Today I would like to share with you my review of a sky-high restaurant in the wonderful city of Chicago. Now granted I am probably a little bit biased as I get to visit this fabulous city quite often with one of my daughters attending university in downtown Chicago. As a frequent visitor I am always on the lookout for new things to do and see, and different restaurants to try. On my most recent trip I found an excellent option that actually ticks a few of these boxes.
I believe that Chicago has one of the most beautiful and iconic skylines in the US and there are numerous photo opportunities for the keen photographer. Skyscrapers such as the Willis Tower offers visitors the chances to step out into a glass box on the 103rd floor to feel as it they are floating in mid air. If you are even more adventurous then the Tilt experience at 360 Chicago will put you in a glass contraption that will actually tilt out at around 1000ft high to give you a very unique view (if you have the stomach for that kind of thing). Neither are really my cup of tea so imagine my delight when I discovered that the John Hancock Centre has a restaurant and lounge on the 95th and 96th floors that allows you to witness the great views all while eating delicious food or sipping a beautiful cocktail!
Tip: Why pay $$$ just to get an amazing view when you can use that money to enjoy a cocktail and get the same view?
The Signature Room at the 95th celebrated its 20th birthday in 2013 and has been racking up awards and accolades throughout the years. Situated in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, the John Hancock Center is just a short stroll from all the shops on the famous Magnificent Mile of Michigan Avenue. Parking is available at the John Hancock Center but Mass Transit is a good option with easy access.
We visited on a chilly January afternoon for a late lunch so began by warming ourselves up with a spicy Bloody Mary; sipped while admiring the view of Lake Michigan below. The restaurant has won awards for being the ‘Most Romantic Venue’ so with Valentines Day coming up it was not surprising that the menu offered special packages but we got a little sticker shock at the $2000 per person price tag for one of the options!
While trying to decide what to order my husband spied another table’s food delivery and decided their selection would go perfectly with a bowl of tomato soup. Unable to find the sandwich on the menu we asked our server for some help. Evidently the grilled cheese sandwich was on the children’s menu but our server was more than happy to accommodate David’s wish and delivered a hearty bowl of soup plus a wholesome grilled cheese sandwich complete with fries. Rebecca, feeling healthy and making the most of having parents in town to pick up the tab, opted for salmon on a bed of wilted greens and potatoes. The Brunch Burger caught my eye with its fried egg topping, and after a few days walking around Chicago I felt I had burned sufficient calories to indulge (see how my mind works). All our selections were extremely tasty and the presentation excellent.
We had a very friendly server who was extremely attentive and quite jolly. The restaurant was not at all busy during our visit and we had no pressure to move our meal along too quickly. I’m sure the staff at this restaurant are quite used to out-of-towners visiting and their friendly demeanor certainly made us feel very welcome.
Tip: Rebecca and I took a visit to the ladies restroom at the prompting of our server who mentioned that the views were quite spectacular. I think that is the only restroom I have ever been to where there is a line to take a selfie.
If you are looking for spectacular views that can be enjoyed over a leisurely meal or a drink or two then this is the perfect location. Prices are in line with many of the other restaurants I have visited in downtown Chicago so I’m not sure it is fair to say that you are paying a premium for the view. Service was excellent, the ambiance of the lounge quite relaxing, and the food options varied and of good quality. I have read that there is an excellent buffet served most days at The Signature Room at the 95th so perhaps I will return on another visit.
Address: 875 N Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL 60611
Telephone: 313 787 9596 (the lounge does not accept reservations but the restaurant does)
Hours: Sunday Brunch 10:00AM – 2:30PM, Dinner 5:00PM – 10:00PM, Monday – Thursday Lunch 11:00AM – 2:30PM Dinner 5:00PM – 10:00PM Friday Lunch 11:00AM – 2:30PM Dinner 5:00PM – 11:00PM Saturday Brunch 10:00AM – 2:30PM Dinner 5:00PM – 11:00PM
Dress code: Lunch Casual dress; no beachwear allowed. Men are not permitted to wear sleeveless shirts. Dinner Business Casual; no shorts, gym shoes, or athletic wear. Jacket and tie are optional. Ripped or torn jeans are not permitted. Weekend Brunch Upscale Casual; no gym shoes
Other info: From 11:00am – 7:00pm guests of The Signature Lounge that are under 21 years of age must be accompanied by a legal guardian (parent). After 7:00pm The Signature Lounge does not admit any guests under 21 years of age.