Charlie Trotters

★★★★☆
41.9183 -87.6493
Map and Directions to Charlie Trotters

773-248-6228

816 W Armitage Ave

Chicago, IL

60614

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A true, once in a lifetime culinary adventure. The food is extremely high quality, the wine cellar is extraordinary, and the service is second to none.

Prepare for a very big bill! Worth the money if you can afford it.

5
★★★★★

A true, once in a lifetime culinary adventure. The food is extremely high quality, the wine cellar is extraordinary, and the service is second to none.

Prepare for a very big bill! Worth the money if you can afford it.

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.

This is the restaurant without fixed menu on a paper, not open for walk in and it is not open everyday either. You have to call weeks or months before, tell them what you can eat and what you cannot eat. Charlie, the owner will prepare and cook the meal of the night which most of the time are above average in taste and presentation. The price is too much, but if you ave the money, then this is an experience worth trying.

4
★★★★☆

This is the restaurant without fixed menu on a paper, not open for walk in and it is not open everyday either. You have to call weeks or months before, tell them what you can eat and what you cannot eat. Charlie, the owner will prepare and cook the meal of the night which most of the time are above average in taste and presentation. The price is too much, but if you ave the money, then this is an experience worth trying.

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Latest reviews from Citysearch.

.

we were celebrating our 29th anniversary in chicago and thought ct would be a great cap to a wonderful visit. NOT SO the food was good but immediately forgetable, the service non-existent and the overall atmosphere depressing. luckily we

6
★★★★★

we were celebrating our 29th anniversary in chicago and thought ct would be a great cap to a wonderful visit. NOT SO the food was good but immediately forgetable, the service non-existent and the overall atmosphere depressing. luckily we

.

This highly rated fine dining restaurant was a tragic disappointment. The quality of the food was poor (duck and veal were tough and stringy - not sure how that happens, asparagas was woody, dishes were too salty).

At one point we had to search for a server which took over 10 minutes. A dish was sent back for additional cooking which should have taken a few minutes but took almost 20. This does not represent the "Excellence" on which this restaurant prides itself.

I know what a great dining experience is, and this is not it. Save your money!!!

1
★☆☆☆☆

This highly rated fine dining restaurant was a tragic disappointment. The quality of the food was poor (duck and veal were tough and stringy - not sure how that happens, asparagas was woody, dishes were too salty).

At one point we had to search for a server which took over 10 minutes. A dish was sent back for additional cooking which should have taken a few minutes but took almost 20. This does not represent the "Excellence" on which this restaurant prides itself.

I know what a great dining experience is, and this is not it. Save your money!!!

Pros: tour of kitchen

Cons: quality of food, poor service

.

Most of you reading this review have already read many others or heard of Charlie Trotter's. You will walk in utterly impressed by their impeccable greeting and hospitality in the lounge area. You may pick up a couple books and read about the best restaurants in the world which include Trotter's. That is how our night started and we were excited.

Then we were seated about an hour late with no apology. The food was good enough, but certainly not worth the price. You can find tastier food at 100 other restaurants in Chicago for less than half the price. And for a 20% automatic service charge, I would expect their service to be exactly that - automatic. But it took too long for any at-table requests to be realized.

I would expect for the price (expect an average of $375 for 2 people, without drinks) everything to be nearly perfect. They had one chance to show me and they failed. And worse, if you have any criticisms you indicate on their feedback form and ask them to contact you, don't expect to hear from them.

2
★★☆☆☆

Most of you reading this review have already read many others or heard of Charlie Trotter's. You will walk in utterly impressed by their impeccable greeting and hospitality in the lounge area. You may pick up a couple books and read about the best restaurants in the world which include Trotter's. That is how our night started and we were excited.

Then we were seated about an hour late with no apology. The food was good enough, but certainly not worth the price. You can find tastier food at 100 other restaurants in Chicago for less than half the price. And for a 20% automatic service charge, I would expect their service to be exactly that - automatic. But it took too long for any at-table requests to be realized.

I would expect for the price (expect an average of $375 for 2 people, without drinks) everything to be nearly perfect. They had one chance to show me and they failed. And worse, if you have any criticisms you indicate on their feedback form and ask them to contact you, don't expect to hear from them.

Pros: Ambience, Food Quality

Cons: Arrogance, Value

.

Just great. We were also lucky enough to tour the kitchen. The place is full of true professionals. Everyone there takes pride in their work, from the valet attendant to the kitchen staff. I was IMPRESSED.

5
★★★★★

Just great. We were also lucky enough to tour the kitchen. The place is full of true professionals. Everyone there takes pride in their work, from the valet attendant to the kitchen staff. I was IMPRESSED.

Pros: Fine dining at its BEST

Cons: NONE!!

.

Trotter's To Go (at the 1337 W Fullerton Ave locale) delivered its wonderful and tasty yummies to my workplace. Thank you to all of you who had great things to say about Trotter's because it helped me choose them to cater my company's event. You see, I am new to the office and have been given the task to please 63 hungry men and 2 women every 3rd Friday. These guys eat great everyday and I definitely wanted to impress them. Now, I am sitting back at my desk...breathing a sigh of relief and feeling joy in my heart, because Trotter's really came through. Soooooo, I suggest that you definitely try (if you haven't already) the Spinach Salad w/Artichoke Hearts, Red Onion, Feta, & Yuzo-Miso Vinaigrette; the Cavatappi Pasta w/Spinach Pesto(YUMMY; the Wood Grilled Chicken Breast-Sliced and Flank Steak (GREAT GRILLED TASTE); the Demi Ciabatti dinner rolls (WONDERFUL) and Cookie-Brownie Combination Platter. The Trotter's Team was great and helpful too..Very polite and informative. I rate the overall experience a 10! Thanks again Trotter's To Go...You guys are awesome!!

5
★★★★★

Trotter's To Go (at the 1337 W Fullerton Ave locale) delivered its wonderful and tasty yummies to my workplace. Thank you to all of you who had great things to say about Trotter's because it helped me choose them to cater my company's event. You see, I am new to the office and have been given the task to please 63 hungry men and 2 women every 3rd Friday. These guys eat great everyday and I definitely wanted to impress them. Now, I am sitting back at my desk...breathing a sigh of relief and feeling joy in my heart, because Trotter's really came through. Soooooo, I suggest that you definitely try (if you haven't already) the Spinach Salad w/Artichoke Hearts, Red Onion, Feta, & Yuzo-Miso Vinaigrette; the Cavatappi Pasta w/Spinach Pesto(YUMMY; the Wood Grilled Chicken Breast-Sliced and Flank Steak (GREAT GRILLED TASTE); the Demi Ciabatti dinner rolls (WONDERFUL) and Cookie-Brownie Combination Platter. The Trotter's Team was great and helpful too..Very polite and informative. I rate the overall experience a 10! Thanks again Trotter's To Go...You guys are awesome!!

