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“An excellent, upscale place for special occasions”
Review of Crofton on Wells - CLOSED

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Crofton on Wells
Price range: US$31 - US$40
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, 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.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
96 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“An excellent, upscale place for special occasions”
Reviewed 15 January 2012

We have eaten here at least once a year for many years. It is our family's go-to place for special occasions like anniversaries, birthdays, or when we want to give out-of-town friends a really memorable experience. In addition to the world-class food and casually meticulous service, the tables are widely spaced enough, and the background noise low enough, that you can hear each other talk. The food is solidly within the new American regional tradition. Flavors are varied and exquisitely balanced. I have never found the portions to be small. I don't understand the criticisms on that count in other reviews. The decor is simple but very classy. The prices are well below those of places like Charlie Trotter's and Alinea, but they are high enough that we only come her for special times. My one small quibble is that the wines seem awfully pricey. I'm always more than satisfied by the quality of the bottom-of-the-list wines we end up ordering, but I wish they would include some cheaper selections. That said, we will keep coming back here as long as we are alive and they are open.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Michelfoucault
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

32 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    16
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    4
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tucson, Arizona
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“This is one of Chicago's best restaurants”
Reviewed 5 January 2012

If you want to take someone special for a quiet Chicago dining experience, this is it. A small dining room with attentive servers who know how to make the evening perfect - oh and the food is incredible!! Save space for dessert - they are very unique and just right to end the evening.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Dog_buddy01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Barrington, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A Foodie's delight”
Reviewed 3 December 2011

Four of us enjoyed a truly wonderful dinner at Crofton. The food is fabulous -- many flavors, many textures -- yet subtle and entirely flavorful. With a Michelin star I suppose the food should be -- the rating is definitely deserved. FYI -- the room is tastefully designed and wonder of wonders, a room where conversation can exist without shouting.

Highly recommended, although one caveat -- wine is on the expensive side.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mot9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
622 reviews
454 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 405 helpful votes
“Tremendous Kitchen Close to Loop”
Reviewed 1 December 2011

I took five business clients to Crofton for dinner. The food was absolutely superb in all cases. We had the complete experience of three courses but skipped desert and settled for coffee, etc. Appetizers were tremendous, but especially the crabcake which was stupendous, some said the best they had ever eaten anywhere. The stand out on the second course was the mushrooms cooked in bacon, an absolute wow. And of the main courses, the group mostly chose meat which ranged from New Zealand venison to an unbelievably well prepared and cooked beef tenderloin kind of close to a filet, which was the best I have ever had to a pork roast. We had sides of grits, which somehow had been made absolutely delectable.
The room was conversation friendly and the service fairly efficient, although the waiter was a bit stiff and perhaps hurried. Service, while absolutely OK, gets a four star for not being particularly friendly.
Cost with wine and drink before dinner was about $150 per person.
ZB

  • Visited December 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank zabriskibound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Service Letdown - Food Saved the Night”
Reviewed 14 November 2011

We visited Chicago in November and went to the Crofton on Wells on the 4th. I have to say the food was amazing, but the service was below par. Our waiter was very inattentive and indifferent and we had to flag down another waiter just to get some water. We also had made these reservations a couple weeks in advance, but when we arrived at the restaurant they only had 2 tables available and both were right next to the noisy kitchen. To travel 1000 miles and hear nothing but great things about Crofton, I have to admit, it was kind of a letdown.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank lucymcrae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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