Restaurant Review: Marchesa (Chicago)

by Anthony Losanno
Marchesa Entrance

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For our 17th wedding anniversary dinner, we went back to one of our favorite romantic spots in Chicago. Marchesa is an upscale French restaurant with a playful vibe in River North. We’ve been a few times and love the lower level champagne cave. It serves the full menu and is so cozy, dark, and fun for a date.

Anthony’s Take: Marchesa offers a nice selection of champagne and wine as well as delicious French classics and decadent bites to pair. Ask for a table in the champagne cave to impress a date and have a space to cuddle while dining. Everything that we tasted was delicious and the service was attentive and friendly.

Marchesa Stairs

Decor & Vibe

The restaurant has a dining room and bar on the main floor where you enter. It’s a nice space, but it’s quickly forgotten once you reach the champagne cave downstairs. To get there, head down the stairs behind the host stand (pictured above). You feel like you’re heading into a speakseasy or bordello. It’s dark, romantic, and filled with comfy couches.

Marchesa Bar

The bar lines the right side of the champagne cave.

Marchesa Champagne Cave 1

Further back, you’ll find some tables, couches, fireplace, candles, and seating areas.

Marchesa Champagne Cave 2

Our table was in a corner with a couch where we could sit together for our date.

Marchesa Champagne

Our server brought us a complimentary glass of champagne to start the meal.

Marchesa Menu 1


Marchesa Menu 2


The menu is packed with decadent dishes and luxurious items like lobster, caviar, and Foie Gras. This is not a spot to go while on a diet as everything is rich and satisfying.

Marchesa French Onion Soup

My husband started with the French Onion Soup.

Marchesa Lobster Bisque

I began with the Lobster Bisque. Both were hot and tasty. I think I dipped the entire bread basket in my soup.

Marchesa Fromages & Charcuterie

We also had the Fromages & Charcuterie. I loved that it had chicken liver mousse on it.

Marchesa Lamb Chops

We both ordered the Lamb Chops. They had a nice Dijon flavor and were cooked perfectly. The mashed potatoes and root vegetables that they were served with were a bit starch heavy, but delicious.

Marchesa Wine List


Marchesa has a nice wine list featuring my favorite: bubbles. We ordered a bottle of Brut Rose for dinner.

Overall Impression:

Marchesa offers delicious French fare in a romantic and cozy environment. We’ve been here several times and will be back the next time we want a special date night.

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