Park Grill @ Millennium Park
General Information about the Park

Pritzker Pavilion by Frank Gehry

Great Chicago Places & Spaces Tour

BP Pedestrian Bridge by Gehry

Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa

Lurie Garden

Construction Info

Bike Facility

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

Kapoor Sculpture

"Green" Features

Harris Music and Dance Theater

The restaurant opened in November of 2003 and has seating for about 300 people. Restaurants in parks is no new thing for Chicago, given such restaurants as North Pond in Lincoln Park and a Puerto Rican restaurant in Humboldt Parkís Boathouse. This location is probably the busiest of them all at Michigan Avenue, and means that it will probably get really full during lunch, and during the weekends.

Its location in the park near the Music and Dance Theater bodes well, given the amount of pre-theater dinner business they may get.  The food consists of American dishes (burgers, steak, salads, fish) as is set in a really elegant dinning room with a bar in the back, raised so patrons can look out to the ice rink, and the cityís skyline.  The restaurant has a private dining room also, a coat check and a fireplace in the center of the room.  You can find a review that ABC Channel 7 has on their site here.  Also various customer reviews at metromix, and an article about the restaurants opening, comparing it to New Yorkís Tavern on the Green and Rockefeller Center, because of the ice skating rink.  Chef Bernie Laskowski heads the restaurant for owners Blue Plate Catering and Mainstay LLC. 
I visited the restaurant in April í04 on a Thursday night, and it was, well, not very crowded, well really it had maybe three other tables occupied.  For such a big restaurant it was, I will say empty.  Iím sure this will all change after this summer, whene veryone discovers Millennium Park, and this place will have problems trying to get everyone in, now thatís a problem Iím sure every restaurant wishes it would have.
Well when I spoke to the waiter he said they are very busy for lunch, which Iím sure was really bad when the ice skating rink was operating this winter.  For the most part the menu options were good, and the prices are not too unreasonable given its great location, interior and a Chef that has worked at various other Chicago restaurants such as MK and Bin 36.  

Iím not going to really review the food, because we ran in to get something warm, it was freezing outside, I was taking pics of the park.  I only had soup, hot chocolate and a dessert. All of which were very good. The booths are really comfortable, and would make a good date location. 
The one problem I do see, and one mentioned in the metromix customer reviews is that the bathrooms are only for one person.  Thatís right, one menís bathroom and only one womanís bathroom, no stalls just a single facility for each.  Granted it was a nice bathroom with stainless steel Kohler fixtures, but given its 300 seat occupancy, this may be a problem when the restaurant is full, especially for the ladies.  The wait staff was attentive, and the views from the floor to ceiling windows are amazing.  The windows look like they can be fully opened, and recently I saw that they had opened them for dinner.
I was also told that the ice rink will be turned to al fresco dining this summer for 300 people or so, with a separate menu and kitchen.  That will be interesting to see, and Iíll keep you posted on that.   Inside the restaurant there are old black and white pictures of what the area looked like in the past, and you can see the old Peristyle that was knocked down, but again graces the corner of Randolph and Michigan. The bar area was really interesting and sits raised above the lower level so that patrons can also have a look out into the ice rink.  Iím sure this spot will be really busy for the after work crowd as it is a pretty spacious place, and looks nice too.  The thing to remember is that this whole restaurant is right underneath Kapoorís new sculpture that weighs in at a mere 110 tons, and of course a parking garage underneath, along with some working railroad lines.  A little food for thought, when you go visit.
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