A good French-American restaurant isn't just the perfect place to practice close-up magic on unsuspecting patrons; it's also a great spot to meet friends and share Burton Gilliam gossip. Satiate while you socialize with today's deal: for $25, you get $50 worth of fine evening cuisine at Magnolia Café in Uptown. This fine establishment is open every night for dinner except Mondays, as it's closed for company-wide potato-sack races.
Magnolia's cuisine combines French and American culinary influences with seasonally fresh ingredients for a cross-cultural fine-dining experience. Starters include delicate and flavorful items like magnolia crab cakes over sweet corn, pico de gallo, and caper aioli ($12). Peruse a pasture of salads ($8–$10) or move on to classic eats such as the 8 oz. Angus Magnolia burger with lettuce, grilled red onion, tomato, and jalapeno bacon served on a pretzel bun ($15). Larger entrees ($22–$29) range from a roasted half Amish chicken to the grilled beef tenderloin and braised beef short rib with spinach, ricotta gnocchi, carrots and a red wine reduction ($28). Check out the entire dinner menu here.
Since 2001, Magnolia has thrived in the revitalized Uptown neighborhood. There's a 25-seat outdoor patio that will materialize once the sun reboots and ample street parking (valet offered on the weekends) for easy vehicular storage while you feast. The restaurant's cozy atmosphere inside and out is a mixture of smooth jazz notes, friendly chitchat, oxygen, and nitrogen.
- Tasty cuisine, soft yellow lighting and a cozy, elegant dining room make the Magnolia an ideal choice for a date, whether it's your first time out together or your 50th wedding anniversary. – Abigail Derecho, Centerstage Chicago
- For meat lovers there are several good options such as braised beef short ribs over sauteed spinach with bacon-and-cheddar mac ’n’ cheese and onion rings. Desserts are an event: gianduja-chocolate bread pudding is served with creme anglaise, vanilla ice cream, and caramel sauce, while the caramelized banana split is homemade ice cream topped with chocolate and caramel sauces and whipped cream. Servers aim to please, and the wine list has some fine selections. – Laura Levy Shatkin, Chicago Reader
- I enjoy both the brunch (try the stuffed french toast!) and the dinner menus. The waitstaff is always very friendly, and when it is warm outside there is even an outdoor patio. – buffy1976, Citysearch
- I absolutely love eating here! It's a cozy place with a wonderful staff, great food and innovative cocktail list. – bd1234, Citysearch
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.
1224 West Wilson Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60640-5517Get Directions