Duchamp

★★★☆☆
  • 2118 N Damen Ave

    Chicago, IL 60647

    Map & Directions
  • 773-235-6435

About Duchamp

Categories
  • Restaurants
  • Traditional American Restaurants
Details
  • $$
  • Date Spot
  • Group Dining
  • Local Favorite
  • Outdoor Dining
  • People Watching
Reservations
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Food

Food
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3.0 5
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Duchamp was a mid-level disappointment. If not for the Yelp Prix Fixe pricing, it would have been a bitter one. The Duchamps of the world should take note that we are all sick of predatorily-priced mediocrity. That??s why its dining room was half-empty on a Saturday.

Great deals are to be had with the Yelp Prix Fixe menu. Like the genius of Miami Spice where one could sample a 4-star kitchen for $35 even though normal pricing would run 5x, Yelp went one step further and mandated $25 for a three-course meal. At Duchamp, said pricing bought you a small-plate (normally priced from 7.95 to 12.95), large plate (13.95-23.95) and a sampling of 3 deserts normally priced $8. Pretty decent. Price, that is. The quality of the meal was anything but. The only good that evening came in the form of white flatbread pizza which was different enough to be good, not great. The ??deconstructed? tuna nicoise was unacceptably bland and used the cheapest cuts of the cheapest tuna (tail/ahi). 12 bucks for 4 razor-slices of that with whatever other reconstruction they dribbled on the plate was a giant miss.

The often-photographed Havarti cheeseburger looks pretty, thick and juicy. It very well might be. IF, that is, they didn??t fry it straight to the ninth circle of hell. I specifically ordered rare (rather than medium-rare) knowing that such thickness tends to overcook quite often. The waiter assured me that they know how to do medium-rare perfectly. I should have ordered raw because I was punished with a well-done patty. When something 2.5 inches thick is cooked through, it really really sucks. You and I know this. Why doesn??t the kitchen? Why not send it back? I was hungry and the waiter vanished. Not cool. But the cheese was good. Havarti always is. Is there a less healthy cheese that isn??t triple-cream? I hope not.

On to the final charge in what could be a multi-count indictment: alcohol. Done are the days of charging limbs for martinis. It is absolutely inexcusable. $12.25 is resort-pricing ?? not that of a mid-range restaurant. And the sly little trick you pulled in pricing was worthy of mention and warning to the unsuspecting. Kettle One costs $1 less than Belvedere on the Duchamp pricing scale. I ordered Kettle One. You were out of Kettle. You offered me Belvedere. I accepted. My first martini cost $11.25 as Kettle does. The next two cost 12.25 as Belvedere does. Not cool again. When a restaurant is out-of-stock the substitute needs to reflect the lowest price, not the highest. Especially when the price is already ridiculous.

Based on Saturday??s experience, Duchamp would be doing Bucktown a favor if, like the eponymous artist after whom it??s named, it retired and did something scholarly instead. I hear ??endgame? was a fun pursuit for dear Marcel. Duchamp Restaurant should start thinking of one.

1
★★☆☆☆

Duchamp was a mid-level disappointment. If not for the Yelp Prix Fixe pricing, it would have been a bitter one. The Duchamps of the world should take note that we are all sick of predatorily-priced mediocrity. That??s why its dining room was half-empty on a Saturday.

Great deals are to be had with the Yelp Prix Fixe menu. Like the genius of Miami Spice where one could sample a 4-star kitchen for $35 even though normal pricing would run 5x, Yelp went one step further and mandated $25 for a three-course meal. At Duchamp, said pricing bought you a small-plate (normally priced from 7.95 to 12.95), large plate (13.95-23.95) and a sampling of 3 deserts normally priced $8. Pretty decent. Price, that is. The quality of the meal was anything but. The only good that evening came in the form of white flatbread pizza which was different enough to be good, not great. The ??deconstructed? tuna nicoise was unacceptably bland and used the cheapest cuts of the cheapest tuna (tail/ahi). 12 bucks for 4 razor-slices of that with whatever other reconstruction they dribbled on the plate was a giant miss.

The often-photographed Havarti cheeseburger looks pretty, thick and juicy. It very well might be. IF, that is, they didn??t fry it straight to the ninth circle of hell. I specifically ordered rare (rather than medium-rare) knowing that such thickness tends to overcook quite often. The waiter assured me that they know how to do medium-rare perfectly. I should have ordered raw because I was punished with a well-done patty. When something 2.5 inches thick is cooked through, it really really sucks. You and I know this. Why doesn??t the kitchen? Why not send it back? I was hungry and the waiter vanished. Not cool. But the cheese was good. Havarti always is. Is there a less healthy cheese that isn??t triple-cream? I hope not.

On to the final charge in what could be a multi-count indictment: alcohol. Done are the days of charging limbs for martinis. It is absolutely inexcusable. $12.25 is resort-pricing ?? not that of a mid-range restaurant. And the sly little trick you pulled in pricing was worthy of mention and warning to the unsuspecting. Kettle One costs $1 less than Belvedere on the Duchamp pricing scale. I ordered Kettle One. You were out of Kettle. You offered me Belvedere. I accepted. My first martini cost $11.25 as Kettle does. The next two cost 12.25 as Belvedere does. Not cool again. When a restaurant is out-of-stock the substitute needs to reflect the lowest price, not the highest. Especially when the price is already ridiculous.

Based on Saturday??s experience, Duchamp would be doing Bucktown a favor if, like the eponymous artist after whom it??s named, it retired and did something scholarly instead. I hear ??endgame? was a fun pursuit for dear Marcel. Duchamp Restaurant should start thinking of one.

