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. Definitely take advantage of the excellent selection of European wines, but if you're open to sampling a drink that didn't age in a vineyard, let it be Blue Moon Belgian White Ale. It's a Colorado beer made in the style of the finest Belgian brews, and not many bars in Chicago stock it...but Magnolia does.
The food covers the spectrum from delicate to rich-beyond-belief. Many of the starters, like the popular crab cakes, are large enough to share with the table, or to order as an entree. Anyone who adores artichokes or hearts-of-palm will fall in love with the salad options; anyone who doesn't care for those particular vegetables should concentrate on the main dishes, which will please any palate. The Amish chicken and the seared duck are especially worthy of consideration.
But pace yourself well, for the hearty portion sizes of the first two courses might discourage you from ordering dessert, which would be a massive mistake. The creme brulee appeases the sweet tooth nicely, but the chocolate tart will send your senses reeling. The management warns that their closing times are approximate, so call ahead if you plan on arriving at a late hour, to make sure the kitchen hasnít closed early. The Magnolia is a close neighbor of historic favorite nightspot Green Mill, so think about sitting down to a fabulous dinner at the Cafe before heading off for drinks and music down the street. The combination would make for a terrific Uptown evening.
Centerstage Reviewer: Abigail Derecho