Chicago-Near North Side

4.4 / 5 4 / 5

May 11, 2018

What's in a name? The Ralph Lauren restaurant is all that you'd expect of such a place: it's classically, expensively American.

What’s in a name? The Ralph Lauren restaurant is all that you’d expect of such a place: it’s classically, expensively American. Located next door to the flagship Polo store, the designer’s first restaurant venture is understated in its glamour, and though it doesn’t shout, its whispers speak of money and luxury. There’s a small bar area at the front, complete with black marble fireplace and mahogany panelling (there’s a lot of mahogany on display it’s a recurring theme), while the main dining room in the back is a handsome space, all navy blue walls, leather and yes, you’ve guessed it – more mahogany. The look is one of a club-house, the clientele impeccably groomed and coiffed. Food-wise this place plays it safe, if anything it plays it too safe. The menu features lots of big, fresh salads and classic sandwiches for lunch with an array of reliable mains on the dinner menu, including Steak Diane, Lobster Bisque, Colorado Lamb Chops and an abundance of tempting seafood appetisers. Dessert follows in a similar fashion: Key Lime Pie, New York Cheesecake, there’s even Banana Split. The wine list is an epic document with a list of expensive reserve bottles if you want to push the boat out. The front bar serves a range of cocktails, classic American tipples predominating. Their Negronis and Old Fashioneds are beautifully executed and the service is predictably slick.