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“The only restaurant in the Waldorf Astoria Chicago”
Review of Balsan - CLOSED

Balsan
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Gold Coast
Cross street: Rush Street
Transit: Close to MTA at Chicago and State (Red Line)
Saint Joseph, Michigan
Level Contributor
226 reviews
162 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“The only restaurant in the Waldorf Astoria Chicago”
Reviewed March 15, 2013 via mobile

We had been to Balsan a number of times when it was owned by Elysian. We haven't been since it changed to the Waldorf Astoria. With a prefix Groupon coupon in hand ,we decided to go back. The menu is very similar, but a little more limited in the new restaurant, although very good. The restaurant is the hotel's cafe and only restaurant,thus serves breakfast,lunch and dinner. The wine list is extensive and about and inch thick, which makes me think that it is left over from Ria, a Michelin rated restaurant at Elysian that is now closed and they inherited the wine. The service was excellent, and we were not slighted at all because of our Groupon coupon. It was Tuesday evening at 7 pm and there were lots of open tables in the restaurant,hence the groupon incentive. Unless one is staying at the hotel,you wouldn't know the restaurant exists. The first floor entry has no signs even directing people to the proper elevator for the restaurant. Our total experience was excellent.

Helpful?
1 Thank Jeff49085
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

89 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    42
    31
    10
    4
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
185 reviews
128 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“No prisoners taken”
Reviewed March 6, 2013

You would think that going to a new restaurant with four people you would have had at least one take home bag. Not so at the Balsan restaurant whose wait staff were wonderfully trained and accomodating. A special visit to clear up some groupon itinerary by the manager Axel Maes proved to be a blessing in disguise. Not only did he honor our requests but made the couple we were treating firm believers in returning for another visit. I NEVER order chicken except for fried in a proven venue but our waiter Justin GUARANTEED that this preparation would be sock removing, so I tried it and the accompanying wild mushroom and brussel sprouts in a white wine reduction was exquisite. My wife's salmon was destroyed by her and the sirloin steak dsappeared as well. We tried four different desserts and they were gone in short order. when you visit be sure to try the selection of cheeses, terrines, prosciutto etc. The cost was value oriented and as long as you do not order every wine etc in the place the bill is similar to any downtown venue in Chicago.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank tommyl024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Very Good Service”
Reviewed March 2, 2013

Enjoyed a three course dinner within the precincts of the nicely appointed Waldorf Astoria in Chicago, Illinois. Modern and elegant design with comfortable seating in a Parisian like setting met us on the third floor. The charcuterie plate, prepared by the chef, was delightful and good tasting. The salmon was prepared at medium with an accompaniment of greens, elegant experience, although a bit Spartan in the number of greens. The Paris breast for dessert was a tad like breakfast fair, an elegant donut. The scallops were nicely presented with foie GRAS. Dessert was an apple fritter with apple cider and cinnamon ice cream. Everyone on staff was very attentive and responsive. All in all it is a bistro built on local ingredients with a modern flare.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank bhhenry81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
39 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Very Good”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Cool room on the 2nd floor of the Waldorf Astoria. A bit pricey because its in a hotel, but that's to be expected. Had a very delicious duck rillette and steak tartar, then followed by an even more tasty strip loin served with cheese gritz au jus. My wife had fire roasted capon (a rooster), served off the bone. Also very tasty. The table shared the terte flambee, a brick oven pizza essentially, that was rich and indulgent.

The only items we did not enjoy were the oysters 4 ways. I feel they reverse engineered the dish in order to mask the fact that the oysters were only ok. Hence 4 instead of 5 stars.

Also, I was there during valentine's day weekend, and they had an abridged holiday menu, so I wasn't able to try some of the more enticing things on the regular menu. :(

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Matthew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great service!”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

I read many other reviews before having dinner here, and was concerned with some of the feedback on the service. But I am happy to say that the service was terrific! Fromn the monment we walked in to the restaurant till we grabbed our coats when leaving...the staff was terrific. We went to dinner after buying a Groupon, and the staff was attentive, had great suggestions, and made adjustments to our entrees when we asked. Really enjoyed the appetizers (charcuterie platter), and deserts. I'd go there again just for appetizers and a glass of wine!

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TravelLovinGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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