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December 30, 2008

Tavern at the Park

by gastronomicbypass

Location – 130 E. Randolph (Randolph and Michigan)

In one word – Attentive

Food – I’d dub the menu as “upscale bar cuisine.” You have your fish and chips (made with tilapia) and the chopped steak cheeseburger. Upon a raving recommendation by a frequent diner, I decided to partake in TATP’s equivalent of sliders – “Tavern Teasers, ” where you can choose from Carolina pork, sirloin and/or prime rib. These sliders are served with shoe string fries. Maybe I wasn’t hungry enough, but I didn’t think it was worth all the hype. The bun was soggy with the Carolina pork and my sirloin was a bit too rare for my taste. I barely made a dent in the dish.  My eating partner chose the special, a steak with bleu cheese. He polished that off, but didn’t seem so wowed by the dish.

Drink – I had a glass of the pinot grigio, which was affordable and tasty.

Service – When I walked in, I made a joke to the host at the front of the restaurant.  And he laughed at my joke.  Automatic points when you laugh at my humor.  My only qualm was that at the table, my water glass had lipstick on it.  Once I told our server, he was quick to replace it and apologized profusely.  The service, otherwise, was uber attentive.  Over the course of the meal, I was asked twice by the manager how the meal was.  And the server continually came over to check on us.

Scene – It’s a little stuffy here.  I think it’s a frequent haunt for those who work in the Aon building, so you feel very corporate here.  I think it’s a good place to bring a client for lunch.  They have a private dining area if you have a larger group to entertain.

Dress – Because of the corporate vibe, you kind of should look the part.  I wouldn’t come here in jeans.  Dress in business casual at a minimum.

Cost – We split the bill and paid $34.50 each for food, drink, tax and tip.  Given that I barely ate my meal, it wasn’t worth the cost for me.  Given that my eating partner had a steak, the place was a bargain.

If you like, try…Harry Caray’s


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