During the golden era of productivity studies in the '50s, researchers concluded that the power lunch provided the most dramatic boost to office efficiency, transforming workers' productivity levels from average to above-average. After packing a cart with high-calorie snacks (meat-logs, meat-logs wrapped in pancakes, meat-logs wrapped in pancakes wrapped in pizza, etc.), bosses walked from office to office, hand-feeding employees to provide enough energy to plow through a standard 22-hour workday. In modern times the practice continues, only instead of the boss hand-feeding the employees, the employees gather in restaurants to consume food under their own power, and instead of eating high-calorie meat-log-based snacks, workers eat prime tenderloin and lobster BLTs.
Today $20 gets you a $50 Groupon for big-time fare for cheap without the boss at One North. This Chicago brasserie is the brainchild of the people behind Bar Louie, so the sexy, urban atmosphere is similar: mahogany and slate flooring, flagstone walls, deep leather booths, and an open kitchen. Add French and Italian-influenced American cuisine, and One North (across from the Civic Opera House at 1 N. Wacker Dr.) is the chosen spot for business lunches, intimate dinners, pre-opera cocktails, and French-Italian Americans who refuse to eat other ethnic dishes.
One North's menu boasts carefully crafted dishes such as pan-roasted monkfish, prime tenderloin, and a lobster BLT. Come hungry because portions are huge and the chef knows how to add artful touches to make the food irresistible. Time Out and Centerstage say One North's service is attentive, polite, and incredibly fast during the lunch rush. Stop by after work for cocktails or choose from the impressive selection of wines in an illuminated wine case.
- The term "shrimp lollipops" may not sound masculine, but everything else at this business-focused restaurant across from the Civic Opera House caters to the power-suit-wearing crowd. Loosen your tie (and your belt, portions are big) to fit in here while dining on standards like burgers, steaks and chops. Servers here know how to get you in-and-out quickly, which is excellent, whether you’re going back to the office or to the opera. – Time Out Chicago
- Appetizers include seared sesame Ahi tuna and wrapped portobello mushrooms while entrees run the gamut from Asian turkey burgers to a wild mushroom risotto to Pecan-crusted pork chops. The food itself is artfully presented, and though not spectacular, is certainly enjoyable. – Centerstage Chicago
The food has 4.5 stars and the atmosphere a perfect five on Menupages. The smaller sample of reviews on Yelp and Citysearch are definitely mixed, with polarized reviews averaging out at three stars. But the real fans vote with their feet, packing into One North for lunch every weekday. Here's what the websters are saying:
- What a great find... A very beautiful dining room with cherry, wonderful food both delicious and presented with care, and the service was certainly adequate. – Susan, Menupages
- Attended dinner with clients. We were all very pleased with the decor and the food was excellent. The Chef came out to our table to check on us personally. – nhufford, Citysearch
- Of the more upscale options in the Loop, One North is my favorite. Like RIvers and Lloyd's, they have a pretty straightforward menu. But everything here seems to be executed a bit better than those other spots. – Tara M., Yelp
1 N Wacker Dr
Chicago, Illinois 60606Get Directions