Pros: Food tasted great...Staff very knowledgeable and helpful

Cons: Delivery guy in a hurry, brought the bags in, dropped the bags off and left

.

My husband surprised me with a romantic dinner for our 10 year wedding anniversary. He knows I am a foodie and love to cook. He knew this is something that would be very special to me. He tried to get the kitchen table, but he was told that they only sit 4 to 6 at the kitchen table. Well, the day of our reservations they called us and said that the kitchen table had a cancellation and that it was noted on our reservation that my husband had asked about it. They said they would make an exception for us to fill the table. I thought it was so nice of them to call us, even though we were only a party of 2.

It was truly a remarkable experience. The food was so imaginative. I would have never thought of combining some of the ingredients they did. Even my husband who is traditionally a steak and potatoes kind of guy, thoroughly enjoyed the food. His favorite dish of the 18 dishes we were served was a rare type of tuna that the chef told us only 1 was imported into the United States every week. My husband also ordered the wine pairing with his meal, which he truly enjoyed. The chefs try to make sure everything planned on the menu for that evening is from fresh seasonal ingredients.

They surprised me with asking if I would like to go with one of the chef's and plate a dish. They could tell I was having so much fun, I couldn't stop smiling. Then the asked me to take the dish and present it to my husband. This is not something they do very often, I was told.

I don't eat chocolate because of it making me have headaches, so they made me some non-chocolate deserts that were not the plan for the evening. We were so stuffed we were almost not able to try all the assortment of deserts that came our way.

Then we got a private tour of the restaurant including the wine cellar. The whole restaurant experience was about 3 hours.

Wow! This was an amazing experience of a lifetime!

5
★★★★★

My husband surprised me with a romantic dinner for our 10 year wedding anniversary. He knows I am a foodie and love to cook. He knew this is something that would be very special to me. He tried to get the kitchen table, but he was told that they only sit 4 to 6 at the kitchen table. Well, the day of our reservations they called us and said that the kitchen table had a cancellation and that it was noted on our reservation that my husband had asked about it. They said they would make an exception for us to fill the table. I thought it was so nice of them to call us, even though we were only a party of 2.

It was truly a remarkable experience. The food was so imaginative. I would have never thought of combining some of the ingredients they did. Even my husband who is traditionally a steak and potatoes kind of guy, thoroughly enjoyed the food. His favorite dish of the 18 dishes we were served was a rare type of tuna that the chef told us only 1 was imported into the United States every week. My husband also ordered the wine pairing with his meal, which he truly enjoyed. The chefs try to make sure everything planned on the menu for that evening is from fresh seasonal ingredients.

They surprised me with asking if I would like to go with one of the chef's and plate a dish. They could tell I was having so much fun, I couldn't stop smiling. Then the asked me to take the dish and present it to my husband. This is not something they do very often, I was told.

I don't eat chocolate because of it making me have headaches, so they made me some non-chocolate deserts that were not the plan for the evening. We were so stuffed we were almost not able to try all the assortment of deserts that came our way.

Then we got a private tour of the restaurant including the wine cellar. The whole restaurant experience was about 3 hours.

Wow! This was an amazing experience of a lifetime!

Pros: Incredible dining

Cons: Very expensive

.

We came to Chicago to dine at Alinea for the 'Tour' menu. We left talking about Charlie Trotter's. It was my friends birthday and coming from a culinary city (NY) are mission was to try as many restaurants as possible. After a meal at Alinea, our intentions were to dine like everyday locals- the best brunch place, best deep dish, etc. After eight restaurants in two days, our bags were packed and we were ready for the airport. But not till we strolled the streets of Lincoln Park (AKA the 'Soho' of Chicago). After sludging through the slushy streets with luggage in tow, we just happened to walk by CT. Mind you, CT was not even on our list of places to see. My friend was reading the menu and announced erroneously that they were closed. I proceeded to walk up the stairs to take a closer look only to notice that there was a gentleman at the bar (this was 3PM). I turned around to join my friend and before you know it, the door opened and the gentleman said "well, hello. Would you like to come in for a tour?" Without hesitation, "of course!" . We walked through the dining rooms to the kitchen to the cellars with our wet boots (Chicago received 8" of snow the night before). When we return to the back to the bar area, two settings were set at the bar. The maitre'd motioned to us to have a seat while he took our coats. As we removed our layers (Chicago gets really COLD!), he said that the Chef has prepared a small bite if we had time to stay. We were in our seats before he finished his sentence. We were treated to a three-course meal with wine pairings a la minute. Just like that. Before service, whilst the staff was setting up! We were speechless and felt like we were on candid camera.It didn't end there. As we left, furiously calling our friends to brag about our experience, the maitre'd catches up to us (four blocks away) to hand us a cookbook and a bottle of steak sauce! Who does that? Chef Charlie- when we come back to Chicago, were coming to see you!

5
★★★★★

We came to Chicago to dine at Alinea for the 'Tour' menu. We left talking about Charlie Trotter's. It was my friends birthday and coming from a culinary city (NY) are mission was to try as many restaurants as possible. After a meal at Alinea, our intentions were to dine like everyday locals- the best brunch place, best deep dish, etc. After eight restaurants in two days, our bags were packed and we were ready for the airport. But not till we strolled the streets of Lincoln Park (AKA the 'Soho' of Chicago). After sludging through the slushy streets with luggage in tow, we just happened to walk by CT. Mind you, CT was not even on our list of places to see. My friend was reading the menu and announced erroneously that they were closed. I proceeded to walk up the stairs to take a closer look only to notice that there was a gentleman at the bar (this was 3PM). I turned around to join my friend and before you know it, the door opened and the gentleman said "well, hello. Would you like to come in for a tour?" Without hesitation, "of course!" . We walked through the dining rooms to the kitchen to the cellars with our wet boots (Chicago received 8" of snow the night before). When we return to the back to the bar area, two settings were set at the bar. The maitre'd motioned to us to have a seat while he took our coats. As we removed our layers (Chicago gets really COLD!), he said that the Chef has prepared a small bite if we had time to stay. We were in our seats before he finished his sentence. We were treated to a three-course meal with wine pairings a la minute. Just like that. Before service, whilst the staff was setting up! We were speechless and felt like we were on candid camera.It didn't end there. As we left, furiously calling our friends to brag about our experience, the maitre'd catches up to us (four blocks away) to hand us a cookbook and a bottle of steak sauce! Who does that? Chef Charlie- when we come back to Chicago, were coming to see you!

