Looking for an excellent dining experience close to museums, shopping and theaters. Then please stop in at The Dearborn located at the intersection of Dearborn Street and Randolph Street at 145 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois. It is a beautiful, old world, classic Chicago-styled urban restaurant/tavern with 8000 square feet of space and 225 seats. Despite being spacious, Dearborn’s layout, still manages to capture a cozy and intimate atmosphere. You can dine-in, out, do curbside pick-up, or delivery. So many places in downtown Chicago have unfortunately closed recently. It is difficult to find a restaurant open that has all the must haves for a pleasant satisfying dining experience.
The professional, gracious, friendly staff and stellar creative Chef Aaron Cuschieri at The Dearborn check all the boxes. The proprietors Amy and Clodagh Lawless sisters, are Billy Lawless’s daughters. Their restaurant is independent, but the family shares the charismatic trait of their Lawless clan. Their father Irish restaurateur, Billy Lawless, along with his son, Billy Jr. own the highly esteemed Acanto and Gage. Billy Jr. and partners own Beacon Tavern, Coda Di Volpe, and Dawson. I am convinced hospitality runs deep through this restaurant empire family’s DNA.
After viewing The Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition, Monet and Chicago, we ate a late lunch at The Dearborn. Many of our usual haunts are temporarily closed. This turned out to be a fortuitous happenstance. Our host John Paul Lawless greeted us warmly with his Galway mask and smiling Irish eyes. We were taken immediately to a comfortable booth and shortly after our server, Victor, asked if we had been to The Dearborn previously. I had. My friend had not. He explained the menu which has choices satisfying any palate from small plates to fish and chips, salads with homemade dressings, tavern pizza, a variety of sandwiches and enhancement sides.
We asked for Victor’s suggestions and he strongly steered us to try the Chicago Gourmet’s Hamburger Hop 2020 special menu featuring An American (Burger) in Paris: Grilled CDK Beef (Lena11) with Cambozola Cheese (brie bleu cheese), sherried onions, mushrooms, heirloom tomato, lettuce with Dijonnaise on a brioche bun. Having spent the afternoon at The Art Institute of Chicago viewing Monet’s Paris, this menu item seemed more than apropos. I adore a good pub burger that is beefy, cheesy and juicy. This was all that and more. The burger is accompanied by homemade fries. You can also, as I choose to, upgrade to a Pacheri Mac ‘N’ Cheese, Parmesan Truffle Fries, or my choice delicious Crispy Brussels sprouts with pepitas, Parmesan, topped with champagne vinaigrette. We both shared the sides which were terrific.
The General Manager introduced himself and stopped by each table and booth to ensure guests were satisfied with their meal and service. Amy Lawless also stopped by for a very pleasant chat and answered our questions about the welfare of the restaurant employees since their reopening only 2 months ago. Having an owner on site makes such a difference in personal service and cultivating guest satisfaction. Also, it it so nice to be able to support women owned restaurants in Chicago.
We were delighted with our dining experience and participating in Can’t Stop The Hop competition. $1.00 of every burger sold will benefit IRAEF-Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. Amy explained that more than 100 Chicago restaurants from fine-dining establishments to local neighborhood classic diners were participating in this contest for the favorite burger. Each restaurant offers their special burger for dine-in, carry-out, or delivery from September 1-13, 2020. Check out who is participating at CantStoptheHop. Do not forget to vote. We are looking forward to a return visit perhaps next time for brunch or fried chicken.
Photos: Courtesy of The Dearborn