Sunday, October 26, 2014

Chicago - Ralph Lauren Restaurant

RL Cafe classic - Bread and Butter
Elegant Fireplace Seating for Lunch 
Walking along Michigan Avenue and shopping the Miracle Mile includes seeing plenty of flagship stores for virtually every well-known brand name. Disney, Apple, Garmin and the like are a part of the equation but apparel stores rule this town and Chicago shopping is tailor made for any clothes horse. Even an outdoors enthusiast was able to hit pay dirt with stores by Barbour, Orvis and Timberland present, plus those stores like Ralph Lauren that cross over from haute couture to outdoor RRL style.
The Polo Store is next door

Portraits of Style on the wall in the RL store
With two recommendations from trusted sources we located the Ralph Lauren flagship store, but not so we could go shopping for the Polo label clothing that I have worn for three decades, but rather for some lunch. Say what? A full restaurant with grill room and bar with fireplace and outside seating is adjacent to the retail store, and the story goes that Ralph Lauren chose Chicago as the place to open his only restaurant in the United States. The only other RL restaurant in the world is located in Paris, France.

Iconic Books for Sale at RL including Hinckley Yachts
Our hotel concierge handled the reservation process for us and were offered a small fireplace front table with padded leather chair seating. The October weather outside was cloudy and cool and residents of the Windy City were dressed in winter coats, and the RL waitress said that the gas fireplace had just been lit for the winter season. Lots of well-dressed locals were entering the RL for lunch, but we were able to strike up conversation with some other first-time visitors to the RL restaurant.

Our meal started with an assortment of breads with butter and we sampled the calamari starter. The Polo Club sandwich was stacked high with chicken and ham, lettuce and tomatoes, but the bread slices were a bit too thick. The Grilled Steak sandwich was surprisingly tender, and was drizzled in melted provolone cheese. Main course offerings for dinner include Denver Sole, Lake Perch and Chesapeake Crab Cake Benedict. Still hungry? Check out Travel and Leisure's Best Lunch Spots in Chicago.

 To view past blog entries from Chicago click on Shedd Aquarium.

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