We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Simply Sublime” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ria - CLOSED

11 East Walton, Chicago, IL 60611 (Gold Coast)
Improve this listing
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Neighborhood: Gold Coast
Cross street: Rush Street
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Simply Sublime”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2012

Had a marvelous dinner with three good friends at Ria on Memorial Day weekend. One of the very best aNd most memorable meals I've ever enjoyed. We started with glasses of superb champagne - topped up whilst we were enjoying the four inventive and delicious amuse bouches. We had the Spring tasting menu, each course was beautifully presented - the flavour of the food came shining through and the presentation was impeccable.We then indulged ourselves in the cheese course (excellent selection and all at the perfect consistency) and then enjoyed the pre-dessert treat, the dessert and then the wonderful plate of petit fours. The wine pairings were all well selected and introduced us to some new finds. The service was impeccable, but not stiff. This was an expensive meal but great value given the setting, the service and all the generous extras. Chef and the entire team are to be commended. When next in Chicago we'll be back for an encore.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“American Fine Dining - you have to be kidding”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2012

Hmm. Where do I start? I think 'America' and 'fine dining' just don't somehow work. Maybe Chicago is too used to eating hot dogs.

Maybe some of these guys need to get out more often. Overseas would be good.

Started off the enthusiastic hard sell Champers at $40 / glass. Fine. Other restaurants would do the same.

Had the Chefs tasting Menu with the matched wine paring.

First Course: Scallop / octopus

Worlds tiniest Scallop ( 1/4 inch diameter.) Nothing like the big lushest plump Tasmanian Scallops. Think a poor little scallop that had a hard life. Think your ageing withering grandma vs Scarlett Johansson.

Octopus. Two little legs 1 inch long. Maybe a Bipus rather than an Octopus?

Boy Danny must have a tiny fish tank.

No problems – we aren’t going to let you taste it anyway because the waiter then adds the largest dollop of crème fraiche (mixed with a hint of lobster) over the entire lot. The poor Scallop and the little octopus, drowned in a sea of Crème fraiche, placed there by a server with as much finesse as a construction worker placing concrete.

Don’t worry – lets wash it down with some cheap Austrian Riesling that normally retails for $15 at your bottle shop.

Second Course: Foie Gras, English Pea, Radish

Can’t really remember this course. So it must have been forgettable. Matched up with a German Rose, which will cost you $20 a bottle at your local wine merchant.

Second Course : Dover Sole

Hurray! Finally a better course. Think your pinkie finger for a size guide. Mixed with a far better French Chardonnay. Looking forward to this – what, is it supposed to be luke warm? Your kidding me aren’t you.

Third Course : Poussin

Little bit of a small chicken. Ok. Nothing special. Matched with a $40 Pinot Noir. I’ve had better, but in context a pass.

Forth Course : Lamb Saddle

Lamb? -tastes and chews more like Mutton to me. A little overcooked didn’t help it. Anyone used to eating Australian of New Zealand Lamb is going to be disappointed in this dish. As was I. Mixed wit ha decent Red from South Australia. At least the wines improving.

Desserts: a) Palette Cleanser

Can’t remember what this was. But refreshing.

b) Chocolate tasting plate

This was by far the worst dish of the entire night. Dry sad looking tart surrounded by dry - cough –cough – cough bits of chocolate. Extremely poor. If my apprentice served that up I’d be disappointed beyond belief.

Mixed with some weird cherry beer and a rather ordinary run of the mill port.

Coffees, yep lets have some $9 coffees to finish off.

The bill.

3 people. Only two of which had the matched wine tasting. Cost – think over $1200! Yep $1250.

The Service

Good if a little over trying.

The Décor


  • Visited May 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naperville, Illinois
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
“We loved everything at dinner!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

The food was phenomenal and service was outstanding.You must partake in the wine pairing and champagne if possible. Perfect for a special occasion.

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakville, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

We were staying at the Waldorf for a few nights, and decided to try Ria as a special treat. We enjoy eating at nice restaurants, but it was our first time at a Michelin star restaurant. It was quite an experience.
We went for the seasonal tasting menu, with wine pairing. Based on reviews we decided to go for the upgrade option of dover sole for two. All of the food was truly exceptional. The only thing my husband didn't like was his appetizer of himachi.
We had many servers throughout the night all of which were excellent. John David was incredibly knowledgable and as we discovered a fantastic singer (sang happy birthday to neighbouring tables in both french and italian). Brian who served our sole table side was probably one of the most enthusiastic waiters I have ever encountered. He was clearly passionate about the food, and we enjoyed his attitude as much as the sole.
The food just kept coming. Beyond our 4 courses, they served us "amuse bouches", palette cleansers, and treats at the end. We even got a "loot bag" with goodies that we enjoyed on the plane ride home the next day.
The bill at the end was by far the highest we have ever had, but we indulged in everything from champagne to a cheese course, so we weren't overly surprised.
We did have a few chuckles at some of the lengthy descriptions of things like breadcrumbs on a spoon, but even that turned out to be delicious.
It was probably a once in a lifetime for us, but if you've got the money, or it's a special occasion, you certainly won't be disappointed.

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kensington, MD
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Most memorable dining experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

My wife and I visited RIA over the Easter weekend. It was, by far, the best dining experience we ever had, and we had some really good ones before. This is a restaurant for more adventurous diners, and for those who like to enjoy the dining experience, not just the food itself. I think the stereotypical alpha males, jocks and frat boys would not enjoy this restaurant. However, if you want to impress or to enjoy a special occasion with a special someone and has some money to spare, this is the perfect place to do so.

After being seated, we were shown the champagne cart with 4 unusual selections. We were given ample time to enjoy the champagne with the amuse bouche (there were 3). The waitperson even gave us refills for the champagne until we are done with the amuse bouche. We both ordered the chef's tasting menu with wine pairing, and also asked for pasta with black truffle as a extra dish. There were 12 selections in the tasting menu and every dish was absolutely delicious and beautifully presented. While the portions were small (more or less bit size, maybe a big bite), we were stuffed at the end. The service throughout the dinner was wonderful. We didn't have to ask for anything because all our needs were anticipated.

If we have to complain about one thing, it has to be the price. Going in we knew the dinner was going to be expensive, but we still felt a jolt when the bill came. However, my wife had a big smile throughout the whole evening. To me, that is worth any price!

  • Visited April 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Ria, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.