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FYI on Custom House - Chicago


ducphat30
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The people that have brought Spring and Green Zebra to Chicago, opened Custom House this past Friday at 500 South Dearborn in the Blake Hotel.

I have nothing to report (about the food), as of now, it was too late when I got off of work to go in. The space is beautiful, imagine that (same person did Spring and Green Zebra). I am no designer, but I would describe it as subdued inspired Frank Lloyd Wright. I know the space before Prairie was more of the "prairie" style, but now it a nice blend of dark woods, textured fabrics on the banquettes and stone.

I have no idea about the food, have yet to see a menu. Hopefully they'll post it on their webpage soon. I do know some of the talent in the kitchen, so it is more than a welcomed addition to Printers' Row.

Note to my post: I know sh!t about interior design, it's a gorgeous space IMO.

Patrick Sheerin

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I had the pleasure of attending a shakedown dinner at Custom House last week. First off, the space is absolutely gorgeous: dark wood and stone, extremely comfortable seating, and an overall aura of sleek elegance (and much warmer than the Zen-inspired style of Spring or Green Zebra). The kitchen is sealed off from the dining room, but has a large vieiwing window, so you can see the action but not hear it.

The menu is fairly extensive and definitely focuses on meat, although there are some fish entrees. A standout among salads and starters was a succulent quail appetizer. Most entrees are in the mid-high $20 range (similar to Spring), but they do have a prime dry-aged strip steak for $38. This steak was served pre-sliced and paired with a demitasse cup of spinach cream. Steakhouse purists may not like having their meat served sliced and fanned out, but I didn't have a problem with it. I thought the steak was fine, but lacked that certain "oomph" that differentiates a good steak from a great one. Maybe it wasn't aged quite enough...it didn't have that almost-gone-bad tang that I look for in a big-bucks steak. A B+. The duck, however, was excellent and very "autumnal"--served with apples and pumpkin (?). A la carte side dishes are extensive; ranging from unusual veggies (salsify) to roasted fingerlings to a large short-rib-filled ravioili.

Chef McClain scored a major coup by recruiting former Blackbird pastry chef (and old Trio co-worker), Elissa Narow. She's one of the best in the city and we thought the desserts at Custom House were flawless. The platings were attractive but not over the top and seemed to really coordinate visually with the overall style of the room.

Overall, it looks like another hit, although not in the segment-redefining way of Spring or, especially, Green Zebra. They need to make sure that Custom House is perceived as "meat-focused fine dining" and not "Shawn McClain's Steakhouse." The steakhouse crowd will expect giant sharing portions of appetizers and sides, and desserts that should have their own zip codes. The food here is served in appropriate individual portions (which the Maggiano's doggie-bag crowd will certainly describe erroneously as "miniscule" on Metromix).

Our two apps, two entrees, two sides, two desserts, bottled water, coffee and tea (no wine, because it was a pre-opening BYO) was about $200; about average for fancy hotel dining. They also have a fairly large bar area, which I expect to become super-hot in no time. They are also slated to start serving lunch in the near future, and as a Loop worker, I can't wait!

Edited by Pugman (log)
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Chef McClain scored a major coup by recruiting former Blackbird pastry chef (and old Trio co-worker), Elissa Narow. She's one of the best in the city and we thought the desserts at Custom House were flawless. The platings were attractive but not over the top and seemed to really coordinate visually with the overall style of the room.

Should have no problem getting the wife to go!!

Patrick Sheerin

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Glad to hear Custom House is up and running. Dish reported about it so long ago, I'd almost forgotten the opening was coming.

Does anyone know if the beef they serve at Custom House is Prime and/or aged?

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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  • 3 weeks later...

A co-worker and I had a really terrific lunch at Custom House today. We had lentil/ham soup with mini gnocchi, striped bass bedded on a bit of potato puree and served w/ a truffle emulsion (IIRC), smoky bacon/brie tartine, and a side of escarole. Everything was very good, but the bass was stellar; simply prepared with very crispy skin and moist inside. Perfect--and a steal for $13. Gimmick-free, delicious food made with top-notch ingredients. What's better than that?

Lunch prices are reasonable, especially for such a swanky place; with 2 iced teas, the bill was $43. Next time, I will need to leave room for dessert...I had no room for the killer coconut parfait. The menu features many of the starters from the dinner menu, a number of salads (small and large), and a variety of sandwiches/entrees.

