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“Great Dinner Experience”
Review of The Franklin Room

The Franklin Room
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Ranked #466 of 10,804 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $17 - $25
Cuisines: American, Bar
Description: The Franklin Room is a proper city tavern and Chicago speakeasy located in the popular River North neighborhood. The Franklin Room celebrates the drinking culture and sense of connection that neighborhood taverns have cultivated in our city for centuries. Our menu features comforting and flavorful turn of the century inspired American tavern fare. The Franklin Room beverage program showcases a thoughtful selection of fine spirits, wine and beer with a strong focus on independent distillers and limited-edition rare releases.
Restaurant details
Description: The Franklin Room is a proper city tavern and Chicago speakeasy located in the popular River North neighborhood. The Franklin Room celebrates the drinking culture and sense of connection that neighborhood taverns have cultivated in our city for centuries. Our menu features comforting and flavorful turn of the century inspired American tavern fare. The Franklin Room beverage program showcases a thoughtful selection of fine spirits, wine and beer with a strong focus on independent distillers and limited-edition rare releases.
Reviewed August 28, 2018

Had dinner for the first time at the Franklin Room. I found it on Google and the reviews, menu and ambiance looked great. We were promptly seated at a table for two near the bar with our 7:30 reservation on a Saturday night. I would recommend reservations, as the place was very full.

We were promptly served our drinks and ordered a half-dozen oysters to start the evening. The oysters arrived promptly and were served with a lemon ice, chili sauce and lemon wedges and were topped with pickled cucumber. I found the chili sauce to be a bit too much for delicate oysters. The lemon ice was perfect and added just the right amount of lemon flavor to compliment the cucumber and salty oysters.

For dinner, I opted for the braised lamb shank. Dinner partner ordered the steak frites. The steal arrived medium rare, as ordered, and was accompanied with house cut fries topped with what looked like grated parmesan. The plate also had a subtle mustard sauce and whipped hollandaise. The steak was super tender and perfectly seasoned. It did not need either sauce, but was good with both. The fries were crisp and never became limp during the course of the dinner.

The lamb shank was huge and fall off the bone tender. I did not need to use a knife. It was presented with perfectly cooked fingerling potatoes, carrots and a purple potato, all swimming in a subtly lamb jus. The shank had a great lamb flavor without being too strong. The vegetables and jus were perfect accompaniments to the rich lamb. The portion was huge and I could not finish all that I was served. I would highly recommend either of the entrees ordered by our table.

Service was professional and swift. We were never left wanting anything.
Since we were sitting so close to the bar, we had a delightful show watching the professional bar staff create the myriad of specialty cocktails offered at the Franklin Room. They work really hard to create those delicious blends.

Our first visit to the Franklin Room was terrific. I would highly recommend this restaurant and look forward to returning on our next visit to the Windy City.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Lee B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 - 9 of 107 reviews

Reviewed July 31, 2018 via mobile

Not big so you get that casual easy vibe. Wasn't a busy night making it that much better. Excellent service. Surf n turf burger was excellent and tuna app is delicious. Just a neighborhood joint was some good food.

Thank hockeyeh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2018 via mobile

Visited The Franklin Room after reading about best whisky bars in US. They have an extensive list but not much we hadn’t already tried or own. Pours are 1oz instead of the standard dram, so be careful with pricing. You’ll also find a cocktail menu full of both creative traditional cocktails. Andrew, the Rastafarian bartender, made the night with great conversation and excellent recommendations.

Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2018

This is a fun casual spot for dinner and drinks. The whiskey selection is special and the food is very good. We were with a group and the service was good, the food was very good and the vibe was fun. I had a ruben which was very tasty and knife and fork needed.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Marilyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2018 via mobile

Driving cross country from LA to NYC we made a conscious decision to stop in Chicago for dinner. We were absolutely wowed the last time we were there and have sent friends who have also enjoyed it. Unfortunately the second time around wasn’t nearly as memorable. While the Service was excellent and all the staff were great, the food seems to have taken a step backwards. Nothing was bad per se, but at that level of dining (and prices), the expectation was that the execution would be higher and the dishes more well thought out. Nearly everything we ate (family of 5 adult food pros) needed seasoning...or lacked plain salt. Cauliflower “Tots” were nothing more than tempura battered florettes. Zucchini Flowers were stuffed with Goat cheese and fried in the same tempura batter. The “tots” came with only enough dipping sauce for perhaps half the dish and the blossoms had some greens and a little pickled red onion but not nearly enough for the five blossoms served. Both dishes needed something else to round them out. The Baked Crab dip was fine but again, not nearly enough bread was served with it. Papardelle with wild Mushrooms and truffles has been on menus for years so if you’re going to serve it, it better be great. This version offered undercooked pasta and a bland sauce with little essence of truffle. The Short Rib while fork tender had no flavor at all. If you’re going to braise short ribs, make sure you season your meat before searing and make doubly sure your braising liquid is well seasoned too...so that the meat tenderizes with all the richness you’d expect. Served on top of a dollop of whipped potatoes, ringed with a middling red wine sauce the dish was garnished oddly with fresh diced green apple and chopped watercress...the entire dish was a confusing disappointment...look we LOVED The Franklin Room when we discovered it three years ago...yes, it was that long ago. We were just hoping to relive a happy memory...alas, like death and taxes change is inevitable.

Thank Rick W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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