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General Info
TRU is a full-service restaurant that offers a variety of food items and beverages. In addition to soups, salads, appetizers and steaks, it serves beef tartare, stripped bass, olive oil-poached salmon, shrimp cocktail, oysters Rockefeller, potato gnocchi, king crab legs, Hawaiian blue prawns and lobster tails. TRU additionally offers a selection of desserts that include grapefruit sorbet, Greek yogurt, ice cream, hot chocolate and chocolate truffles. It provides various wines, such as pinot noir, cabernet, zinfandel, merlot, shiraz and chardonnay. The restaurant offers banquet and catering services for special events and private parties. TRU provides gift certificates, as well as organizes wine tasting events.
Hours

Regular Hours

Extra Phones

Phone: (312) 488-2488

Primary Phone: (312) 488-2488

Fax: (312) 202-0003

Payment method
carte blanche, all major credit cards, amex, diners club, discover, master card, visa
Price Range
$$$$
Location
Arkes Family Pavilion
Neighborhoods
Central Chicago, Near North Side, Streeterville
Categories
French Restaurants, Fine Dining Restaurants, American Restaurants, Italian Restaurants, Family Style Restaurants, Caterers, Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Valet

Wi-Fi: No

Bike Parking: No

Attire: Formal (Jacket Required), Formal

Good For Family: Yes

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Cuisines: Fine Dining, Caterers, Family Style, American, French, Italian, European, Continental

Alcohol: No, Full Bar, Wine

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: No

Good for Kids: Yes

Good For Groups: Yes

COUPONS & DEALS

No coupons available

Reviews

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dj krug

05/31/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
STILL GLOWING CAN""T WAIT TO DO IT AGAIN

We selected Tru for a 29th wedding anniversary night out on our recent trip to Chicago .We didn't know exactly what to expect but decided to give it a try and are we glad we did!! It was an exquisite dining experience the food oh my the food I can still taste the lavender infused pea soup and all the other tastings were equally memorable. The service was absolutely impeccable, they managed to convey enthusiasm in their presentation and a sincere interest in making sure.you enjoyed your total experience. the wine pairings were Delicious and the extras like pastries for the next morning were a very thoughtful surprise! We also ate at charlie trotters and we were VERY disappointed but that's another review.although we'll never eat at ct again we will DINE at TRU again and have recommended it to all our interested friends.Thanks to all the staff at TRU for a fantastic experience ,you made our trip and we ""ll see you again the next time we come to Chicago.

Alex Rush

12/06/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Bad Overall Experience

Our evening started out bad when we were sat in the corner by the windows which were leaking cold air all night. I had to ask twice before anyone did anything to raise the heat and it took about an hour for us to start feeling warmer. We also did not receive our initial drinks for about 25 minutes. Also, apparantly the drink I ordered was $51,00 each and I had 2 but was never initially told about the price. I started out with the Seared Foie Gras and it was the worst I ever had. It was rubbery on the outside and cold and runny on the inside. In fact I had to cut it with a knife and could not really eat it. Then I had the venison for my mane dish and my wife had the jidori chicken. Both were unimpressive and the chicken was extremely bland. We also had a hard time understanding our wait staff. I have eaten at many top restaurants throughout the country and this was by far at the bottom of my overall list. Very expensive for an overall poor experience. You can pick from a host of other great restaurants to experience a great meal!

ymw

08/30/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Good food; stiff atmosphere

The food was lovely but the portions very small and the prices very high. The atmosphere was stiff. When we arrived, we had a hard time getting anyone to acknowledge our presence, offer us a cocktail or give us a menu. In fairness, the service improved as the evening went on. Bottom line: great food in a sterile atmoshpere.

crazypoodle

05/31/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
expensive, disappointing food without flavor

The food a Tru was truly a let down. The food was interestingly presented but there was a distinct lack of flavor in most dishes, especially considering the $110 cost of the basic tasting menu without wine. Even worse, everyone was still not really full because of the exceptionally small portions, even for this type of dining. The best dishes were fresh sushi fish pieces and the cheese, which is source externally. The jacket required attitude reflects that the old school attitude towards food that may once have been great. The service was excellent though.

nyc2chicago

03/30/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
The Emperor's New Restaurant?