.

Working with Charlie Trotter's for a holiday party was the most appalling experience we've had in years. We rented out the restaurant for 92 people, and at every step along the way, the Trotter's people were arrogant, unresponsive and aloof. We've organized and hosted parties at some of Chicago's most esteemed institutions, and never have we encountered a crew like that at Trotter's.

The staff there ignored the budget, refused to accomodate our decorative requests, and attempted to renegotiate the contract up until the last minuute. At the end of the party, two employees told our administrative help that our group was "not aon par " with the normal restaurant clientele. Considering that we've always had positive experiences at some of the finest restaurants around the world, including Alain Ducasse's establishments in France, they're probably correct.

The food is excellent and the service is gracious and accomodating. But for a group affair, you can find much better value --and less attitude - at a number of other Chicago establishments.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Working with Charlie Trotter's for a holiday party was the most appalling experience we've had in years. We rented out the restaurant for 92 people, and at every step along the way, the Trotter's people were arrogant, unresponsive and aloof. We've organized and hosted parties at some of Chicago's most esteemed institutions, and never have we encountered a crew like that at Trotter's.

The staff there ignored the budget, refused to accomodate our decorative requests, and attempted to renegotiate the contract up until the last minuute. At the end of the party, two employees told our administrative help that our group was "not aon par " with the normal restaurant clientele. Considering that we've always had positive experiences at some of the finest restaurants around the world, including Alain Ducasse's establishments in France, they're probably correct.

The food is excellent and the service is gracious and accomodating. But for a group affair, you can find much better value --and less attitude - at a number of other Chicago establishments.

Pros: Food

Cons: Attitude

.

In August 2007, my husband and I flew to Chicago from LA to celebrate his birthday. We kicked off the celebration on our first night in town with what we thought would be a special dinner at Charlie Trotter's. We could not have been more dissappointed. For starters we were taken upstairs to a backroom, with only one other couple in the room who just happened to be seated right next to us. After they left, we were the only people in the space and were forgotten about for most of the meal. We each ordered a tasting menu. I ordered the vegetarian tasting, and my husband ordered the grand tasting. The courses across the board were overly spiced. The spcices and courses were strangely incompatible with each other. The portions were small, which in our case was a good thing. The plum with poached garlic and sauce was not appealling and I didn't eat it. When I told the waiter this was by far my least favorite dish, all he could do was repeat the ingredients for me. He never thought to ask if I wanted a substitution. The fish and meat dishes were too salty as well. The meal was unequivocally the most expensive meal we've every had, and one of the least enjoyable. We were told that Mr. Trotter was not in the restaurant that week and couldn't help but wonder if the experience would have been different had be been at the helm.

1
★☆☆☆☆

In August 2007, my husband and I flew to Chicago from LA to celebrate his birthday. We kicked off the celebration on our first night in town with what we thought would be a special dinner at Charlie Trotter's. We could not have been more dissappointed. For starters we were taken upstairs to a backroom, with only one other couple in the room who just happened to be seated right next to us. After they left, we were the only people in the space and were forgotten about for most of the meal. We each ordered a tasting menu. I ordered the vegetarian tasting, and my husband ordered the grand tasting. The courses across the board were overly spiced. The spcices and courses were strangely incompatible with each other. The portions were small, which in our case was a good thing. The plum with poached garlic and sauce was not appealling and I didn't eat it. When I told the waiter this was by far my least favorite dish, all he could do was repeat the ingredients for me. He never thought to ask if I wanted a substitution. The fish and meat dishes were too salty as well. The meal was unequivocally the most expensive meal we've every had, and one of the least enjoyable. We were told that Mr. Trotter was not in the restaurant that week and couldn't help but wonder if the experience would have been different had be been at the helm.

Pros: Reputable celebrity chef, unique food combinations

Cons: overly exotic flavors

.

My husband and I were in Chicago for our anniversary and we wanted to have dinner somewhere special. We were drawn in to the reputation of CT and hoped for a romantic dining experience. It was quite the opposite from what we expected. CT is not for young adults looking for a fun atmosphere and good food. The ambiance was pretentious and boring. The food was the worst I've ever tasted. The portions were ridiculously small and the food combinations too eclectic. Basil sorbet, mashed onion loaf, chorizo chocolate brownie - no combination of food and spice made sense or tasted edible together. My husband and I felt as though we had been robbed after paying for our meal. We were starving when we left because we could barely choke down any of the food served - we ended up eating a giant brownie sundae at the end of the night just to satiate our hunger pangs. The whole experience was extremely disappointing. I wouldn't recommend this restaurant to anyone.

1
★☆☆☆☆

My husband and I were in Chicago for our anniversary and we wanted to have dinner somewhere special. We were drawn in to the reputation of CT and hoped for a romantic dining experience. It was quite the opposite from what we expected. CT is not for young adults looking for a fun atmosphere and good food. The ambiance was pretentious and boring. The food was the worst I've ever tasted. The portions were ridiculously small and the food combinations too eclectic. Basil sorbet, mashed onion loaf, chorizo chocolate brownie - no combination of food and spice made sense or tasted edible together. My husband and I felt as though we had been robbed after paying for our meal. We were starving when we left because we could barely choke down any of the food served - we ended up eating a giant brownie sundae at the end of the night just to satiate our hunger pangs. The whole experience was extremely disappointing. I wouldn't recommend this restaurant to anyone.

Cons: Food, Service, Ambience

.

From being greated at the curb to the last "good evening" this was a true class act. Service was friendly yet professional, quick to answer questions, masterful wine pairings, incredible food. Unique ingredients selected for taste as opposed to just because they are unique. If you can appreciate fine food CT is a MUST when in Chicago.

