The Boarding House

720 N Wells StChicago, IL 60654 • (312) 280-0720 • boardinghousechicago.com

If I were just reviewing the chandeliers this place would receive a resounding 5 knives, because they are both stunning. Impressive in both size and beauty they each cover roughly 75% of the ceiling footprint on their respective floors. Over the bar on the first floor, the chandelier is made up of thousands of wine glasses, whereas the one upstairs in the dining room is made up of just as many wine bottles (pictured). Fortunately Chicago isn’t on a fault line or I would’ve been very nervous about being crushed beneath them.

The theme of the chandeliers is very intentional as I understand it, the restaurateur being well known for their skill at compiling a killer wine list. And judging from the bottle of wine I had, I’d say I have to concur.

Sadly, a little more attention toward the food might be nice, because I found everything to be pretty average.

The baby octopus appetizer was shockingly bland regardless of its rather inventive preparation, sporting two of my favorite things on earth, shishito peppers and chorizo. But somehow they managed to find the least spicy versions I’ve ever encountered.

Then, the mahi entrée came it is was so overcooked and dry that I only bothered to eat half of it. Served over an equally overcooked risotto. In hindsight I probably should’ve sent it back, but after the appetizer my confidence was waning that they would ever get it right. And besides, I’m always a bit reticent to send shit back to the kitchen, because pissing off the chef is a surefire way to wind up with Ebola on your plate.

So, after the lackluster food we decided to forego dessert in favor of after dinner drinks instead, since that is clearly their forte. And chandeliers.

Ocean House

49 N Riverside Ave. Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520 •  (914) 271-0702oceanhouseoysterbar.com

scallop

First let me start off by saying that while I do think the place is good, I also think Zagat’s is high if they think this place deserves a 27 for food! 24 maybe. But 27!?!?

The other thing I should mention is DO NOT BRING SMALL CHILDREN. While this place looks quaint and fun (and it is), it is not suited for kids. Granted they have crayons on the tables, but trust me. They don’t even have high chairs. So don’t bring the kids.

Next, BRING YOUR OWN BEER OR WINE. Unfortunately we didn’t know that they didn’t have a license, so we had to settle for their iced tea, which tasted like dish water. So, I STRONGLY recommend bringing booze.

That said, the food was very good. And I must admit, I have not had a better lobster roll in Westchester. However, that does not mean this is the best lobster roll out there. Of all the ones I’ve had in my life, this wouldn’t even crack the top ten. Not even the top 3 in New York State alone.

As for the grilled Mahi, it was a solid good. But nothing off the charts. And last but not least, the Apple Empanada for dessert was excellent. Best thing we had.

The bread is also nice. Comes warm and baked fresh.

Service is also good. Not great mind you. Compared to the reviews, I expected them to be much warmer hosts, but “warm” would definitely not come to mind as a word to describe them. At least they weren’t slow.

Looking forward to trying it again… With booze… And without the kids.

3 teeth