Pros: Yelp Prix Fixe Pricing

Cons: Service, Liquir Pricing, Overcooked Havarti Burger

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the new space is nicely decorated, the staff attractive and the barman was friendly. we sat outside and i have to say i'm not a fan of the communal tables (especially on a date) but there's no choice so we went with the flow.
being unsure of the size of the portions and in no hurry, we wanted to order our meal one coarse at a time but were informed that " you have to order everything at once". that's a pet peeve of mine especially when eating food that doesn't require lengthy or complicated preparation.
we ordered our "small plates" , white pizza and gazpacho. both were very nice, especially the soup.
our "large plates" were not good and certainly not large. my bouillabaisse was "constructed" in a small deep bowl with a tiny piece of chilean bass at the bottom and some rock shrimp and mussels on top, there was barely enough broth (which was very tasty) to cover the bottom of the bowl, leaving the shrimp and mussels dry and tasteless (all the ingredients had obviously been cooked separately and only the bass had any flavour). the toasted bread that accompanies the dish is pointless as there's not enough broth to dip it in .
my dates skate wing fish and chips was awful. the skate (naturally one of the most moist of fish) was as dry as a bone and tasted like fish fingers that had been under a heat lamp for an hour at a buffet. growing up in europe where skate wing is very expensive and treated as a delicacy, i've never imagined it was possible to prepare it so poorly.
for desert we tried the creme brulee which had good flavour but again the preparation was terrible, once the sugared top was broken it was liquid inside, like an amateur had made it.
the wine list was interesting and reasonably priced, we enjoyed the champagne by the glass and a very nice bottle of sauvignon blanc. the service at duchamp was attentive and unobtrusive, the wine selection good . however the preparation of the food is very poor, i really wanted to like duchamp but i didn't.

1
★★☆☆☆

the new space is nicely decorated, the staff attractive and the barman was friendly. we sat outside and i have to say i'm not a fan of the communal tables (especially on a date) but there's no choice so we went with the flow.
being unsure of the size of the portions and in no hurry, we wanted to order our meal one coarse at a time but were informed that " you have to order everything at once". that's a pet peeve of mine especially when eating food that doesn't require lengthy or complicated preparation.
we ordered our "small plates" , white pizza and gazpacho. both were very nice, especially the soup.
our "large plates" were not good and certainly not large. my bouillabaisse was "constructed" in a small deep bowl with a tiny piece of chilean bass at the bottom and some rock shrimp and mussels on top, there was barely enough broth (which was very tasty) to cover the bottom of the bowl, leaving the shrimp and mussels dry and tasteless (all the ingredients had obviously been cooked separately and only the bass had any flavour). the toasted bread that accompanies the dish is pointless as there's not enough broth to dip it in .
my dates skate wing fish and chips was awful. the skate (naturally one of the most moist of fish) was as dry as a bone and tasted like fish fingers that had been under a heat lamp for an hour at a buffet. growing up in europe where skate wing is very expensive and treated as a delicacy, i've never imagined it was possible to prepare it so poorly.
for desert we tried the creme brulee which had good flavour but again the preparation was terrible, once the sugared top was broken it was liquid inside, like an amateur had made it.
the wine list was interesting and reasonably priced, we enjoyed the champagne by the glass and a very nice bottle of sauvignon blanc. the service at duchamp was attentive and unobtrusive, the wine selection good . however the preparation of the food is very poor, i really wanted to like duchamp but i didn't.

Pros: wine and service

Cons: food

.

We went during it's first week, so I can only imagine how much better everything will get. Service was knowledgeable, friendly and attentive. The smoked salmon topped caper blinis were delish, as was the beet salad. The braised pork was flavorful and tender, and the Chilean sea bass bouillibaise was well-balanced and sweet. Dessert-- the cake pudding was eh, but the chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwichs were perfect. I'll definitely be back-- and make a reservation!

2
★★★★★

We went during it's first week, so I can only imagine how much better everything will get. Service was knowledgeable, friendly and attentive. The smoked salmon topped caper blinis were delish, as was the beet salad. The braised pork was flavorful and tender, and the Chilean sea bass bouillibaise was well-balanced and sweet. Dessert-- the cake pudding was eh, but the chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwichs were perfect. I'll definitely be back-- and make a reservation!

Pros: Food, ambience, service

Cons: Parking, but it's Bucktown

.

The food was pretty good at this place, but the service was really bad. The waiter was borderline rude to us because we didn't order entree portions. All in all, it took over 2 hours to get our salad and appetizer, which was unacceptable. The restaurant wasn't even crowded, so it's not like the kitchen was swamped.

2
★★☆☆☆

The food was pretty good at this place, but the service was really bad. The waiter was borderline rude to us because we didn't order entree portions. All in all, it took over 2 hours to get our salad and appetizer, which was unacceptable. The restaurant wasn't even crowded, so it's not like the kitchen was swamped.

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The Meritage Cafe and Wine Bar is a great find. The main reason I kept coming back when I lived in the Chicago area was their patio which they heat in the winter for those who love a great view and the outdoors. My favorite dish used to be the seared scallops (but I havent been there in a couple years, so I'm assuming they still have them)

4
★★★★☆

The Meritage Cafe and Wine Bar is a great find. The main reason I kept coming back when I lived in the Chicago area was their patio which they heat in the winter for those who love a great view and the outdoors. My favorite dish used to be the seared scallops (but I havent been there in a couple years, so I'm assuming they still have them)

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