Excellent service--and not just the main waiters. The busboys at all of their restaurants--here, Spring and Green Zebra--are so attentive and professional. After having a dinner literally ruined by terrible service at another well-known restaurant the other night, I'm reminded of how refreshing it is to dine somehwhere that really "gets it."

Go there before word gets out about lunch...I think they're gonna be mobbed.

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I heard great things about Custom House from a friend who was there last week. I hope he'll post about it :wink:

Pugman, that is a great price for the lunch you described. I really can't wait to try it out.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I heard great things about Custom House from a friend who was there last week.  I hope he'll post about it :wink:

=R=

All right, Ronnie, you shamed me into it! :biggrin:

We dined at Custom House on Saturday, November 5, just one week after they opened with a "soft opening" (booking less than capacity). They still hadn't gotten their liquor license, so we brought a nice bottle of Matanzas Creek Journey to enjoy. We should have bought two bottles, because we really had to pace our drinking. :sad:

The room is absolutely gorgeous. Subdued shades of grey, red, and cream, with dark wood trim. Not even remotely "prairie style," like the room's previous incarnation, but modern, sleek, and cozy. There are very comfortable banquettes, booths, and tables spaced nicely, and two large round tables in two semi-private corners that just scream out, "Dinner Party!" The service was flawless, even after only a week. Waitstaff was knowledgable, friendly, and solicitous. The food was exceptional (more about that later): tasty, beautifully but simply presented, and unique. Who says a restaurant can't have its act together right at opening? (Take THAT, Michael!)

The menu is not unlike Craft in NYC. First courses ($6-$16) are devoted to Raw Fish & Shellfish, Raw/Cured/Marinated Meats, Roasted Meats, Salads, and Soups. For Main Courses ($18-$38), there are four to six choices in each of the following: Fish & Shellfish; Meats, Roasted (four steaks inexplicably listed here, despite the fact they're grilled); and Meats, Braised. To round things out, Sides (6-$10) include Vegetables (seasonal), Potatoes, and Grains & Pastas.

We stared out with sweet Maine Crab done with the flavors of Caesar Salad with white sardines atop a bed of charred pimento; and the exquisite quail (mentioned in a previous review here) roasted with parsnips and served onion beignets (!) and caramel. Main courses included a slightly dry short rib (a bit more braising would have made the meat more succulent, but the flavors were right on) with horseradish cream puffs (!), and a superlative Roasted duck breast (medium, thankyouverymuch) with leg confit done with spiced apple and pumpkin. For sides, we shared buttered baby orange and yellow carrots, delicious salsify braised in an orange- and vanilla-scented cream, and truffled roasted fingerling potatoes.

Desserts ($10) were a new revelation altogether. You know, one of those dessert menus where you can't decide what to order? We settled on a milk chocolate tart with peanut butter mousse, honey creme fraiche, and peanuts - it was like the BEST Resse's Peanut Butter Cup I've ever had. We also tried a transcendant coconut parfait which was served with rum-poached Medjool dates, roasted banana sauce, and toasted coconut.

I must echo the previous review that this place is going to be HOT. The management, kitchen, and waitstaff obviously have the "hospitality" aspect of the Hospitality Industry down pat, and make their tough jobs look effortless. We will be returning very shortly.

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I always enjoy your perspective, George. Thanks for the detailed write-up. I almost feel like I was there with you -- and certainly wish I had been! :smile:

=R=

p.s. no shaming intended . . . :rolleyes::wink:

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Last night, I gave the Custom House a try. The space is very nice looking and the menu set-up is very cool. I thought that they did some things well and some things not so well. The restaurant is still very green as it has only been open a month. I usually like to give a place a little more time to settle in and my observations are only off one dinner. The service is well intentioned, but it lacked experience in fine dining. My waitress got lost throughout service in a less than half full restaurant and did not ask if we liked any of our courses.

