Date of Last Visit: Sunday, January 16, 2011
The Damage: $30ish
The Background: Retail therapy. Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. That’s what I was up to when hunger called. I had this idea in my head that the lounge at NoMi in the Park Hyatt would be the place to escape to, but I totally forgot they were closed for renovations. (Poor guys…they get a Michelin star. And close for renovations.) So RL Grill across the street it was. (RL as in Ralph Lauren, or Ralph Lifschitz as he used to be known back in The Bronx.)
The Entrance: I like the feel of the place. Clubby as in old mens’ club. Library-ish. Fireplace. I take a very small table in the bar and proceed to order my lunch. It’s a soup and sandwich sort of day.
I was kind of excited for my toasted cheese sandwich and tomato soup, mostly because of the weather. The tomato soup was lovely. But the cheese on my sandwich? Not really toasted. I was hoping for something hotter. Cheesier. Toastier.
I returned to my table and contemplated restaurant waste. How can one person possibly eat all this bread? Restaurants in America are out of control these days. I should have done what I saw a woman at The Union Square Cafe in NYC do last year: she asked for a take out bag and took all the bread home with her. Smart lady.
I also contemplated The Park Hyatt across the street and the meal that never was. And I wondered if anyone was making macarons while NoMi is shut. Because I could really go for some macarons right now.
The Verdict: Eh. RL Grill is good for a glass of wine. Tomato soup and toasted cheese is not a real test of a kitchen’s possibilities, but I’m not really dying to go back anytime soon. Mainly because I don’t own enough Burberry. Or Ralph Lauren.