Wow--my husband and I couldn't believe our good fortune getting a table at what is supposedly one of the best restaurants in Chicago. It was our first dining experience in Chicago after moving here from New York. We both LOVE amazing dining experiences, but this one was TOTALLY off the mark.

The evening we went was cold--it was snowing and blustery. The appetizers and the ""amuse bouche"" that came out were all tiny, cold little blobs of what I can only describe as tasteless gelatin. The rest of the meal was also very disappointing, and the service, which has been described here as impeccable, was actually comical, as you could almost see the two waiters who were synchronized in removing and setting plates on the table counting as they did so--very stilted--it made us both uncomfortable.

Having spend $700 on our meal, we thought we would have one of the most memorable evenings of our lives. Four months later, I'm still fuming at the amount of money we spent at a restaurant that obviously is resting on its laurels (we were told Rick Tramonto no longer works at the restaurant, and that a new chef has taken his place).

We were sorely disappointed.

SBIELLER

02/17/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Over priced and under food restaurant

After reading the reviews, and achieving a reservation on a Saturday night, we were excited about the opportunity to eat at one of Chicago?s finest restaurants. We were well aware of the price points and fully expected the evening was going to be a $500 night. Upon arrival, Tru is everything you expect it to be. The ambiance is extraordinary, the service is impeccable, and the wine list is impressive. We selected the chef?s selection for our dinner and two medium priced Bordeaux?s. When the food started to arrive we began to realize Tru is much like the commercial where the people eat at a great restaurant, then have to purchase food for the way home as they are still hungry. There was not a single portion served that was over 2 ounces, none of it was hot, and every course was delivered on a plate that dwarfed the dish. Even the ?Main Course? of Salmon and Venison were each less than 2 ounces. The food tasted exceptional, and clearly the chef is a magician blending taste together that is unexpected, and wonderful. But at the end of the night and $700, we remained hungry. Tru is a place to be seen and enjoy some fabulous tastes, but if you are hungry and expect a meal, you are at the wrong place.

margolis

01/31/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Run, don't walk, to Tru for special occasions or when you don't mind paying to be pampered and taste

The entire staff makes you feel welcome and pampered with their warm, efficient service. It is highly unusual that every member of a restaurant staff is superb, but Tru manages to deliver that. The valet was friendly and courteous. The hostess/coat check girl was a smiling bit of welcome who ushered us into Tru's zen-like dining room. The banquette was comfy and luxuriously upholstered. The fine modern art on the walls was a sight to behold. The captain truly run s a tight ship. Your water glass will never even approach empty, let alone half-full. Elana (sp?), the sommelier is knowledgeable and friendly. She is a pleasant departure from the usual stuffy, pretentious sommeliers one encounters when fine-dining. She chose a Cabernet for us that was sublime. The wait staff was very warm and extremely efficient. As for the food, we chose the $95 three course Prix Fixe option. It is actually more than three courses. Every time we thought we had a respite, they brought us another culinary wonder. The cuisines spanned the gamut from melt-in-your-mouth to a party on your tongue. The lobster bisque was extraordinary. Tru's food is fun and delicious which is what truly fine food should be. The pop rocks in one of the treats they brought to us put a smile on our faces. The cheese course was outstanding. My chocoholic self favored the candy cart at the end of our dinner. The captain handed us caramel chocolate truffle suckers that were amazing. Holy Toledo! Gale Gand's sweet-making talent is unsurpassed. The tiny ice cream sandwiches are to die for. It is true that Tru is a serious investment. By the time we paid for our meals, beverages, tip, and valet, we were out $450, but it was worth every penny and we've had higher tabs. We will definitely return. If you seek a special occasion experience (saw lots of birthday celebrations going on) or are fortunate enough to be in a position to dine here on a regular day, run, don't walk. Tru is an experience not to be missed.

jenjordan75

09/16/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
for a TRUly memorable evening

