Those of you who read my reviews regularly may recall that when I reviewed “The Assassination Theater”, I mentioned he street level dining spot that I discovered that night. A cute place called The Tortoise Club”. It s a supper club atmosphere that is filled with items and stories that represent Chicago’s past. With its dark wood and rooms that are both public and private and a nice sized bar area, where live music takes place on the week-ends, it is truly he menu that makes this “club” one you will want to join! Just kidding about that pat, it is NOT a private, membership “club”, just a very friendly dining spot with great food and a wait staff that is there to serve you! They enjoy their careers and know their menu.
As always, when Jane and I opt to taste the menu of a new dining spot, in order to try as many items as possible without waste, we bring other diners with us. Once again, Alan and Vickie were our dining companions. We drove up to this now familiar spot located at 350 North State Street in Chicago and had our car taken by the valet parking service. We then entered the restaurant walking past those who were dining on the patio. The foyer was nicely appointed with the bar to our right and directly through the portals, a large dining room that led to the back of the restaurant where we entered what appeared to be a more private area with several white clothed tables and booths. The walls are lined with artwork, caricatures that depict people from Chicago’s past. Our waiter, Chime, a delightful and very knowledgeable “service professional” introduced himself to us and went over some special drink options. While the drink order was being done, his assistant brought us some very thin flatbread that was delicious.
We began our dining experience with the relish tray, Pickled beets, Roasted Peppers, bread & butter pickles, and assorted olives. This platter was more than ample for the fur of us. We then shared a wonderful House Smoked Salmon platter with sliced eggs, cucumbers, capers, and cream cheese and rye bagel slices. Our other Hors D’oeuvre was the Ahi Tuna Tartare served with a spicy rice crisp that was divine. While they have some delicious looking salads that we watched being brought to other diners, we opted to go straight to our dinners. We decided to order as our main dishes the Skirt Steak with grilled onions and the Lake Superior Whitefish with a herb Dijon crust and fingerling potatoes and asparagus. We added to that an order of their Spinach with garlic & parmesan and their special Kansas City Style BBQ ribs with a sumptuous dill potato salad and a few ears of corn just to make one feel that they had stood over the grill.
There are so many items on this menu that sound so tasty, I know that we will return for more. For desert, we ordered their famous Tortoise Pie (chocolate custard, candied walnuts,bourbon-caramel Sauce and whipped cram)MMMMM and the Ginger-Lemongrass CremeBrulee’ YUM! Also, consider the “root beer float” “to die for!”. They have a full wine list with a huge selection and some very fancy specialty cocktails, moderately priced. Portions at The Tortoise Club are wonderful! And their kitchen never failed to please our palates. Chime and company also were “Johnny on the spot” to make sue that every need was taken care of. We never lacked for additional silver, as needed and he took care to have all of our entrees divided and plated for us. He is one that knew every item on the vast menu and I suggest that when you make your reservation for your unique dining experience you ask for him- you will not be disappointed.
You can easily make your reservations by calling 312-755-1700 or visit their website at www.totoiseclub.com
Special note: If you are attending the theater in the loop, you can valet park, enjoy your dinner and then walk to the Goodman, The Chicago Theatre, The Oriental or any other loop venue and then come back for your car after. Diners get free valet parking. As we left, we listened in to the jazz being played in the bar- Great sounds! Great food Great experience! Take a look at the Lobster Roll- I am heading back for lunch! The chips are great as well. Just a note about pricing ; dinner for all of us including cocktails and coffees, around $50. Bar menu and luncheon, even lower!