First Courses:

Sweet Maine Crab with Caesar flavor, Charred Pimento and Crisp Parmesan

I did not pick up he caesar flavor with the crab and this was not really striking

Foie Gras:

Walnut and Cranberry Pesto, Warm Pumpkin Bread

This was under the Raw / Cured / Marinated Part of the menu so I asked if it was a terrine or a torchon. The waitress said it was a terrine and then said no I think they call it a torchon because it is a circle. The Foie itself was very good, but I felt the cranberry pesto over powered it, but the pumpkin bread was good. One issue I did have was when you poach a torchon of Foie the outside of the torchon becomes oxidized as it is poached. When it is sliced to be served to the customer, it is nice if you take a circle cutter and just cut the oxidized part off-leaving only the nice pink part. They did not do this, but not many places do as there is a phobia of wasting a little Foie-just a little more refinement.

Frisee-Ham Hock, Mustard, Quail Eggs

Fantastic salad!!!!!! Great vinaigrette, nice plating-yummy

Main Courses:

Maine Scallops-Potato-Truffle Sauce

Great dish-nice plating-delicious

Stone Church Farms Duck-Spiced Lady Apple and Pumpkin

This is served with a confit leg that part of the dish was fine, but the breast was Very, Very tough. No one asked why were not eating it and I wanted to give the place a fair shot as this was a new restaurant so I ordered another entree

Veal Cheeks-Tomato-Anchovy Preserves

At this point, the manager delivered this entree and asked about the meal and we told him of the duck and he removed it from the bill. The veal cheeks were very good.

Cheese and Dessert:

The cheese list are Artisanal selections that I was not familiar with so I said Chef's choice. We also ordered the Milk Chocolate dessert. I would have thought that they would have brought Cheese then dessert, but they both came at the same time. No one explained what the Cheeses were until five minutes later the waitress came over and asked," Have you figured out the Cheeses?" I liked how they paired each cheese with a specific garnish. The Milk Chocolate dessert was sublime

All in all, I would give them a little more time to get themselves together and give them another shot. I was told Chef McClain is there 5 days a week and I am sure he will get it together.

Good Eating,

Molto E

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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Dined at Custom House on Sunday night. Chef Shawn sent out all kinds of goodies to our table. Food, service and dining room in general were all top notch. Chicago is quite lucky to have such a talent to call our own. Three awesome restaurants opened in less than 5 years?! I'm "Green" with envy :smile:

Graham Elliot

@grahamelliot

www.grahamelliot.com

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Chicago is quite lucky to have such a talent to call our own

Chicago is lucky to have so many top-tier chefs - ChefGEB certainly among the best of them - but I'm wondering if Chef Shawn recognized another renowned chef and treated him specially, or can us plebeians expect similar treatment?

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Chicago is quite lucky to have such a talent to call our own

Chicago is lucky to have so many top-tier chefs - ChefGEB certainly among the best of them - but I'm wondering if Chef Shawn recognized another renowned chef and treated him specially, or can us plebeians expect similar treatment?

There is a lengthy discussion about some related issues taking place here.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Thanks for the report, Eliot.

This question is for everyone who's been to Custom House . . . we have some friends coming in from out of town next week and we're all very tempted to try Custom House. Since our friends are only going to be here for 1 restaurant meal, we're wondering if Custom House is, at this stage, the right choice. I'm not talking about 'down the road' but for essentially right now.

Thoughts?

Thanks :smile:

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Thanks for the report, Eliot.

This question is for everyone who's been to Custom House . . . we have some friends coming in from out of town next week and we're all very tempted to try Custom House.  Since our friends are only going to be here for 1 restaurant meal, we're wondering if Custom House is, at this stage, the right choice.  I'm not talking about 'down the road' but for essentially right now.

Thoughts?

Thanks :smile:

=R=

If the way Chef McClain and the Drohomyrecky's (are they involved in this?) opened Green Zebra is any indication of how well they plan and open a restaurant, then it really should not be any problem. I know that the menu is probably some branches off of what Chef McClain has previously done before and most of the items are probably tried and true until they have time to experiment more with other flavor combinations. At Zebra, they transplated a few of their best front and back of the house talent and brought in a few others (that was me) to help out. From all the reports that I've heard from reviewers, the service seems not to have that many kinks to work out and the menu I've heard to be pretty nice. If you're afraid of "new restaurant syndome" then yeah I'd give it another month or two, but I really haven't heard anything bad yet. I myself would be there in a heartbeat. Too bad it's a few states away. haha.

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Thanks for the report, Eliot.

