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“Delicate Subtle and Sublime Cuisine”
Review of Crofton on Wells - CLOSED

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Crofton on Wells
Price range: US$31 - US$40
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Child-friendly, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Grand
Transit: Red Line - Grand / Purple & Brown - Merchandise Mart
Description: Clean & hushed, decorated with stylish restraint by Crofton herself in warm colors, the space is simple & modern. The candlelit room's walls are covered in mirrors and abstract art, that hint at Crofton's creativity. There's no excess, no flash - nothing to distract from Crofton's exceptional, seasonal American cuisine. Crofton's touch is restrained but confident, from the Signature Crabcake with Italian sweet pepper butter and micro herb salad, to the Great Lakes Walleye with molten rutabaga raviolo and brown butter. Swan Creek Pork Tenderloin is a dinner standout, with smoked apple chutney, Iroquois white corn grits, collard greens and apple fritter. For dessert, try the Peanut Butter Cream Pie, which isn't kidding - banana sorbet, salted toffee cream, fortified chocolate sauce and pretzel crunch. Crofton is also famous for her Vegetarian menu, heralded by Quinoa Johnnycakes with smoked chanterelles, black fermented garlic and pickled Italian plum butter.
Reviewed 9 November 2011

Brilliant and creative cooking in an understated elegant dining room. The crab cake was unearthly light delicate essence of crab. Black cod was superbly sauced and coupled with divine squash. Halibut was fresh and perfectly cooked. Apple caramel tart with goat cheese ice cream was simply spectacular. Service is friendly, helpful, attentive and knowledgeable. A great meal at a fair price!!

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Thank ManOLaJolla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (32)
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9 - 13 of 32 reviews

Reviewed 31 October 2011

I feel a little embarrassed calling Crofton's my favorite restaurant in Chicago because I don't go there often enough. We went back Saturday and again, I kicked myself for waiting so long in between visits. I have been back at least once a year for several years and I continue to vow to go more often.

As service falls and fails in other places, I go to Crofton's and get reminded of what real service is -- attentive, knowledgeable, accurate, not very noticeable (except its flawlessness), and all about the food. The atmosphere is quiet, soft-lit bistro. A small place, with the bar along one side.

Then there is the food. Classic subjects, always unique and tasty combinations. I would not have ordered the Venison except for the sweet potato spaetzle, but if I had tasted the Venison first, I would have ordered it anyway. My date had the Halibut and raved about it. Even the salads are works of culinary art with the highest level of attention.

And the S'mores dessert is a feature in itself. As are all Crofton's desserts, part of the chef's legacy speciality.

We ordered wines by the glass and I was happy to see some excellent choices on that part of the wine list.

Crofton's is priced among the higher tier of restaurants, but I never leave there feeling like anything was overpriced. The value arrives on the plate.

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1  Thank Tim42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2011

Perfect for a special occasion! The seasonal menu, wine list & ambiance was the perfect setting for a birthday, anniversary or a special evening on the town in Chicago's RIver North area.

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Thank NEW71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2011

We flew up to Chicago to celebrate our son's 21st birthday and he made reservations at Crofton on Wells for an early Friday night dinner. We made use of the valet parking right outside the restaurant and entered a bright, stylish room filled with dark woods and white tablecloths.

We were seated immediately and asked if we wished bottled or tap water. I always like San Pellegrino as an alternative to tap, so we ordered that for our table. The waiter took our drink order and we set to deciding what to eat.

I was impressed at the variety of dishes presented, including quite a few vegetarian dishes, which suited our son's friend. A note on the menu states "that we will work with you to create a meal that is within your boundaries be it vegan, lacto-ovo, etc., please advise your server".

After we ordered, we were given a pleasant, little gift when a server came out and placed a small spoon containing halibut ceviche on each one of our plates. Refreshing and delicious!

For my first course, I ordered the wild mushrooms – house made bacon, cracked black peppercorn, and brioche. The next time I eat here I will share this dish, because it was a mushroom lover's delight and quite a generous amount!

For my main course, I ordered the diver scallops – sunchoke puree, black truffle butter, la quercia prosciutto, blood orange salad, and hazelnuts. They were good and I reluctantly didn't finish the dish as the mushrooms had filled me up.

Everyone else raved about their dinners, especially my son who couldn't get enough of his foie gras. No one had room for dessert, unfortunately.

This is a nice place for a special night, as it is expensive. But, the service was excellent and the food wonderful.

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Thank EilselFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2010

Unfortunately, for some restaurants after they have been recognized, get undone by their own hubris and arrogance - manifesting in the form of a service attitude that often undoes the experience of the meal. It doesn't have to be the case as Alinea and other top notch Chicago dining destinations continue to recognize that the total experience extends from the way the hostess behaves, through the meal, up to the bill being delivered. Unfortunately, Crofton on Wells doesn't get it or does not care.

The experience that my wife and I had is a case in point. We had a 5pm reservation on New Year's Eve, Dec 31st. The restaurant was empty. The hostess led us to a table next to the kitchen even though we indicated the another table that we would have preferred. The hostess refused our request - which would have been fine if the restaurant was crowded. But the place was empty ! The table (for two) that we had wanted remained empty until the time we left.

The food was good but really not up to the level we expected , The bill was $327 + tip for the two of us, with a side of service that was perfunctory and haphazard.

While we will never return (or at least not until the hostess has been fired), we would strongly recommend that there are far better places in Chicago deserving of your patronage.

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Thank OR2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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