Bistros are great for budding romance, since the low lighting keeps dates' eyes from wandering and helps conceal nervous facial ticks. Let love flourish with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of French-American bistro dinner fare at Magnolia Café.
Ingredients plucked during their peak growing season infuse French-American dishes with fresh flavors, pleasing diners amid the exposed brick and beams that ring Magnolia Café. The bistro-inspired menu woos taste buds without sending each a bouquet of roses by hosting entrees such as a raw-fish selection with octopus and wild king salmon ceviche steeped in citrus-soy vinaigrette and punctuated with slices of cucumber and orange ($14).
Sautéed spinach bears the hefty burden of a grilled hangar steak with blue cheese and natural jus ($22), and forks plunder the red-wine-drizzled risotto for pulled pork and sweet corn that, like fugitives being pursued by a vegan detective, hide beneath jalapeño bacon ($12).
Soft-jazz music pulses amid pristine white linens and hanging photos of the flowers from which Magnolia Café takes its name. Patrons wash down bites with signature martinis and boutique wines that gush into crystalline glasses, which are great for clinking or playing pieces from Mozart's glass-harmonica phase.
Chef Kasra Medhat's refined culinary techniques draw from his diverse gastronomic history, from his childhood filled with Turkish- and Iranian-style family meals to his college internship at a Chicago gourmet restaurant, as well as his catering work. Today, Kasra captains Magnolia Cafe, where he infuses all that passion and experience into his innovative French-American recipes.
In the kitchen, Kasra and staff cobble together ingredients plucked during their peak growing season in a variety of meat and seafood dishes. Upon white tablecloths, plates of appetizers and entrees meet with the house's specialty martinis and boutique wines in crystalline glasses, which are great for clinking or playing pieces from Mozart's glass-harmonica phase. Soft jazz music pulses amid the exposed brick and beams that ring the dining room, which is speckled with hanging photos of the flowers from which the establishment takes its name.
If you're looking for a classy, relaxing restaurant with great food and great service then this is the place.Lauren W., Yelp, 1/6/12
Excellent! Great food, service, and ambiance. I will be returning.amy h., Yelp, 11/8/11
1224 W Wilson Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60640