I could say more but it would never be enough to express how wonderful this grand restaurant is so I will just say it is perfect.

5
★★★★★

From being greated at the curb to the last "good evening" this was a true class act. Service was friendly yet professional, quick to answer questions, masterful wine pairings, incredible food. Unique ingredients selected for taste as opposed to just because they are unique. If you can appreciate fine food CT is a MUST when in Chicago.

I could say more but it would never be enough to express how wonderful this grand restaurant is so I will just say it is perfect.

Pros: Knowledge of the food, willingness to answer questions, wine pairing, FOOD

Cons: None (really)

.

Very disappointed!! On a recent trip to Chicago, I couldn't wait to go to Charlie Trotter's. When we arrived, we were seated promptly in a lovely old home. It was all down hill from there. Although I expected small portions for a multi-course meal -- the portions were minute! The dishes were different to the point of absurd (fish and fennel icecream - ick). The entrees were served with almost no side dishes -- example: 1/2 of the heart of an artichoke about 1" in diameter. The sauces weren't especially interesting and after leaving the restaurant, neither my husband nor I could remember even one dish that was special or that we would ever want to eat again. Even the desserts were unspectacular. The price was high and the portions did not warrant it. I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone -- except people who want to impress their friends that they went there!

1
★☆☆☆☆

Very disappointed!! On a recent trip to Chicago, I couldn't wait to go to Charlie Trotter's. When we arrived, we were seated promptly in a lovely old home. It was all down hill from there. Although I expected small portions for a multi-course meal -- the portions were minute! The dishes were different to the point of absurd (fish and fennel icecream - ick). The entrees were served with almost no side dishes -- example: 1/2 of the heart of an artichoke about 1" in diameter. The sauces weren't especially interesting and after leaving the restaurant, neither my husband nor I could remember even one dish that was special or that we would ever want to eat again. Even the desserts were unspectacular. The price was high and the portions did not warrant it. I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone -- except people who want to impress their friends that they went there!

Pros: Nice ambience, good service

Cons: Small portions, strange combinations, nothing I'd want to eat again

.

I'm writing this review AFTER I went to Alinea and Moto. This place stinks. They shove you in the corner and ignore you all night. Where as alinea knew right away we we're newbys to this stuff but treated us like kings, Trotters was kind of like "shovem upstairs away from the REAL guests downstairs". Anyways, food was alright, dessert was cool, but I left feeling jipped. The price never bothered me, despite the similar comparisons to Alineas pricing, Trotters was half the bill at Alinea. But that half pays a price. What I did appreciate was that there was no pressure for more wine. Pushed upon alot at Moto. Anyways. Don't listen to me, read the other reviews.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I'm writing this review AFTER I went to Alinea and Moto. This place stinks. They shove you in the corner and ignore you all night. Where as alinea knew right away we we're newbys to this stuff but treated us like kings, Trotters was kind of like "shovem upstairs away from the REAL guests downstairs". Anyways, food was alright, dessert was cool, but I left feeling jipped. The price never bothered me, despite the similar comparisons to Alineas pricing, Trotters was half the bill at Alinea. But that half pays a price. What I did appreciate was that there was no pressure for more wine. Pushed upon alot at Moto. Anyways. Don't listen to me, read the other reviews.

Pros: Great dessert.

Cons: Stuffy.

.

Very anticipated meal and it did not disappoint. The courses are small but there are 9 and bread. Pricey but worth it for a once and a lifetime experience. Was one of the best things, if not the best thing, we did in Chicago.
Our waiter was a sommelier, a restaurants wine expert, and helped us pick out a nice bottle of wine that would fit our price range. The waitors very knowledgeable about the food, wine, and how to make us happy. We felt like royalty, and it was the most memorable experience I have ever had.
We chose the Grande Menu which was the meat version rather than the vegetable version and the waiter asked us if we had any allergies or if there were things we did not like. We received around 9 courses of small tasting plates that had amazing presentation and everything tasted perfect. We started with a blue fin tuna that consisted of two small cuts of tuna displayed perfectly on the plate. We also were served Alaskan King Salmon with Bok Choy and theseImage spectacular sweet and sour duck gizzards with a yellow curry sauce that complemented the salmon without taking away the true flavor of the fish. Next, we received a whole roasted Squab which was cooked flawlessly with a slightly crispy skin and juicy and flavorful bite. The main course was Lamb Loin with a Black Cardamom Mole and ash baked eggplant which was slow cooked in the oven until it is a puree. The Lamb was amazing and very juicy with the mole sauce it was to die for. We also got three desserts and were asked if we would like anything else and received two extra desserts for no cost.
We asked lots of questions and were given a tour of the kitchen, three wine cellars, and shown where Charlie Trotter films his cooking show. This was one of the best experiences of my life and caped off a wonderful trip to Chicago . It is listed under one of the 2001 Things To Do Before You Die�, and it is deservedly so. Best meal, service, experience Ever!!!!

5
★★★★★

Very anticipated meal and it did not disappoint. The courses are small but there are 9 and bread. Pricey but worth it for a once and a lifetime experience. Was one of the best things, if not the best thing, we did in Chicago.
Our waiter was a sommelier, a restaurants wine expert, and helped us pick out a nice bottle of wine that would fit our price range. The waitors very knowledgeable about the food, wine, and how to make us happy. We felt like royalty, and it was the most memorable experience I have ever had.
We chose the Grande Menu which was the meat version rather than the vegetable version and the waiter asked us if we had any allergies or if there were things we did not like. We received around 9 courses of small tasting plates that had amazing presentation and everything tasted perfect. We started with a blue fin tuna that consisted of two small cuts of tuna displayed perfectly on the plate. We also were served Alaskan King Salmon with Bok Choy and theseImage spectacular sweet and sour duck gizzards with a yellow curry sauce that complemented the salmon without taking away the true flavor of the fish. Next, we received a whole roasted Squab which was cooked flawlessly with a slightly crispy skin and juicy and flavorful bite. The main course was Lamb Loin with a Black Cardamom Mole and ash baked eggplant which was slow cooked in the oven until it is a puree. The Lamb was amazing and very juicy with the mole sauce it was to die for. We also got three desserts and were asked if we would like anything else and received two extra desserts for no cost.
We asked lots of questions and were given a tour of the kitchen, three wine cellars, and shown where Charlie Trotter films his cooking show. This was one of the best experiences of my life and caped off a wonderful trip to Chicago . It is listed under one of the 2001 Things To Do Before You Die�, and it is deservedly so. Best meal, service, experience Ever!!!!