This question is for everyone who's been to Custom House . . . we have some friends coming in from out of town next week and we're all very tempted to try Custom House.  Since our friends are only going to be here for 1 restaurant meal, we're wondering if Custom House is, at this stage, the right choice.  I'm not talking about 'down the road' but for essentially right now.

Thoughts?

Thanks :smile:

=R=

Ron, based on our experience there, I'd have no doubts that you'd have wonderful food and service at Custom House. Please bear in mind, however, that when we went, they were doing a "soft opening" (only about two-thirds full on Saturday night), presumably to not overwhelm themselves. However, they're a very professional team and I'm confident that, a couple weeks later, they've addressed any problems they may have had. I'd say go for it!

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  • 2 months later...

The girlfriend took me to Custom House last night for my birthday and wow, did we love it. Her original choice was Matsumoto, but due to the uncertainty surrounding that restaurant we made the switch.

We arrived for our 8pm reservation only to be shown into the bar, things were running a few minutes behind. Not a problem, since it gave us the chance to enjoy a couple of glasses of bubbly and soak in the atmosphere. The space is truly beautiful. After about a 10 minute wait we were shown to our table.

For appetizers I started off with the beef tartare, advertised as the best in the city in Phil Vettel's recent review. It was very good, but I don't know about the best. The beef itself was of very high quality, but I thought the dish overall was a bit underseasoned. It was served with some grilled bread which had just a tad too much olive oil on them. A nice touch was the quail egg, sliced in half, cooked so the yolk was barely held together. The whole thing was tasty, if not a bit challenging to eat. The GF had the tuna tartare. Served with the same grilled bread, the tuna itself was gorgeous and pristinely fresh. The tartare had a nice citrusy background which complimented the tuna nicely.

For our main courses I went with the braised veal cheeks and the GF went with the scallops. We ordered two sides, truffle risotto and salsify. The veal cheeks were absolutely outstanding. The dish was advertised as "Veal cheeks, tomato and anchovy". I couldn't pick up the anchovy in the rich sauce, but that didn't really matter since the whole thing was just so darn good. They gave me a steak knife to eat the cheeks with, but it wasn't even close to necessary. The dish also included diced carrots and celery which were fresh and crisp. The truffle risotto was a layup. Perfectly rich, buttery and truffley. The salsify was interesting. It was prepared with vanilla and orange. The sweetness was almost a bit too much, but provided a nice foil for the richness of the veal cheeks. I thought it would have been nice to have a couple of extra plates for the side dishes, since there isn't a whole lot of room on the main plates to hold sides, but it didn't bother me enough to say anything. I only got one bite of the scallops, but they tasted great to me.

Dessert was baked alaska, which was also delicious and one of the cooler looking desserts I've ever seen. Someone needs to go and get a picture of this thing. Similar to the other McClain restaurants there is a nice selection of tea. I went with the Monkey Picked tea (how could I resist)? The kitchen also sent out a plate with a slice of banana and a couple of truffles for my birthday, a very nice touch.

Custom House has been categorized as McClain's "steakhouse", which may or may not be a fair description. The menu is in the style of a steakhouse, with selections of raw/cold seafood for appetizers along with soups and salads. Main courses are mostly meats (roasted or braised) with a few fish dishes. But everything is stepped up a couple of notches from your basic steakhouse. Those who aren't meat fans certainly aren't left out in the cold, with only plain old boring pieces of salmon and/or tuna. Custom House still has something for everyone, and is certainly firing on all cylinders.

-Josh

Now blogging at http://jesteinf.wordpress.com/

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I just posted a podcast (mp3) interview with Chef Shawn McClain of Custom House, Green Zebra, and Spring restaurants.

McClain talks about developing his simple culinary approach, how tough it is to succeed in fine dining, what it takes to sustain the success, and why GQ magazine food writer Alan Richman should be “put to pasture.” Read it here:

Shawn McClain Podcast

One of our photographers, Tuan Bui, also took some great food and action shots in the Custom House kitchen, capturing many of the dishes mentioned above. You can find a link in the article above, or go directly here:

Custom House Slideshow

"That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred." Goethe

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yowza!! Our recent meal at Custom House was a fabulous experience. The space is stunningly gorgeous, the service, provided by Jim and crew, was seamless and the food was absolutely incredible. Referring to Custom House as a steakhouse doesn't really do it justice in the least. Yes, they have steaks and yes, they looked delicious (maybe I'll try one down the road) but I think that to go to Custom House and order a steak may be a case of missing the boat. The menu boasts a multitude of other interesting items which are expertly conceived and prepared.