I cannot say enough wonderful things about this restaurant. In fact, to even call it a restaurant is like calling the Mona Lisa a painting or the Grand Canyon a big hole. It has everything - high-quality, well thought out preparations, class, decor (including amazing art), expertly-trained serving staff, etc. etc. I will be honest and say I have had better food in my life (at least for the appetizer and entree. I have NEVER had better desserts. Pastry chef, Gail Gand is a sweet genius. And I don't even ""like sweets""!). But the entire package is unsupassed. The price tag is considerable for the average diner but well worth it. I would eat frozen vegatables and eggs for a month straight to go there again. It is a place where dining is considered an art form. The staff took such care in our experience. For example, it was my dining companion's 60th birthday and besides the candle and birthday note in chocolate at the end of our meal, they presented us with personalized menus, wishing him a happy Birthday. He was fully stunned! Our waiters were so well-trained (but I think I said that already...). I also admire the layout of the room. Tru could easily fit a few extra tables in there and increase the headcount by 10 or 15/night. But instead they allow the diners plenty of room and privacy to enjoy the meal in the beautiful surroundings. Ah - and one last note. THey are one of the few restaurants that offer TRUly gender egalitarian service. My male dining companion and I were always served at the EXACT SAME TIME (including the water). I was even the wine taster. Thank goodness for dining in the 21st Century!

If you have a special occasion coming up or just want to experience a meal in a way that counters the ""stuff yourself"" mentality that dining in America has sadly become, I recommend that you go to Tru. I admit that the meal would not be appreciated by someone who prefers more hefty flavors and portions. But for those who see dining as art, Tru is the place to go.

mindthegap76

05/20/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Overrated food and oppressive service

I have been using this site for years, but this is the first time I have been motivated to post a review.

Food: Mostly unimpressive. While hardly a die-hard foody, I've been to a fair number of high end restaurants in Chicago across a range of price levels. The food at TRU, while appealingly presented, was almost uniformly disappointing. At this level of price and sophistication, I expect food that is not only well-prepared but also interesting to eat. Of the 9 courses, only a small handful met the latter goal, and shockingly, a few even failed the former. Emblematic was a lobster dish smothered in some sort of broth that rendered the entire course a monochrome of bland.

Service: Obnoxious. A stark contrast to the warm service I have received at other high (and low!) end restaurants, the staff at TRU was cold and seethed with a sense superiority. I constantly felt like I was being judged as a diner. For example, waiters repeatedly stopped by the table to adjust wine glasses so that they were perfectly in line. In one particularly irritating display of condescension, a drop of wine rolled down the side of my glass onto the tablecloth. The waiter who came by to micromanage my glasses glared at the spot with disdain. He returned a few minutes later and?while I was eating!?lifted up my plate to put a napkin over the spot in the manner of putting a piece of newspaper over doggy doo on the carpet.

Overall: Based on the food alone, I would have given the restaurant three stars. But the offputting service and exorbitant prices have resulted in an overall ""Not Recommended"" review. Shortly after my visit, a friend went for a business dinner and had similar comments. I now warn away anyone I can.

Alternate suggestions: For about the same price, Moto is a much better way to spend your time. For less than half the price, Spring does a wonderful tasting menu.

la_chi_love

03/21/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Chicago Fine Dining: A Tru Story

Of all the restaurants in this city and elsewhere around the world. I have encountered nothing that has swayed me away from Tru being my favorite. The service is amazing. Everything is done like a dance. I recall once, someone in my party mumbling about her lack of reading glasses- and as soon as she turned her head, someone was there on knee with a box of reading glasses at her disposal. I've always done the 9 course spontaneous menu and was ALWAYS beyond please. The portions are perfect, though the cheese course is usually when the stomach signals the ""Help! I'm getting too full for my own good and there's not even chocolate in here yet!"" alert. Each experience here doesn't even take away from the last. Everyone I have brought here from the West Coast to Europe has declared it their favorite restaurant- and they're no strangers to fine dining, either. Some are saying it's too expensive, but honestly- especially at my age and being close to broke myself, it's definitely worth it. There are only a handful of uber-fine dining experiences that are offered in Chicago and this one's up at the top. So if you stop busting your brains about the pricey bill- which I think you should know about before you even enter- and let Tru's impeccable service and kitchen work their whimsical magic, you might actually enjoy yourself...a lot.

insun

03/02/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
A Truly Unique Dining Experience

