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Best Chicago Restaurants: Girl’s Night at Cafe Robey

Tempura fried shrimp, arugula pistou, cauliflower, Fresno chilis, peanuts, crunchy quinoi, baby greens

With so many fantastic restaurants in Chicago, especially in Wicker Park, it can be a challenge to stand out as one of the best. 

Café Robey situated inside the Robey Hotel is a standout in my opinion.  I recently enjoyed a much-needed girls night there with my friend April a.k.a The Tipsy Housewife.  It was the perfect spot. When it comes to Girl’s Night, the place is almost as important as the company, lol. It’s not something that happens weekly so we choose our places wisely.

Cafe Robey checks all the boxes for food, atmosphere, wine, and excellent service.  Our server was not only a conversationalist; he was also knowledgeable and excited about the menu and recommendations.  The icing on the cake was The Up Room, a cocktail lounge located on the rooftop of the hotel.  It was the perfect way to end a fantastic dinner!

Inside of Cafe Robey's dining area
Cafe Robey Dining Room

I find it humorous that I’ve been introduced to yet another fabulous restaurant located inside of a hotel within a few months span since I’ve stated maybe too loudly in the past that I avoid all restaurants located in hotels because of past experiences with overpriced and underwhelming food. I was first blown away by Chef Caray of The Ashburn located inside of Loews Hotel O’Hare. Therefore, I’m developing a more open mind; perhaps some of the best Chicago restaurants are inside of hotels.

Two women enjoying wine at Cafey Robey restaurant
Girl’s Night

Location

The Wicker Park neighborhood is a great destination for delicious food in Chicago! The Modern American fare restaurant sits at the famous 6 section intersection that gives me a pinch of anxiety every time I drive through it because you can bet your life I will misread the signs yet again and go down the wrong street. I think I’ve gotten it right once, lol.

Ambiance

The stunning interior and intimate lighting inside the cozy space is pleasing to the eyes and relaxing. I was glad that I dressed up! In addition, the seating is oh so comfortable, I swiftly melted into it. Adding wine to this formula made for animated and natural conversation which is what girls’ night should be; real and raw dialogue sharing all of who did or said what to you with your friends and enjoying the moment. We covered everything under the sun; business, loss, religion, family, foolishness, you name it! I intend on introducing more of my girlfriends to this place.

Wine Specials

I recommend ordering a bottle of wine as the restaurant offers a nice variety of reds and whites. In addition, Monday through Thursday you can get full bottles of wine for ½ off. Good incentive to go out for a drink during the week. Our waiter recommended two different bottles for us and though we relished them both, the O.P.P made us stop in our tracks. I’ll be getting that every time.

Monday-Thursday all bottles of wine are half-off!

Menu Offerings

Braised Pork Belly: 5-min egg, piccalilli mustard, paratha bread, ale pork jus, bibb lettuce, Uplands cheese foam
Pork Belly

We ate a large portion off the menu and loved every minute of it.  I’m more apt to remember everything I ate over everything we talked about, especially over 2 bottles of wine. 

Porchini Pappadelle: braised oxtail, glazed mushrooms, creme fraiche, lemon zest, herbs
Porchini Pappadelle

Some of the highlights from the evening were the tempura fried shrimp, it’s always a risk for me to eat anything fried since it usually doesn’t sit well with me, however, the shrimp was so light. It didn’t bother me one bit.  The porchini pappadelle was another favorite.  I savored the flavor of the rich gravy over the perfectly cooked pasta.  The dill gave it a nice refreshing balance.  The seared scallops and beef tartar were my other 2 favorites.  Cafe Robey ranks as one of the best restaurants in Chicago for beef tartar in my opinion, it was definitely the best I’ve had so far.

Seared sea scallops, English pea romesca, potato fondant, fried garlic scrapes, Aleppo chili, Boquerones, pea tendrils
Seared Sea Scallops

The ganache for dessert was the perfect ending to an incredible meal.  I’m not big on overly sweet desserts so this was a good option for me. Loved it!

Beef Tartar:  Diced New York Strip, Stout Gougeres, blue cheese, arugula, seared pearl onions, cherry tomatoes, potato chips
Beef Tartar
Dark chocolate ganach, cookie crumbs, honeycomb, strawberries, almond tuile, vanilla ice cream
Dark Chocolate Ganache

After our fantastic meal, we headed upstairs to the UP Room for a cocktail. The lounge is on the 13th floor of the Robey Hotel.  I had no idea what to expect and was beyond impressed by this discovery.  This rooftop lounge has a spectacular view of the city, so anyone looking for a special night out in Chicago should check it out.

Final Thoughts

Cafe Robey is one of the best choices for restaurants in Chicago when you want the whole package. Hence, I see many girls nights here in my future as well a few date nights with the hubby.

The Up Room Cocktail Lounge on the 13th floor of the Robey hotel
The Up Room
Wine at the Up Room cocktail lounge
The Up Room Cocktail Lounge
Two women toasting at Cafe Robey restaurant
Wine and Conversation at Cafe Robey

Although April and I were hosted for dinner by Cafe Robey, we formed our own opinions and recommendations after an incredible dinner. As a result, I’ll be returning in the near future.

Looking for more casual eating in Chicago? Check out my list for the best spots for fast casual in the Loop.

3 Comments

  1. Lana says

    It looks fabulous! I’m in, trying it on next night out with whomever and whenever!!!!

  2. Pingback: Dinner and a Show at The Promontory : Flo's Favorites

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