On the other hand, you could easily pull off hosting a biz dinner at Custom House because even certain taste-challenged corporate types would be comfortable with the standard-seeming selections, of which there are several. That most everything served at Custom House comes from small, local or organic farms and is thoughtfully prepared, will probably be irrelevant (or invisible) to these folks. But it certainly shows up on the plate and the palate -- and gloriously so. While the suits are gulping their steaks (with their panties slowly untwisting over the fact that you never offered to take them to Ruth’s Chris), you can be enjoying wonderful items like braised short rib, tender veal cheek, and moist duck breast.

After eating at Trio, Sweets & Savories and Alinea earlier this week, I had a feeling that it was going be a ‘black and white’ moment for me at Custom House. It was either going to instantly stand out or immediately fade into the background. And, happily, my high expectations were thoroughly exceeded. Shawn McClain is an exceptionally talented chef who is clearly still ascending at a rapid rate. The culinary constants which connect Spring, Green Zebra and Custom House are these: homey and delicious, elegant and innovative, distinctive and exciting. These kitchens turn out compelling food.

One could actually refer to Custom House as a “small plates” restaurant. The fact that those small plates are occupied by huge quantities of elegantly-placed, hearty and comforting food is an amusing irony. For example, I ordered the butter-soft Short Rib which was served with 3 horseradish beignets (which were almost a beignet-croquette hybrid). This was a monstrously large portion of perfectly cooked short rib. It was braised, yet held a slightly crisp exterior. This was served on a 6” square plate. It tasted as “down home” as mom’s pot roast (only better), yet looked like it had been plated by a food stylist. We joked that this was the short rib that would not end. The beignets were, somehow, light, creamy and delicate all at once. Transcendent dish.

The other entrees I tasted were also fantastic. My wife ordered the sublime Veal Cheek which was highly addictive. One of our companions ordered the Duck, cooked to tender perfection. Our other companion ordered the Black Bass which, while I didn’t try it, was a beautiful-looking slab of fish which was entirely devoured. No steaks were ordered. :wink:

But before the entrees, we enjoyed a bevy of outstanding first courses. My wife ordered the succulent quail and our companions gave us tastes of their perfectly-al-dente octopus and fresh crab salad with anchovy accent, respectively. I ended up with the sweetbreads which were fantastic. The miniature (1 cup?) Staub cast iron oval which appeared in front of me was brimming over with perfect nuggets of crispy on the outside and tender on the inside sweetbreads, thick slabs of gooey-soft braised pork belly and slivers of raw shiitake mushroom. At the bottom of the oval was a creamy white sauce. This dish was un-frigging-believable. It was almost as if Custom House had customized this dish for me. Wow!

Sides are also unique and worthy of attention at Custom House. Sorry, steakhouse fans, no creamed spinach or twice-baked potatoes here. Instead, we split 4 sides which were all wonderful. I loved the crispy Fingerlings in Truffle Oil and the marinated Baby Beets. Just as good -- or better -- were the creamy and aromatic Truffle Risotto and the tender strips of Salsify with Vanilla and Orange accents.

The wine list is very well-conceived. Offerings are organized as either 1st or 2nd course-matches, then sorted by type. Producers’ names appear in bold type, which makes browsing very convenient. Additionally, a back page offers harder-to-find and small-production wines. This was a fun list to read and a great one from which to order. Mark-ups were, expectedly, reasonable. With our first courses, we had a 2002 Ribera Del Duero Pesquera that was really bright and fruity. With our second courses, we had a terrific Volnay, 1996 Domaine Parent Premier Cru. And taking a step back, to start, we enjoyed a fine bottle of crisply-sweet Brut Rose Champagne; a treat from the house to our companions, the name of which I cannot remember. With dessert, another treat from the house to our friends; a glass of some nectar-like Moscato d'Asti.

