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“Pleasantly surprised, Great Food, Excellent service”
Review of Magnolia Cafe - CLOSED

Magnolia Cafe
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: N Magnolia Ave
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
36 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised, Great Food, Excellent service”
Reviewed October 14, 2012

We ate at magnolia cafe last night before a concert at the Riviera. The food was excellent. We had their cheese platter for an appetizer. It was great, larger than we had anticipated. They had a nice wine list. The menu and special list was robust. The Filet was excellent. The risotto was perfectly cooked. If you are in this area and need a nice place to go, here you have it.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Joe H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

41 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    17
    14
    5
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
154 reviews
123 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“Minor improvements will make this a really great restaurant!”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

Magnolia Café is a wonderful find in the Uptown neighborhood. The menu is contemporary American. Platings are artful and professional, and the portion sizes for entrees are extremely generous. But one consistent flaw dominated our entire meal – lack of seasoning. We started with the shrimp salad. I wasn’t wild about the choice of iceberg lettuce for the greens, but the salad’s dressing seemed a little flat. Fast forward to entrees and the problem of lack seasoning amplified itself in both of our entrees. I’m not a saltaholic by any means, but my absolutely beautiful cut of filet so desperately needed a nice coating of sea salt and pepper. My dinner partner independently thought the same thing of his double cut pork chop and side of polenta. The pork chop was very moist, but again lacked seasoning. The polenta was quite buttery, but like the other dishes, lacked flavor. The biggest disappointment of the evening was the server-recommended chocolate bread pudding, which aside for having a denseness of a fruit cake, was cold and had a very stale off-flavor, as if the bread had picked up flavors from the refrigerator from sitting uncovered too long. The menu is beautiful, varied and offers some unique dishes. The establishment is so, so close to having a really fine restaurant; it is our hope that on a return visit, some of the seasoning issues with the dishes will be corrected.

Finally, it would be helpful if the wait staff learns the meaning of a “check back.” We received not a one through the entire meal.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Bob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
35 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Sit and Enjoy”
Reviewed August 10, 2012

Went here the other night with a girlfriend for dinner and spent over two hours just talking and catching up. The staff never rushed us or made us feel as though we should leave. We started out with the mango martini, which was tasty, but at $9 per drink didn't quite hit the mark. The "raw fish" appetizer was fresh and nicely seasoned. They allowed us to share a salad and divided it before bringing it to the table. The portions were perfect. I had the pork chop, which was juicy and done wonderfully. My friend had the scallop dinner, which was also done well.

Overall, a little pricey but very well done food and great service. The neighborhood is a little dicey, but we found legal street parking directly in front of the restaurant. I would go back for a special occasion in a heart beat.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank laura c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
70 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Very good and perfect Atmosphere”
Reviewed July 31, 2012

Food and presentation of food was fabulous. Service was great. Only "down thing" was dessert was probably not worth the money though it was very tasty.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank dubelaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Nasty Owner”
Reviewed July 21, 2012

If your restaurant catches on fire and your guests walk out with eyes burning and smelling of acrid smoke, the least an owner can do is apologize and not deny that there has just been a fire in the kitchen for the last hour. This guy was so rude he acted like we should be apologizing to him because we couldn't stand the smoke anymore. Just ridiculous. Don't bother to make a trip to this place.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KarenpChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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