese cuisine. She uses the finest and freshest ingredients, many imported from Italy. The menu is also a favorite. Dishes are perfect for sharing. The handmade pastas, fishes, meats, and desserts were created from the most sophisticated recipes of Bolognese cuisine. Portions are on the small side for the American plate. This is a fine dining experience geared for the “slow food” devotee. The wine list focused around the flavor of the Bolognese cuisine. The professional wait staff will guide you with your selections. Service is friendly, knowledgeable, and well paced.
The upscale, sophisticated atmosphere is perfect for a quiet, romantic, fine dining experience. It is equally suited for a private business dinner or special occasion. The spacing of the tables allows for privacy and conversation. The charming horse drawn carriages are nearby and add to the atmosphere of the area. The Rush Street area is perfect for strolling after dinner or having after dinner drinks at one of the many nearby bars or clubs.
My favorite reason for going to Merlo on Maple is the feeling you have when dining here. It is a wonderful trip to Italy without having to pack and use your passport. If a trip to Italy is not in your near future and you love Italian cuisine, this is the place to splurge and go!! If you have been to Italy, it will bring back wonderful memories. You may be inspired to go to the bookstore and pickup a 2012 Guide to Italy. After dining at Merlo on Maple you will have the urge to pack…… Start dreaming, a trip could be on the way!

Merlo on Maple
16 West Maple St.
Chicago, Il. 60610

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