Desserts made us feel like royalty. My wife’s Apple Tart with Cinnamon Ice Cream was exceptional. Sweet and tart were nicely balanced and the custard (or was it pastry cream?) between the pastry and the fruit was a perfect bridge. My personal-sized Baked Alaska was a gorgeous and delicious work of art. The chewy cake, the ice cream and the gently toasted meringue worked together fantastically. Served along with it was a demitasse of masterfully-rendered Hot Cocoa atop of which floated chunks of homemade marshmallows. We also tried some melt-in-mouth Peanut Butter Fudge and the wonderful S’mores Bars, which, in addition to their expected richness, also provided a perfectly-charged jolt of cinnamon to the taste buds. Unfortunately, we were so stuffed that we had to pass on the very tempting cheese course.

Spring and Green Zebra are jewels of the Chicago dining scene. So, speaking purely from logic, it lines up that Custom House distinguishes itself so impressively. But, since reviews haven’t been 100% positive either, I was a bit concerned going in. I ended up thrilled; with my high expectations completely exceeded. At the end of our meal, I read the bottom of the menu and became giddy at the thought of returning for lunch . . . or breakfast! I can’t wait to go back and try both. In my head, I immediately started counting how many blocks it was between Custom House and my office . . . 8. Mapquest says it’s .65 miles. That’s the ultimate “comfort” news.

=R=

Custom House

500 S. Dearborn St

Chicago, IL 60605

312 523-0200

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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On another thread, I asked for recommendations for our April trip to Chicago - two nights available. For Saturday, we have booked Schwa.

I am very interested in Custom House for Sunday night. A couple of questions: Is Custom House non-smoking? We are very sensitive to smoke drift. Second, I have tried to reserve on Open Table for April 16 and get the message that the date exceeds the maximum advance reservation time. Do they take reservations only a month in advance?

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On another thread, I asked for recommendations for our April trip to Chicago - two nights available.  For Saturday, we have booked Schwa. 

I am very interested in Custom House for Sunday night.  A couple of questions:  Is Custom House non-smoking?  We are very sensitive to smoke drift.  Second, I have tried to reserve on Open Table for April 16 and get the message that the date exceeds the maximum advance reservation time.  Do they take reservations only a month in advance?

I'm guessing that CH is smoke-free because I don't remember being annoyed by any cigarette smoke during our meal, but I cannot say for sure. Ditto for the reservation policy. As effusive as I was about my experience, I'm not affiliated with the restaurant :wink: On that basis, I'd suggest calling them directly to get answers to your questions.

Good luck!

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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On another thread, I asked for recommendations for our April trip to Chicago - two nights available.  For Saturday, we have booked Schwa. 

I am very interested in Custom House for Sunday night.  A couple of questions:  Is Custom House non-smoking?  We are very sensitive to smoke drift.  Second, I have tried to reserve on Open Table for April 16 and get the message that the date exceeds the maximum advance reservation time.  Do they take reservations only a month in advance?

I'm guessing that CH is smoke-free because I don't remember being annoyed by any cigarette smoke during our meal, but I cannot say for sure. Ditto for the reservation policy. As effusive as I was about my experience, I'm not affiliated with the restaurant :wink: On that basis, I'd suggest calling them directly to get answers to your questions.

Good luck!

=R=

I've noticed a few times that, while Opentable will say the reservation exceeds the maximum, if you call the restaurant, they actually are taking reservations for that time.

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I've noticed a few times that, while Opentable will say the reservation exceeds the maximum, if you call the restaurant, they actually are taking reservations for that time.

That's because while OpenTable does allow you to look at any restaurant's reservation book, the restaurant can still control how many tables can be reserved by customers via the OpenTable website. Whenever I can't get my preferred seating time at any OpenTable restaurant, I'll still phone the place and talk to a live person. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but it's always worth a try.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ronnie,

Great review! I'm heading to CH for dinner on Friday night. I had a quick question about the wines you had. Were they by the glass or bottle? I'm leaning toward by-the-glass selections for our meal on friday & was hoping they'd have a good selection. Thanks!

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Ronnie,

Great review! I'm heading to CH for dinner on Friday night. I had a quick question about the wines you had. Were they by the glass or bottle? I'm leaning toward by-the-glass selections for our meal on friday & was hoping they'd have a good selection. Thanks!

With the exception of the Moscato d'Asti, they were all by the bottle but the list of wines available by the glass was definitely a good one with many excellent options. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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