Pros: Perfect Food + Flawless Service + Astonishing Wine List = Amazing Time

Cons: Price- Wish I could afford to go every time I come back to Chicago.

.

Charlie has everything perfect except two things... 2 major deals!

First, if you are dining at a FINE eatery...DO NOT HERD patrons like cattle. When you show up you are kept in an area large enough for 10 people max to be comfortable. Some how they sqeeze around 30+...ridicoulous!

Second, the food is excellent in taste...if you could actually get more than a tablespoon worth on each plate. This needs to increase! I am not suggesting "all you can eat" but, more than a spoonful at best would be much appreciated. I left hungry, and consumed more bread/butter and wine than actual dishes served.

2
★★☆☆☆

Charlie has everything perfect except two things... 2 major deals!

First, if you are dining at a FINE eatery...DO NOT HERD patrons like cattle. When you show up you are kept in an area large enough for 10 people max to be comfortable. Some how they sqeeze around 30+...ridicoulous!

Second, the food is excellent in taste...if you could actually get more than a tablespoon worth on each plate. This needs to increase! I am not suggesting "all you can eat" but, more than a spoonful at best would be much appreciated. I left hungry, and consumed more bread/butter and wine than actual dishes served.

Pros: Service, atmoshere, & service again.

Cons: food portion, and desserts tasted like store bought candy pieces

.

In December of 2005 I flew my boyfriend and I from Austin, TX to Chicago for the purpose of dining at Charlie Trotter's. This was my Christmas present to him and he has yet to stop talking about it (It's Summer of 2006 now). When we first arrived there we were greeted by several members of the waitstaff. As we were taken to our table, which was upstairs, every waiter/waitress who was busy doing something else would stop, look at us, and say, "Welcome to Charlie Trotter's." During our dining experience the entire staff seem to trully care about every little request that we might have. My boyfriend and I both felt like royalty. After we finished eating, we were given a tour of the restaurant (the three wine cellars, the kitchen, and the area where Charlie conducts a cooking show). Even when we were in the kitchen the chefs would stop what they were doing and greet us. The food was absolutley breath-taking, the customer service was out of this world, and well worth every single penny. Since we've been back our tastebuds have changed because we can't stand mediocre food anymore. We will definately plan a trip back!

5
★★★★★

In December of 2005 I flew my boyfriend and I from Austin, TX to Chicago for the purpose of dining at Charlie Trotter's. This was my Christmas present to him and he has yet to stop talking about it (It's Summer of 2006 now). When we first arrived there we were greeted by several members of the waitstaff. As we were taken to our table, which was upstairs, every waiter/waitress who was busy doing something else would stop, look at us, and say, "Welcome to Charlie Trotter's." During our dining experience the entire staff seem to trully care about every little request that we might have. My boyfriend and I both felt like royalty. After we finished eating, we were given a tour of the restaurant (the three wine cellars, the kitchen, and the area where Charlie conducts a cooking show). Even when we were in the kitchen the chefs would stop what they were doing and greet us. The food was absolutley breath-taking, the customer service was out of this world, and well worth every single penny. Since we've been back our tastebuds have changed because we can't stand mediocre food anymore. We will definately plan a trip back!

Pros: Service, hospitality, food quality

Cons: none

.

I went to Trotters on a whim. I was visiting friends who were not available to eat with me one night of my stay-I tried Trotters, and as luck would have it, got in for a table of one. What an amazing evening! I had eaten at Tru the night before, and while the service at Trotters was not at the level of Tru, the food was UNBELIEVABLE!! It's always fun to be a woman eating alone-let alone in a fine dining establishment like this--the staff handeled my dinner with grace and care, and I wouldn't hesitate to go back.

5
★★★★★

I went to Trotters on a whim. I was visiting friends who were not available to eat with me one night of my stay-I tried Trotters, and as luck would have it, got in for a table of one. What an amazing evening! I had eaten at Tru the night before, and while the service at Trotters was not at the level of Tru, the food was UNBELIEVABLE!! It's always fun to be a woman eating alone-let alone in a fine dining establishment like this--the staff handeled my dinner with grace and care, and I wouldn't hesitate to go back.

.

Beautiful ambience, multiple edbile works of art, very good service, UNDERSTAND THIS RESTAURANT IS FOR GOURMETS, If you don't read or have familiarity with magazines like Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine or Wine Spectator you may find yourself our of your element. I suggest taking a friend who fits this bill as it will give greater insight into the experience. It also works best with more than two diners as its a 3-4 hour journey and more people keep the conversation lively between courses.

5
★★★★★

Beautiful ambience, multiple edbile works of art, very good service, UNDERSTAND THIS RESTAURANT IS FOR GOURMETS, If you don't read or have familiarity with magazines like Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine or Wine Spectator you may find yourself our of your element. I suggest taking a friend who fits this bill as it will give greater insight into the experience. It also works best with more than two diners as its a 3-4 hour journey and more people keep the conversation lively between courses.

Pros: Perfection, Perfection, Perfection

Cons: Table Wait

.

I was one of those students invited to eat at Charlie Trotters for free. I have to say that the food was amazing. Charlie Trotter goes beyond borders, and opens up your mind and taste buds to something new for a change. The staff is there for your every need, while they explain the story behind each dish. I have been there three times, and it gets better everytime I go. It is definetely worth going to even if I have to pay next time. I recommend that you go to taste something new and rare, don`t spend so much money if all you want is to get full.

5
★★★★★

I was one of those students invited to eat at Charlie Trotters for free. I have to say that the food was amazing. Charlie Trotter goes beyond borders, and opens up your mind and taste buds to something new for a change. The staff is there for your every need, while they explain the story behind each dish. I have been there three times, and it gets better everytime I go. It is definetely worth going to even if I have to pay next time. I recommend that you go to taste something new and rare, don`t spend so much money if all you want is to get full.

Pros: Attentive Staff, Quiet atmosphere, Quality ingredients

.

