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Posted by Anonymous on 08/09/2009
This place is too loud for romance, but is perfect for a group of 3 or more to come hang out while eating dinner. The shared-plates thing works great (though some things like the burger sort of defy shareability, even though it's delicious) and the cocktails are interesting and fresh. Love the one with watermelon and ancho pepper. My only complaint is service can be a little spotty - our waiter took our drink order and said it'd be 15 minutes for drinks, which is great, but then didn't come back to take our food order until the drinks arrived. By then we were basically ready to eat the table. He totally avoided catching our eye during all that intervening time -would've been nice for him to ask if we wanted to get our food going or something. We also had to fight for his attention for getting the check, etc. Not that we expect being coddled, but checking in in such a small space doesn't seem like a lot to ask for.
Posted by Anonymous on 04/22/2009
Everything from appetizers to desserts tasted wonderful, but the biggest disappointment of the evening was when ALL three of our entrees were served COLD after waiting more than an hour! The manger said he could re-cook them which would cause the meat to be well-done (which we did not want) or wait another half hour for new entrees (which we also did not want to do on a Sunday night at 7:45) so we opted to eat them cold which appeared to be just fine with the management. The restaurant is also VERY noisy so be prepared to bring your outside voice to communicate!
Posted by annie on 04/10/2009
We ordered almost everything on the menu at The Bristol (okay, like ten items) and while they were all delicious - especially the burger, maybe the best in the city? - the bill at the end was a wallop. Some of the double-digit items on the menu should be $8, not $18 - come on, seriously? Cocktails are great, and service is among the best in recent memory. Could the host be any friendlier? He made us feel so welcome.
Posted by The Sutters on 11/06/2008
Badly in need of sound absorption - you literally have to shout, and then often repeat yourself, to converse with the person next to you . Across the table? Forget it. We passed on the whole fish (head and tail included) but weren't forwarned about the half chicken - feet and toenails attached, the undercooked grilled shrimp (head and tail intact), or the sausage stuffed with rather unpleasant filler.
Posted by Wabansia on 10/21/2008
I ate with a group of four last weekend, and wasn't very impressed by the Bristol. First, the service is great. They don't take reservations, so I swung by 45 minutes before we all planned to arrive in order to put our names in. They called me 30 minutes later, saying we could be seated, and then agreed to hold our seats for 20 minutes. The fact that they'd let me put my name in, then leave, and then hold the table for us because we were late was quite exceptional, in my opinion. When we got there, the place was way too loud. I'm sure if you go on a slower night, and don't get put at a group table, this would be such an issue, but I didn't enjoy yelling across the table in order to be heard by the people we ate with. The food was not exceptional. We got the fritters (boring, but good sauce), the "buffalo wings" (too dry), the stuffed sausage (tasted like breakfast sausage), the monkey bread (I've had more exciting bread baskets), mussels, and the fluke. Nothing stood out as especially good. The waiter was very friendly and knew the booze and food menus well. My only criticism would be to cut the sustainable food/local market schpiel it seems like I hear it at every restaurant outside of Applebees. Bottom line: as there are much better versions of this restaurant on the same street (Bluebird), I probably won't be going back.
Posted by Shannon Wilkes on 10/17/2008
I've been to the Bristol 4 times now and it's only been open for about a month (if that). I think it is the best restaurant ever! Everything is made from scratch and tastes like it. It's an experience you don't want to miss! Everytime I have tried something new, and I am happier than ever. It's great, because there are always new items to try (from the chalk board menu). If you like great food and drinks, you will love this place. Plus, the prices are SO great...totally affordable!!! I am so happy they opened this in Bucktown. :)
Posted by Anonymous on 10/12/2008
Food was just OK. Very small portions for the price. They put other people at your table without asking, and with other open tables. Poor ventilation. Too many other good restaurants in Chicago, don't waste your time and money.