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    Post #1 - November 15th, 2009, 10:29 pm
    Post #1 - November 15th, 2009, 10:29 pm Post #1 - November 15th, 2009, 10:29 pm
    Pelago

    Had an early dinner at Pelago tonight (and have an early meeting so I’m going to focus on one knockout dish of many).

    A hotel restaurant, Pelago serves three meals a day; the breakfast menu seems pedestrian (no surprise), but the lunch and dinner menus are rich with imaginative takes on Italianate dishes.

    I'd like to post more later, but I’ll focus on one of our first dishes, a trio of pastas that we both thought superb.

    Image

    In the upper left corner of the pic are trofie, hand-made and gently twisted, paired with green beans in a pesto, lovely.

    In the center was our favorite: cappelletti in a marjoram sauce. The chef here, Mauro Mafrici, uses herbs to advantage in many dishes, and this housemade pasta, stuffed with ricotta, had very good tooth, which I have not found common with fresh made pastas. Excellent, and so rich that just a few of these made a perfect single-person serving: any more would have been too much.

    There was also a mound of nubbly pasta with pork, which we also liked a lot, and it was the only dish we had at Pelago that featured a red sauce.

    Guests at the Raffaello Hotel are lucky to have this place in-house.

    Pelago
    201 E. Delaware
    312.280.0700
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #2 - January 7th, 2011, 8:38 am
    Post #2 - January 7th, 2011, 8:38 am Post #2 - January 7th, 2011, 8:38 am
    Cant believe there hasnt been more written about this truly excellent restaurant. I, for one, had never heard about it until yesterday when I had the pleasure of being taken to Pelago for lunch.

    I started with the Insalata Nerone which consists of Red Romaine lettuce with Chicken, Poached Egg and Roman Dressing. The salad was light fresh and terrific. For my entree I had the Grilled Sea Bream which was grilled perfectly and was wonderful. This is a beautiful room with outstanding food and service. It deserves a lot more recognition. I cant wait to return for dinner.
  • Post #3 - January 7th, 2011, 8:55 am
    Post #3 - January 7th, 2011, 8:55 am Post #3 - January 7th, 2011, 8:55 am
    I'd like to echo the strong positive comments. I've been there twice and have had excellent meals each time. Friends of ours live across the street, and they raved about it, so we all went. A great feel to the room, friendly staff, and superb food. One of my favs in Chicago.
  • Post #4 - June 18th, 2012, 10:56 am
    Post #4 - June 18th, 2012, 10:56 am Post #4 - June 18th, 2012, 10:56 am
    We went there this weekend for lunch (it was for about 20 people to celebrate my brother and new sister-n-law's marriage), and it was pretty amazing, actually. We had a choice of 3 things for both apps and the main course, although my wife and I split both to try more things. The homemade pasta primi was just spectacular, and the shrimp, oranges and arugula salad was also very well done. My risotto secundi was equally amazing, and the pedestrian sounding roasted chicken with cabbage and mushrooms was really nicely flavored. All in all one of the best italian meals I have had here in Chicago. This place is definitely under the radar, at least from what I have heard (or not heard) prior to now.
    "My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people."

    -Orson Welles-
  • Post #5 - June 18th, 2012, 4:46 pm
    Post #5 - June 18th, 2012, 4:46 pm Post #5 - June 18th, 2012, 4:46 pm
    I, too, will give this place a huge thumbs up. Went there once, a few years ago, and was blown away. Everything was fresh, delicious, and the opposite of pedestrian.
  • Post #6 - June 18th, 2012, 5:44 pm
    Post #6 - June 18th, 2012, 5:44 pm Post #6 - June 18th, 2012, 5:44 pm
    I've been there a number of times; sometimes it is on fire and wonderful and other times, it seems lackluster and pedestrian. I've concluded that it largely depends (not surprisingly) on the number of covers. In the Winter and late Fall/Spring, when the patio is not open, the food is spectacular. In the summer, when the outdoor patio is in full swing, I've found the kitchen to struggle and put forth mediocre food. But when they're on, they're ON. But I'd prefer the busiest days as the quality IMHO goes way down.
  • Post #7 - August 15th, 2022, 6:24 pm
    Post #7 - August 15th, 2022, 6:24 pm Post #7 - August 15th, 2022, 6:24 pm
    Our party of 4 had a horrible experience here last Saturday night.

    First, to be fair, the food was excellent, especially the cheese manicotti, the tonarelli with eggplant, the sea bream and the branzino.

    • We were charged for 4 sparkling waters when we only ordered 2.
    • We ordered two salads - one for each couple to share. However, unbeknownst to us, were served four full portions and were charged for the same.
    • We were offered cheese manicotti by our server, who strongly implied that they were on the house. We thought we’d be given one or two manicotti. However, the server brought us two portions of two manicotti each, and we later realized that they charged us for them despite the server’s representations
    • We did not raise any issues while we were in the restaurant because my wife insisted that we not make a scene in the quiet and elegant venue when we were with friends. However, my wife called the restaurant while we were driving home and the (supposed) proprietor was very argumentative but he said that he’d look into our complaints. He called my wife back today and refused to refund the disputed portion of the bill (about $100) and was very rude.

    Suffice it to say, we will never return to Pelago despite the quality of the food.
  • Post #8 - August 16th, 2022, 3:10 pm
    Post #8 - August 16th, 2022, 3:10 pm Post #8 - August 16th, 2022, 3:10 pm
    ld111134 wrote:Suffice it to say, we will never return to Pelago despite the quality of the food.

    Who could blame you? I'm incensed just reading your account. If that happened to me, I'd be exactly where you are . . . telling everyone I know and never going back. I guess it makes a strong case for raising the issues before you left the restaurant, though I agree with the approach you took on that, too. What a shame.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #9 - August 16th, 2022, 7:03 pm
    Post #9 - August 16th, 2022, 7:03 pm Post #9 - August 16th, 2022, 7:03 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    ld111134 wrote:Suffice it to say, we will never return to Pelago despite the quality of the food.

    Who could blame you? I'm incensed just reading your account. If that happened to me, I'd be exactly where you are . . . telling everyone I know and never going back. I guess it makes a strong case for raising the issues before you left the restaurant, though I agree with the approach you took on that, too. What a shame.

    =R=


    Thanks, Ronnie.

    I’ve posted the exact same review on Yelp - I gave Pelago one star because that’s the lowest rating that you can give. I noticed that Mauro, the owner’s, response to every bad review is to post a stream of sarcastic invective against the reviewer.

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