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April 2, 2008

Room 21

by gastronomicbypass

Location – 2110 S. Wabash (21st and Wabash)

In one word – Tease

Food – I saw the menu for this restaurant a while ago and got slack for thinking the offerings looked like a hotel buffet line. Unfortunately this gut reaction was correct. The food at Room 21 was that of a hotel buffet line…at best. We started with the spinach artichoke dip, it was heavy and creamy. The dip was served with chips that were far too thin to hold such a heavy dip. We later found out that this item was being removed from the menu very soon. We then sampled the spicy calamari. Not so spicy, not so good. An eating partner and I shared the burger with cheddar and bacon. It came out without the cheddar or bacon. No good in my mind. My other eating partner had the vegetable risotto. It was too creamy for our taste, more creamy than risotto ought to be. Finally we had the cardamom doughnuts, which for me, was the highlight. Fried dough with sugar, it would be kind of sad if they messed that up.

Drink – I’m just getting over the flu, so I had to stick with water. But, there seemed to be an assortment of cocktails to sample.

Service – Another low point of the night. At first, I found the service strangely aggressive. I asked what was good. The items were shouted at me. Our server was visibly irked by the way we were ordering and that we weren’t ordering cocktails. When our burger was done incorrectly, we told him we didn’t want another burger with bacon and cheddar. By that point we were over the idea of burger, we weren’t going to eat it either way. He managed to do this uncomfortable avoidance for the latter part of the meal. It wasremeniscant of my Crust experience. When we finally got his attention, he told us he would comp one (“JUST ONE,” he shouted) dessert for us. And then when we got the bill, that burger which was wrong was on our bill. Now that ain’t right. Luckily for us, the manager, Brittany, came by to ask about our meal. We were honest about the experience. She comped both the burger and the spinach artichoke dip for us. And, she was truly listening to our feedback. She said that the restaurant is now under new management and was in a period of transition. Maybe things will turn around in terms of food and service in a couple of months.

Scene – The place is really fun! This was the high point of the experience. There’s an outdoor patio and the inside is like a tolerableLas Vegas (that’s a compliment). We thought overall the place was a tease – it dressed up all nice but at the end of the night didn’t even give us a piece of bacon.

Dress – We went on Wednesday straight from work. We were fine in our attire, though you can dress up more if you’d like.

Cost – Well we had no cocktails and got the dessert, burger and dip comped. With that, we spent $36 for three. I think our real bill would have brought us to about $60 for three.

If you like (or want something better), try… Grand Luxe Cafe (I’m serious)

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