Wave at W Chicago Lakeshore 

Dining Description:  This upscale restaurant in the Lake Shore Drive W hotel serves eclectic contemporary American food and small plates. The grilled baby octopus was a nicely balanced starter, the smokiness of the cephalopod offset by crunchy frisee salad, briny olive tapenade, and a subtle but slightly acidic tomato vinaigrette. Seared jumbo sea scallops were separated from a mound of al dente Israeli couscous by a layer of wilted arugula, and the whole thing was surrounded by a satiny carrot sauce (though the purported cumin went undetected). The many fish-based entrees included several good combinations: Moroccan-spiced prawns with crispy chickpeas and parsley-garlic sauce, roasted mussels with carrot-cumin puree and cardamom brown butter, salmon kebab with berry-mint couscous and pomegranate-molasses glaze. An impressive wine list includes some hard-to-find American bottles.

User Rating:  ★★★★★ ★★★★★ by 9 Users

Hours:  Breakfast, lunch: Monday-Friday; dinner: seven days
Saturday & Sunday brunch
Open late: Friday & Saturday till 11

Price:  $$$

Features:  Menu

Dining Features:  Full Liquor Service, Valet Parking, Dinner, Open Late, Open Sunday, Open Monday, Reservations Recommended

Payment Type:  American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Neighborhood:  Gold Coast/Mag Mile/Streeterville

Reviews / Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

★★★★★ ★★★★★

Hip, friendly bar/restaurant off the lobby in the W Hotel. Innovative choices, like the chocolate sundae French toast. Fun experience.

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Posted by Mimi Prendergast on 07/14/2005 at 10:00 AM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

We didn't feel as if we really belonged here, but the food sure was good! The main effect was to make us yearn to try One SixtyBlue, which I take it is a more adult restaurant owned by the same people. We were made to feel welcome by the staff, and the service was excellent -- attentive but informal -- but the
pulsing music from the nearby bar was what made us feel out of place. Luckily we were seated as far from the music as possible, but it's a lively room, so no part is truly quiet. Anyway, the food: I started with the "mushroom tart," which was actually a disk of pastry with sauteed mushrooms on top, and an expanse of yummy and decorative garnish. My wife had the field greens, which were embellished with roasted tomatoes and a cranberry compote, which she liked. My entree was the barramundi, an Australian bass. For dessert we split the "pineapple upside down cake," another entirely different take: three cutouts of pastry, nuts, and brown sugar; a scoop of ice cream; two skewers of roasted pineapple chunks; and a sweet dipping sauce. The menu is majority fish, with a few meat and/or poultry items. But a non-fish-eating vegetarian would be entirely out of luck, unless they have off-menu options.

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Posted by Bob McCamant on 12/14/2003 at 4:07 PM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

We found this place a bit overrated. Did not see the reason for all the hype. The room is impressive-looking, but we found that -- despite the aquatic theme -- it was actually difficult to SEE the lake despite sitting at a window table.

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Posted by Mark Friedman on 01/14/2003 at 6:42 PM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

Walking up was slightly intimidating with stares coming from every direction, but quickly realizing that this is very much a people watching scene you slowly begin to blend in and once in a while find yourself stealing a glance at the pretty faces that frame the room. Once seated at the "get friendly with your neighbors" table you can enjoy the distinctly unique setting with art work that seems to be built to above and around the tables. The menu has a delectable selection ranging from lighter items such as seared ahi tuna to the more filling fare of the New York strip. There wine list had plenty to offer in choices and number for the less wine savvy who aren't posotive how to pronounce the names. When finished with your meal you are left with a sense of euphoria from the captivating surroundings and the savory foods.

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Posted by Ashley Van Orman on 11/12/2002 at 9:22 AM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

I've been here for lunch three times, and I really love the food. I've had a burger and fries, both good--the fries especially--and the hanger steak, which is also excellent even though the accompanying salad has too many black olives for my taste. I've also had the lemon merengue tart dessert--it's wonderful.

You've also got to love the chic atmosphere at Wave--little waterfalls, lighted screens--even though the bench seats that must be pulled out are annoying. The only area that lacks is SERVICE, which is slow, even when the restaurant is empty. Don't go there for lunch if you're in a hurry! If you get soup and dessert, it will take you two hours, easy.

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Posted by Sarah Randag on 04/04/2002 at 4:14 PM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

 

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Posted by Nicole on 12/30/2001 at 10:34 AM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

Located in the W Hotel, the prices are high for what you get. Some choices are really good, but the steak I got tasted oily.

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Posted by Margie Hasty on 09/03/2006 at 9:58 PM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

All the individual pieces were a little above of average, but somehow the whole didn't quite work for me.

We had two entrees and both were actually pretty good...but I didn't love either of them. The pasta du jour was an orchetti (sp?) in a slighly spicey broth with several kinds of mushroom. The lamb shanks were an unusual preparations featuring black olives. The olive (I guess a cross between a sauce and a tappenade) was particularly nice--usually when dishes are cooked with black olives they get a bitter aftertaste...This didn't. It was the essence of what I imagined a preparation with black olives should taste like before I ordered enough to find out that they didn't...before this.

Part of the lack of enthusiasm probably stemmed from the room. Emphasis was much more on design style than warmth...or even practicality. The tables near the window (where we sat) had long two person benches that could be moved only with herculean effort by both people. That a restroom visit also a trip to the gym. To make it further less comfortable, the temperatures soared and dipped from tropic to artic. The overall emptiness of the room contributed to the overly stylized feel.

It was good enough, but we won't be a great hurry to rush back.

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Posted by Mike Koetting on 01/19/2002 at 8:26 AM
★★★★★ ★★★★★

Arriving at 11:30 turned out to be too early for lunch, so I had the breakfast buffet. It was not very good and most of the food was stale or old given that they began taking the items away five minutes after I arrived. It's odd that I couldn't order lunch (which is what I wanted) but the breakfast was removed at 11:30.

The setting is beautiful in that it looks out on the lake. The nice-looking hip interior probably works even better in the evening.

Aside from their being no one to seat us for five minutes (and a waiter finally came up to us and did so), the service was good.

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Posted by Greg Wolk on 08/25/2003 at 8:29 AM
Showing 1-9 of 9

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