My experience at TRU was a once in lifetime expereince. To start, the wine selection was astounding, and, among other delicious wines, we had a 1990 Clois de Papes that was a wondering pairing with the beautiful and exquisite dishes that we had that evening. It was also refreshing to note that TRU had an extensive array of dessert wine as well. The presentation was beyond mystical and beautiful, and was a perfect accompanyment to the delicious fare. The service was fabulous, and the waiters seemed to know a great deal about the food its preparation, and explained the food & sauce preparation when we complimented a specific dish. There was one dish that we all found to be a bit salty, an oil poached salmon (although the white bean mousse it came with was like a silky cloud), and when my father noted that to one of our waiters. I was afraid of his reaction, as constructive criticism and fine dining do not usually go hand in hand, however, the waiter was extremely gracious, and genuinely seemed to welcome any input and comment to the food. He said that he would relay our comments to the kitchen. This was significant in that although it was a haute cuisine restaurant, it was open to suggestions and comments. Let's face it- we all need a little feedback now and then, and TRU's open and humble attitude was genuine and refreshing. My father's comment was true- a fish as rich as salmon does not need to be poached in oil to make it delicious- the texture was chewy and unpleasant, and the flavor was salty. The rest of the dishes were exquisite. It was a great experience, and the restaurant lives up to its reputation. The expereince did not end with the evening, as they gave us a delicious banana bread to enjoy the next morning for breakfast. TIP: This is not a place for the faint hearted- be prepared for a six hour assault to all five senses! My husband & family enjoyed TRU beyond words. P.S. My sister and I loved Gale Gand's Food Network show ""Sweet Dreams.""

sedler948

02/21/2007

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Management isn't hungry any more.

My husband always treats me to an extraordinary restaurant for our anniversary and my birthday. After experiencing Charlie Trotters, Everest, Trio, and Avenues, I looked forward to Tru.

After we were into the first course, another patron wearing far too much scent was seated near me. I could no longer taste my food due to the perfume. I saw no open tables, so I just dealt with it.

When I got home, I emailed customer service suggesting that the staff be trained to seat people wearing obvious scent in a designated area as I was sure that the staff had been trained not to wear scent. I did not ask for anything but acknowledgement of my idea.

I have yet to hear from anyone at Tru. This was nearly a year ago. Tru will not see me again.

We had the tasting menu. The courses that I could taste were good. The staff is a bit pompous. The atmosphere is a proper setting.

Spend your money with Charlie Trotter or Avenues. Those establishments care about their patrons.

nostromo53

12/20/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Art food with a sense of humor.

In two words: Utterly delightful.

Briefly, Tru is not for those whose idea of food is narrowly defined, or for those who are not adventurous - both with flavors, textures AND appearances. If you have issues with eating something you don't recognize, Tru may not be for you.

Service was, at first, a bit stiff, but my wife and I enjoy getting wait staff to loosen up. There were several attending us who played along quite nicely.

On to the food. After a couple of ""amuse bouche"" items, we selected the ""Chef's Collection"" degustation. It's about 9-11 small plates.

Each course was amazing. In many of the courses, textures and flavors changed from bite to bite. There were no sharp, intrusive flavors - just subtle and elegant ones. There were flavors and textures that I experienced for the first time. There were some outrageous combinations, like venison and ginger snaps, which I ended up giggling about - and loving! One of the descriptions of Tru includes the idea of whimsey. While many of the presentations are indeed whimsical, the description applies far more to the flavors you experience. With some of the courses, the flavors were just insane. High art [food] with a wry, subtle sense of humor.

We ordered two wines - one half bottle of Champaign for the first part, and a full bottle of a Chateauneuf du Pape for the second part.

Our dinner lasted from 6:15pm-11:00pm. The bill? A LOT.

Was it worth it? Yep.

Three small minor nits:

1. If you're going to outfit your wait staff in suits - please make sure the suits all fit. One of the attendants' jacket had the sleeves up over his knuckles.

2. The use of emulsions/foam is becoming a little overdone at high end restaurants, and I certainly wouldn't mind it going away - or being used a lot more sparingly.

3. The menu that was mailed to us several days later was full of spelling errors. Spellchecker anyone?

amyyount

10/22/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
A wonderfully memorable experience!

Everything about this restaurant was fabulous! The food was so good, we didn't mind the price at all. It was worth it! We got the Chef's tasting-amazing! The service is amazing! This is a great place to go for a special occasion such as a wedding anniversary.

dondattabiggy

10/21/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Excellent atmosphere and food

Order the Black Truffle Lobster Risoto, order the Australian Lamb. This place has incredible service, definitely the best place in Chicago.

starchyarchy

08/09/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Tru without the commitment

A new 9-table Salon lets you sample the ambiance, coordinated service, and ingenious creations without dropping $110-$135 a person on three hours of degustation antics.