Almost all the negative reviews of Charlies complain of the "lack of portions" or "this stuff is art, not food." Charlie's serves edible art, as all the best restaurants of the world do. If you want a porterhouse, don't come here. If you want courses finely crafted to perfection, then do come here. The serves are precise and quite unpretentious, contrary to some reviewers. In Chicago, it's all about the food. Charlie's staff doesn't have their nose in the air because they are too busy admiring the art, even after all these years. The wine list is still one of the best on the planet. During one meal, we were brought thirteen desserts for three people. Yes, thirteen. Fiji water complements all their offerings. Charlie's is the best, and anyone who says otherwise simply is not acquainted with the world of food and wine.

5
★★★★★

Almost all the negative reviews of Charlies complain of the "lack of portions" or "this stuff is art, not food." Charlie's serves edible art, as all the best restaurants of the world do. If you want a porterhouse, don't come here. If you want courses finely crafted to perfection, then do come here. The serves are precise and quite unpretentious, contrary to some reviewers. In Chicago, it's all about the food. Charlie's staff doesn't have their nose in the air because they are too busy admiring the art, even after all these years. The wine list is still one of the best on the planet. During one meal, we were brought thirteen desserts for three people. Yes, thirteen. Fiji water complements all their offerings. Charlie's is the best, and anyone who says otherwise simply is not acquainted with the world of food and wine.

.

I went with a large group (15 people) and we had a wonderful experience. We were in the upstairs group room, and Mr Trotter himself introduced each dish. It was a wonderful experience!!! I am definitely going back!

5
★★★★★

I went with a large group (15 people) and we had a wonderful experience. We were in the upstairs group room, and Mr Trotter himself introduced each dish. It was a wonderful experience!!! I am definitely going back!

.

My husband and I went to Charlie Trotter's for our anniversary last month. We had traveled from L.A.to Chicago specifically to go to Charlie Trotters. I've wanted to go there since I got out of culinary school in 2000. We were greated and seated promptly and the wait staff were attentive and friendly. The food was very average and the portions extremely skimpy. The wine pourings were extremely small. Food presentation was average, at best. The six course tasting menu consisted of ahi tuna with cucumber soup and avocado garnish, some kind of fish with domestic caviar, squab with sweatbread, lamb chop, sorbet, and 2 small desserts. Yeah, the teaspoon of sorbet was counted as a course. Overall, truly a disappointment!

3
★★★☆☆

My husband and I went to Charlie Trotter's for our anniversary last month. We had traveled from L.A.to Chicago specifically to go to Charlie Trotters. I've wanted to go there since I got out of culinary school in 2000. We were greated and seated promptly and the wait staff were attentive and friendly. The food was very average and the portions extremely skimpy. The wine pourings were extremely small. Food presentation was average, at best. The six course tasting menu consisted of ahi tuna with cucumber soup and avocado garnish, some kind of fish with domestic caviar, squab with sweatbread, lamb chop, sorbet, and 2 small desserts. Yeah, the teaspoon of sorbet was counted as a course. Overall, truly a disappointment!

Pros: good service

Cons: , uninspired

.

Trotter and his staff deliver an amazing, steady stream of small highly creative culinary works of art, many with incredible flavors. All the superlatives apply. Serious foodies will enjoy it more than just big spenders or romance-seekers. Ask to see the impressive kitchen when you're done. There are some caveats though:

1) Prepare yourself: You will pay about $500 for 2 people with a moderate-for-this-place ($100) wine purchase. But that's what a global top-10 restaurant costs these days.

2) You eat from a fixed tasting menu. You will be full, but not stuffed.

3) We found service to be a bit uneven. While it started out very well, our waiters later missed some tasks: forgot wine that had been ordered, failed to offer coffee, etc. That shouldn't happen at this level.

Still, an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience!

4
★★★★☆

Trotter and his staff deliver an amazing, steady stream of small highly creative culinary works of art, many with incredible flavors. All the superlatives apply. Serious foodies will enjoy it more than just big spenders or romance-seekers. Ask to see the impressive kitchen when you're done. There are some caveats though:

1) Prepare yourself: You will pay about $500 for 2 people with a moderate-for-this-place ($100) wine purchase. But that's what a global top-10 restaurant costs these days.

2) You eat from a fixed tasting menu. You will be full, but not stuffed.

3) We found service to be a bit uneven. While it started out very well, our waiters later missed some tasks: forgot wine that had been ordered, failed to offer coffee, etc. That shouldn't happen at this level.

Still, an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Pros: Innovative cuisine, Great food styling

Cons: , Uneven service

.

What a wonderful experience. My husband treated me to a night at Charlie Trotter's for our anniversary, and I loved every minute of it. The food was some of the best we have eaten (and we have eaten at fine restaurants all over the world). The wine pairing was excellent.

5
★★★★★

What a wonderful experience. My husband treated me to a night at Charlie Trotter's for our anniversary, and I loved every minute of it. The food was some of the best we have eaten (and we have eaten at fine restaurants all over the world). The wine pairing was excellent.

Pros: Food, Service, Wine

.

I am a manager at a local hotel and often send guetss to Trotter's if available, and decided to take my husband to Trotter's as a birthday gift. Truly exquisite in every detail - from the host meeting us in front of the restaurant and walking us in, to the waiters who attended to every detail. The menu was simply amazing - my husband had the grand tasting, and I opted for the Vegetarian so we could share. Add the wine tasting, which matched beautifully to the meal, and Viola! Perfection. An evening such as this, you can overlook the $600 price tag for a dinner for 2.

5
★★★★★

I am a manager at a local hotel and often send guetss to Trotter's if available, and decided to take my husband to Trotter's as a birthday gift. Truly exquisite in every detail - from the host meeting us in front of the restaurant and walking us in, to the waiters who attended to every detail. The menu was simply amazing - my husband had the grand tasting, and I opted for the Vegetarian so we could share. Add the wine tasting, which matched beautifully to the meal, and Viola! Perfection. An evening such as this, you can overlook the $600 price tag for a dinner for 2.

.

One of the best meals I've had. The fall menu was well balanced and had wonderful variety.

Skate topped with oxtail was an amazing combination. Squash soufflé with a terrine of beets was a great match. Only low was the ocean trout, which to me seemed too much like salmon.

Dining room is little too intimate. We were right up close to the table next to ours. Don't plan to have a private conversation.

We were given 4 desserts (not part of the menu). Each was original and surprisingly light. We finished off with a tour of the kitchen, which was great fun.

Definitely worth a Chicago pilgrimage

5
★★★★★

One of the best meals I've had. The fall menu was well balanced and had wonderful variety.

