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Sepia recently?

I've been wanting to try Sepia since I've moved to Chicago and just made reservations for New Years. Several other people have put their trust in me for this, so I'm hoping that it will be good. I've read some mixed reviews, but overall, it seems like a really good restaurant that's not too pricey. Anyone who has been within the last 2 months care to chime in with their experiences?

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  1. I've had dinner there 3-4 times and drinks a bunch more. I generally give it high marks. The atmosphere and service is great. They have a very good cocktail menu. The food (which is obviously most important) is mixed in the sense that some dishes are very good and others are less so. Sure winners are the flatbreads, octopus and rabbit.

    I am a huge fan of the place and am sure it will get even better in time.

    I think you'll have a lot of fun there on NYE.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ems

      I was there about 2 weeks ago and loved it - one of my favorites (granted, I am new to Chicago - NY transplant). My husband and I got the flatbreads, the braised short ribs and the beets. We'll definitely be back!

    2. I went there about 2 months ago for the first time. I wasn't that impressed to be honest with you. I ordered the duck (Not that great) The skin was soft, is should at the least be semi crispy if it was roasted. There wasn't any magnificent flavor profiles that made me feel that the food was amazing. Not that it was bland or not well seasoned, just that it wasn't anything to rave about. Great atmosphere if you are in the 27+ age bracket.

      8 Replies
      1. re: mai_world

        I agree. We first went there when it had just opened - less than 2 months old, I believe. We had a standout meal all the way around. Apps were great, entrees incredible, and the dessert perfect. But we tried it again (hoping to impress another set of visitors) last month and it was not nearly as good as our first experience (food-wise as well as the service).

        Flatbreads are always a winner and 2 out of 4 of the entrees were a hit. But everything else was just very so-so. Just my two cents.

        However, I think for a NYE dinner, it will probably be great. Do you know if they are offering their original menu, or are they doing a special prix-fixe menu? That *might* make a difference - for me, anyway. That said, it is a beautiful restaurant and the menu, in theory, is wonderful.

        1. re: DKS1

          I have not been to Sepia, but I have to say that I'm always cautious about NYE dinners. I've been to several fine restaurants on NYE and they have often been overpriced and the food has not always been up to par. One reason for this is that it is not uncommon for head chefs to take that evening off. If you are going to go to Sepia or any fine dining restaurant on NYE, I would try to find out what the state of the kitchen will be that evening. Lots of balloons, hats and noise makers will not make up for underwhelming food. :)

          1. re: BRB

            Really, chefs taking off on New Years Eve. First I don't think you mean fine dining chefs taking off and I would stake a large sum that Sepia's chef after only a few months in business won't be anywere but his kitchen.This however dosen't guarentee a great meal as New Years runs more like a banquet at most restaurants than a normal night of service. Good luck and enjoy your meal.

            1. re: jmiller07

              Yes, I do mean fine dining restaurants. Chefs at even the very top restaurants have nights off and I have experienced this many times, not only on New Years Eve. In most cases, restaurants function well without the exec. chef, but not always and NYE does present additional problems, such as the banquet-type issue.

              1. re: BRB

                The "banquet" dilemma helped me choose Sepia from the beginning. Unlike most restaurants I called (I called several) Sepia is treating NYE as a regular dining experience, with their regular menu and no irregular surcharges. I don't know if the chef is an everyday chef, but the website states that the restaurant will be closed from January 1st-7th, so I'd be shocked if he wasn't cooking on December 31st. So that's a non-issue as well. I'll report back after the visit, and thanks for the responses. Cheers!

                1. re: chucktowneater

                  That sounds like a good decision then . . . I have not been to Sepia and I'm looking forward to hearing about your meal.

                2. re: BRB

                  You obviously have no experience working in restaurants. The exec chef is or will never take new years off. Stick to eating not making schedules.

                  1. re: danimal7910

                    Great "first" post here. I'll stick to eating, and you can stick to one screen name.