Its five caviar offerings and five savory ones start at $12. Theyre tiny in size but huge in creativity and quality. Four tiny sandwiches--maybe 2 inches across--included one of butter-poached lobster with mango on a tiny brioche; another was filled with chile-spiced peeky-toe crab. They came with a salad of lambs-tongue lettuce, each tiny but flavorful leaf seemingly brushed individually with a few molecules of dressing. I dont know if its the superior ingredients or the ingenious combinations and gifted cookery, but an eye dropper of food here seems to pack as much flavor and more pure pleasure than a ladleful elsewhere.

Its obviously not the amount of food that makes this place so special, but the careful hunting out of extraordinary ingredients and the specialized talent that delivers so much pleasure. Nowhere is that more obvious than in the $36 slow-poached egg. Its cooked for 90 minutes to develop a unique consistency, then added to a cream-and-Champagne sauce with 1/8-inch croutons that crunch and simplicity to contrast with the smooth, rich sauce and delicate osetra caviar. The salty roe, sinfully-rich cream, unctuous egg, and elemental bread each makes its own statement to the delight of your taste buds.

bravokb

06/23/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
That special evening

This is a very special place. I have dined in MANY highly rated expensive places in Chicago and elsewhere--and this is really an event. The dining room is austere, but beautiful-the focus is clearly on the food, and the service--RIDICULOUS.

If you can afford this-make it your night out. My date and I had the chef's market--a seven course extravangnza with wine--WOW!!!

deubler

06/09/2006

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Kitchen staff needs lots of training

After my one and only dinner experience at Tru, I'm baffled how it managed to receive so many positive reviews. My wife and I both had the three course menu which offers about 8 choices per course. On paper, many dishes sounded tempting.

The amuse bouche was a selection of small tasters, e.g. a little braised beef or a soup in shooter glass. Nothing was bad but nothing was good either, I certainly wouldn't have wanted more of anything from the selection. All in all a very, very average greeting from the kitchen.

From then on things only got worse. The black truffle and lobster risotto was a nightmare, the rice kernels were completely overcooked and mushy and had the size of a small pea. I've had black truffles many times in the past and I can guarantee that as hard as I tried to find it, there was absolutely no taste of of them in this mush. The lobster part of the dish consisted of a few slivers of very overcooked meat. Overall it tasted like a very bad tomato risotto.

Main course was black-striped seabass with foie gras. Again, the fish was completely overcooked and bone dry as was the foie gras which should be crisp on the outside and moist and tender in the inside.

Desserts were OK, not great. Service was fine if a little pretensious, the synchronized water pouring is simply ridiculous. The wine list is impressive if you're a label drinker, just buy anything which has a high Parker rating and in as many vintages as possible. With that method, my teetoller spinster aunt could do the same job as the sommeliers.

The couple running Tru must have some talent to have gained their excellent reputation but apparently they weren't working on the day of my dinner. In any case their chefs are completely incapable of producing anything even close to a decent meal. I was expecting a 2 Michelin star/18 Gault Millau points experience. In reality, for the meal we were served, they'd be lucky to get 11 points from GM.

I've been to many one, two and three Michelin star restaurants in Europe, many which were less expensive than Tru and the level of cooking skills displayed in all of them was universes away from what Tru had to offer. I wouldn't return to Tru, if dinner were free, it was that bad.

chicagocouple

08/15/2005

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
The Best of Chicago

This dining experience is absolutely outstanding. Chef Tramonto's Collection is definitely recommended. From the Crenshaw Melon-Basil juice to the Osetra Caviar staircase - this is just the beginning of an evening to remember. The Poached Maine Lobster Risotto is definitely a must have. The service is impectable - very attentive - present for every request before one even thinks to ask. Each course is perfectly orchestrated...every morsel a work of art. Excutive Pastry Chef Gale Gand's dessert The art collection brings even more to the atmosphere from Andy Warhol's Marilyn to Yves Klein's Venus Bleuse - Tru brings together an experience that is delectable , unique, and worth every penny.

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