Skate topped with oxtail was an amazing combination. Squash soufflé with a terrine of beets was a great match. Only low was the ocean trout, which to me seemed too much like salmon.

Dining room is little too intimate. We were right up close to the table next to ours. Don't plan to have a private conversation.

We were given 4 desserts (not part of the menu). Each was original and surprisingly light. We finished off with a tour of the kitchen, which was great fun.

Definitely worth a Chicago pilgrimage

Pros: Original Food, Great Wine List, Fun Location

Cons: Price, Small Dining Room

.

...I also recommend you read the reviews here. This is one restaurant that you should know what you're going to get (and give) before you go. If you are willing to spend some money and you appreciate a wonderfully unique culinary experience that includes varied tastes and textures, this is for you. Having a set menu was refreshing. If you get tired of making decisions all day, let CT's make them for you. Just sit back and enjoy. The wine accompaniment menu was delightful and nice to have the variety with each course. Service is outstanding without any pretense. Atmosphere is elegantly cozy and sophisticated. Perfect for a special occasion, one where the meal will be part of your experience that evening.

5
★★★★★

...I also recommend you read the reviews here. This is one restaurant that you should know what you're going to get (and give) before you go. If you are willing to spend some money and you appreciate a wonderfully unique culinary experience that includes varied tastes and textures, this is for you. Having a set menu was refreshing. If you get tired of making decisions all day, let CT's make them for you. Just sit back and enjoy. The wine accompaniment menu was delightful and nice to have the variety with each course. Service is outstanding without any pretense. Atmosphere is elegantly cozy and sophisticated. Perfect for a special occasion, one where the meal will be part of your experience that evening.

Pros: food, wine, service

Cons: price

.

Trotter's is a decent place to go but I really don't feel you get the value from it. The food is more of a work of art rather than something to eat, and you may leave a bit hungry due to the lesser portions.
The wine list is extensive, I needed some help with it and found the staff to be very helpful and their ideas made for incredible wine selections, The food was good although I find monk fish disgusting, wasn't this fish a garbage fish 15 years ago? The desserts were terrific, but kudo's to the staff they really did a nice job.

3
★★★☆☆

Trotter's is a decent place to go but I really don't feel you get the value from it. The food is more of a work of art rather than something to eat, and you may leave a bit hungry due to the lesser portions.
The wine list is extensive, I needed some help with it and found the staff to be very helpful and their ideas made for incredible wine selections, The food was good although I find monk fish disgusting, wasn't this fish a garbage fish 15 years ago? The desserts were terrific, but kudo's to the staff they really did a nice job.

Pros: Staff, Quiteness, wine list

Cons: main course's, PRICE

.

A wonderful gourmet experience where you are perfectly taken care of during its whole duration. People were wonderful, food was so refined that I still feel it in my mouth... But be aware that it is very very very ... expensive (we paid $400 for 2 with 4 glasses of wine, far from being the best onses!). Go for it, just relax and enjoy!

5
★★★★★

A wonderful gourmet experience where you are perfectly taken care of during its whole duration. People were wonderful, food was so refined that I still feel it in my mouth... But be aware that it is very very very ... expensive (we paid $400 for 2 with 4 glasses of wine, far from being the best onses!). Go for it, just relax and enjoy!

.

Roll out the red carpet, we were royalty for three hours. The very best meal I've ever eaten, the very best meal my wife and children have ever eaten. Charlie Trotter will go to the ends of the earth for ingredients that will add to your culinary experience and his staff will make you feel like he did it just for you. This was an incredible seven courses of flavor, texture, and ambience that can not be given justice in 150 words or less. My only regret is that I can afford this experience but once every ten years (although I am considering spending my son's college tuition and coming back in next year).

5
★★★★★

Roll out the red carpet, we were royalty for three hours. The very best meal I've ever eaten, the very best meal my wife and children have ever eaten. Charlie Trotter will go to the ends of the earth for ingredients that will add to your culinary experience and his staff will make you feel like he did it just for you. This was an incredible seven courses of flavor, texture, and ambience that can not be given justice in 150 words or less. My only regret is that I can afford this experience but once every ten years (although I am considering spending my son's college tuition and coming back in next year).

.

This is a breath of fresh air among the many stale, traditional and forgettable restaurants one finds in the US. The food is outstanding, with little to envy from the best restaurants in Paris. The wine list is exquisite, with one wonderful surprise after another. The service is outstanding, attentive but not intrusive. The modest portions, the refined atmosphere, the discrete service and only the best ingredients, make this restaurant an epicurean delight. Clearly a cut above the rest.

5
★★★★★

This is a breath of fresh air among the many stale, traditional and forgettable restaurants one finds in the US. The food is outstanding, with little to envy from the best restaurants in Paris. The wine list is exquisite, with one wonderful surprise after another. The service is outstanding, attentive but not intrusive. The modest portions, the refined atmosphere, the discrete service and only the best ingredients, make this restaurant an epicurean delight. Clearly a cut above the rest.

Pros: the flavors, the presentation, the wines

Cons: can't think of any...

.

Without question Charlie Trotter's provides a whimsical and insightful cuisine that dances off the menu and tantalizes the taste buds. Exotic and interesting ingredients are presented in exciting and interesting combinations that excite the palette. Service was outstanding, comfortable and professional. The tour of the kitchen was a wonderful experience. The restaurant sits in two brown stones put together to create an intimate and relaxing atmosphere.

5
★★★★★

Without question Charlie Trotter's provides a whimsical and insightful cuisine that dances off the menu and tantalizes the taste buds. Exotic and interesting ingredients are presented in exciting and interesting combinations that excite the palette. Service was outstanding, comfortable and professional. The tour of the kitchen was a wonderful experience. The restaurant sits in two brown stones put together to create an intimate and relaxing atmosphere.

.

This restaurant is not for everyone - it is EXTREMELY expensive - and the food is cutting edge creative. Dining at Trotter's is about the experience - not about how full you can stuff your belly. You want that giant steak/potato? Head to Morton's (which is also fantastic for different reasons) but if you are in search of a one of a kind dining EXPERIENCE do not pass on a chance to dine with Charlie. But be sure to bring the AMEX Platinum........

