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Business Description
A meticulous touch went into the building at Merlo on Maple. You may notice when you walk in that it feels like a home in a time capsule, untouched by the surrounding city. We are extremely lucky to have this beautiful space on Maple. Whether you want a private, memorable evening for two or a merry night filled with wine and laughter with a group of friends or business associates, we are at your service.
BBB Rating
A+
BBB Rating and Accreditation information may be delayed up to a week.
Hours

Regular Hours

Payment method
all major credit cards, amex, master card, visa
Price Range
$$$
Neighborhoods
Central Chicago, Near North Side
Other Email

Categories
Italian Restaurants, Mediterranean Restaurants, Fine Dining Restaurants, Caterers, Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Street, Valet

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: No

Attire: Dressy

Good For Groups: Yes

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Cuisines: Fine Dining, Mediterranean, Caterers, Italian, European, Continental

Alcohol: Full Bar

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Pets Allowed: No

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Reviews

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MFoley

10/09/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Thieves, Thieves, Tramps and Thieves

How do you say ""shakedown artists"" in Italiano?

I booked a private party for a group of VIPs for my firm at Merlo on Maple. Having spoken to the catering manager of the restaurant more than ten times over a period of two months and exchanged confirming emails, when the guests arrived on the evening of the dinner, they were greeted with an extortion attempt. The host at the door stated, ""we will have to charge you a $500 room rental unless you change your wine selection to meet your guarantee.""

If you were a meeting planner who made every effort to ensure a top level dining experience, how would you like your guests to be greeted in such a manner? If meeting the guarantee was a legitimate concern, why didn't the catering manager discuss this matter with me before the event. It's completely unprofessional to conduct business in this manner.

Two words: Never again!!

dkcford

10/26/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Embarrassing

Took 3 out of town guest here on Friday night and I was embarrassed. This night was a disaster mostly due to a very bad waiter, who did not listen, ignored us, continued to push food that we did not want. We waited sipping water for 45 minutes and finally had to ask again for the bottle of wine that we ordered and if we could have bread while we waited to order. The fish special tasted very fishy (not fresh) and when I told the waiter he argued instead of listening. I could go on and on. Just do not go to Merlot. The attitude and food quality is bad. This is a tragedy for such a lovely building and dining space. Interior beauty cannot not make up for bad service and food.

vittoriop

10/19/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Best Italian Restaurant in Chicago period.

I'm Italian, I lived 33 years in Italy. This is (at last!) an authentic Italian restaurant.
Food is excellent. They also import fresh things from Italy.
I've ever had good service, the guys complaining were probably unlucky.
The owners are really passionate Italians, she is the cook. Talk with the owner, ask him how come many of the VIPs that go there are not exposed in pictures like in other restaurant. A classy place.
I've even been there for Valentine, the 80$ dinner was excellent.
It is not cheap (nor too expensive) but it worths every cent.

macjcg

08/24/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Not enough good seating

We did get the window seat we requested as it is the only place to set with any degree of ambiance. From there all down hill. Rissoto expensive and disappointing. I have enjoyed rissoto more at other Italian eateries for half the price and twice the quality. It was sticky and quite tasteless. We asked the waiter to reccomend a wine in keeping with our pasta entrees - also disappointing. Upon leaving we we were given a written narrative on the wine - nice thought however it is not reccomended for pasta - to pricey for a basic Italian eatery in Chicago.

tonyjfly

12/11/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Avoid Anytime

We were a party of four that was seated upstairs. The dining room was uncomfortably warm and very far from romantic!. The service was slow, unattentive and unprofessional. Our waiter was very slow to bring our wine selection and then spilled the wine on the menus and the table when pouring it into everyone's glass. He did this each time he poured. The food was very slow being served and when we wanted to order a second bottle of wine I had to get up from the table and look for our server. Mind you we were drinking $100 to $160 per bottle wines. The ""homemade"" pasta was served in a clump that I could pick up in its entirety with my fork, so it was necessary to cut bite size ""pieces"" from the clump. Finally the ""complimentary"" after diner liquor drink was spilled on one our parties sport coat to end our evening. There are many other better Italian resturants in the area that I would pick over this place. Not worth the trouble!

sblt

12/07/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
very so-so

We are 4 women looking for a fun restaurant with tasty food. Found neither here. First, we were seated in a dull room with kitchen noise behind draped door. Our waiter was preoccupied with others and unfriendly even tho we remained smiling and jovial. We did ask to be moved and got the front room on 2nd floor. This was better. Menu-not very interesting. If you like veal and rabbit, you'll like it. Waiter-not attentive. Food- came covered with silver dome (thought that was cool) but when uncovered, only a plop of pasta which wasn't even hot. NO presentation what so ever! Glad to check this restaurant off our list.

yan55555

10/28/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
**NEGATIVE FIVE STARS, SAVE YOUR MONEY AND DINING EXPERIENCE**

This was by far THE WORST RESTAURANT experience I have ever had.

Waiters were switched without notification, the appetizer arrived before my beer did. I was served Rare meat instead of Well Done, my date was served uncooked Chocchi. Manager came by our table and said he will take care of everything. My date got the remaining 8 pieces of her Gnocchi cooked, my steak was never served to me. I ended up paying a $100 for the WORST RESTAURANT EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. I was HUNGRY/UPSET/EMBARRASED in front of my date this is the place I decided to take her to

Keep in mind I made this story as short as possible.

If you have any further questions about the place, I will gladly go even further into the details, please do not hesitate to e-mail me at yan55555@yahoo

travelchick4

02/22/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Wonderfuly quaint atmosphere!

This was some of the best Italian food I have ever had!! The ambiance is fantastic - romantic if you want, but also great for a nice family dinner out. Being able to eat in a townhouse/brownstone in Chicago contributed to a relaxing evening with great food in a great setting. Try it!!

agcobg

07/09/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
User review by agcobg

I don't know where the bad reviewers ate but we love good food and felt the meal we had at Merlo was one of the best Italian meals we have had anywhere. The service was outstanding and the food and wine were superb

morad

05/01/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Pretentious without reason!!!

My wife and I had high hopes for our dinner date at Merlo on Maple, We were placed in a cold corner in the basement section of the restaurant, Music was being played out of a boom box in the corner, The server was friendly but not well informed about the meals, My entree was undercooked my wife's was so spicey that she could not finish it.
We happily skipped the after dinner and payed the unreasonably hefty bill and got out.
We will not be back!!!!!

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