5
★★★★★

This restaurant is not for everyone - it is EXTREMELY expensive - and the food is cutting edge creative. Dining at Trotter's is about the experience - not about how full you can stuff your belly. You want that giant steak/potato? Head to Morton's (which is also fantastic for different reasons) but if you are in search of a one of a kind dining EXPERIENCE do not pass on a chance to dine with Charlie. But be sure to bring the AMEX Platinum........

Pros: Service, Atmosphere, Creativity

Cons: Expense

.

I knew going in that you basically eat what Charlie and his staff deems to serve you that night, a multi course degustation menu--one with meat, one veggie. That's part of the whole experience, you're putting it all in the chef's hands and you have no idea what you're going to be served. The food was outstanding. We both had the regular degustation menu. I wasn't too impressed with the decor. There's no windows inside the restaraunt and it felt kind of cramped. Elegant, of course, but nothing mind blowing. I tried to go through the telephone book sized wine list. No, we didn't order one of those $12,000 bottles they have listed there. Instead, we went with the waiter's suggestion of their wine "tasting" program. Each course comes with its own half glass of wine. I recommend that for the wine-ignorant.

5
★★★★★

I knew going in that you basically eat what Charlie and his staff deems to serve you that night, a multi course degustation menu--one with meat, one veggie. That's part of the whole experience, you're putting it all in the chef's hands and you have no idea what you're going to be served. The food was outstanding. We both had the regular degustation menu. I wasn't too impressed with the decor. There's no windows inside the restaraunt and it felt kind of cramped. Elegant, of course, but nothing mind blowing. I tried to go through the telephone book sized wine list. No, we didn't order one of those $12,000 bottles they have listed there. Instead, we went with the waiter's suggestion of their wine "tasting" program. Each course comes with its own half glass of wine. I recommend that for the wine-ignorant.

.

too little, too pretentious and not enough choices. Talk about living off a reputation. Who are the so called "experts" (such as Wine Spectator ) that keep giving Trotter's great reviews?

2
★★☆☆☆

too little, too pretentious and not enough choices. Talk about living off a reputation. Who are the so called "experts" (such as Wine Spectator ) that keep giving Trotter's great reviews?

.

I was thoroughly disappointed with Charlie Trotter's. The food was nothing to rave about. For what we spent on dinner and wine it should have been the very best meal I've ever eaten. Instead, it was barely memorable.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I was thoroughly disappointed with Charlie Trotter's. The food was nothing to rave about. For what we spent on dinner and wine it should have been the very best meal I've ever eaten. Instead, it was barely memorable.

.

I can't believe how disappointed we were with this "world class" restaurant. I've never left a place so hungry and shocked by the lack of food. I wouldn't go back for free.

1
★☆☆☆☆

I can't believe how disappointed we were with this "world class" restaurant. I've never left a place so hungry and shocked by the lack of food. I wouldn't go back for free.

Cons: over priced, stuffy, no food to eat

.

I would never step foot in this resturant again. I will say we had a good laugh watching other people,as they were being served their "food'. We were sure Charlie was having a good laugh at the same time,thinking about how much money they wrer paying him for what you could only call art, because it was not a meal!!!!

1
★☆☆☆☆

I would never step foot in this resturant again. I will say we had a good laugh watching other people,as they were being served their "food'. We were sure Charlie was having a good laugh at the same time,thinking about how much money they wrer paying him for what you could only call art, because it was not a meal!!!!

.

Trotter's is an experience like few others in the world. It is all about the food - no gimmicks, no ornate ambiance, no over the top presentations. Those that don't understand this will be disappointed. Charlie is to food as Monet was to art. Small impressions flowing effortlessly from plate to plate.

5
★★★★★

Trotter's is an experience like few others in the world. It is all about the food - no gimmicks, no ornate ambiance, no over the top presentations. Those that don't understand this will be disappointed. Charlie is to food as Monet was to art. Small impressions flowing effortlessly from plate to plate.

Pros: unusual ingredients, flawless service, personal attention

Cons: very expensive, difficult reservation, can be stuffy

.

How can Trotter's be sandwiched in-between two great steak houses. It's over rated, stuffy, too pricey and you leave hungry......

2
★★☆☆☆

How can Trotter's be sandwiched in-between two great steak houses. It's over rated, stuffy, too pricey and you leave hungry......

Pros: Trendy

Cons: Stuffy, Pricey, Small servings

.

First time in Chicago and we were able to get a reservation at one of the finest restaurants in the world! We celebrated my boyfriend's birthday here and were treated well -- we were one of the last to leave and got a tour of the kitchen! The food and service were amazing, staff was friendly and enjoyable. You definitely get what you pay for!

5
★★★★★

First time in Chicago and we were able to get a reservation at one of the finest restaurants in the world! We celebrated my boyfriend's birthday here and were treated well -- we were one of the last to leave and got a tour of the kitchen! The food and service were amazing, staff was friendly and enjoyable. You definitely get what you pay for!

Pros: Service, Food

.

I love great restaurants and this is one of them.
The menu is imaginative and the food is outstanding.

5
★★★★★

I love great restaurants and this is one of them.
The menu is imaginative and the food is outstanding.

.

My wife and I just had our anniversary dinner here. The waiter presented us with the menu. At the top of the menu was a personalized message wishing us a happy anniversary. Great touch. The menu was inventive and interesting. We made a mistake going with a less-expensive wine. If we did it over again, we would have selected the somelier's suggestions. Every dish was either extraordinary or very very good. The service was impeccable. The atmosphere was comfortable (a little chilly). The room smelled of delicious pastries. Still, there was something unsatisfying about the overall experience. I think that Trotter's has a reputation that is impossible to live up to. Still, it is difficult to find fault with this amazing place.

5
★★★★★

My wife and I just had our anniversary dinner here. The waiter presented us with the menu. At the top of the menu was a personalized message wishing us a happy anniversary. Great touch. The menu was inventive and interesting. We made a mistake going with a less-expensive wine. If we did it over again, we would have selected the somelier's suggestions. Every dish was either extraordinary or very very good. The service was impeccable. The atmosphere was comfortable (a little chilly). The room smelled of delicious pastries. Still, there was something unsatisfying about the overall experience. I think that Trotter's has a reputation that is impossible to live up to. Still, it is difficult to find fault with this amazing place.

Pros: food, service, ambience

Cons: price

Editorial from

It is hard to believe that Charlie Trotter has maintained his perpetual quest to better himself and his staff for more than two decades, but those who've dined here recently know it's true. His obsession with what he calls "excellence" has…

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