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March 25, 2013
The Chew: Happy 1 Year Anniversary to Balena!


Tags: Girl’s Night Out, Date Night (the Chew map)

1633 North Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614

As a semi-finalist for the prestigious James Beard award for “Best New Restaurant” among other accolades, Balena has gained a ton of attention in their first year of business. My friends and I fell in love with this spot this past fall when we went for the first time after it had been open for about 6 months. We particularly loved the ambiance of the restaurant — it has a casual but refined feel to it and definitely draws a similar crowd. It’s the perfect spot for a fun dinner with girlfriends or a date night with a special someone. The service was impeccable, the recommendations from our waiter were spot on, and the drinks were perfectly paired with our food – it’s not the type of Italian where you feel strange not ordering wine. It’s pasta and pizza done in a simple and elegant way. The Tagliolini Nero with Crab, Sea Urchin and Chili was my favorite dish and once we got my friend over the fact that it was black pasta with sea urchin in it she really enjoyed it as well. I highly recommend this restaurant and am excited to see what they bring in their next year of being open! Check out their interview on Eater Chicago here.


I’m itching to get out of NYC for a little week away and posts like this are putting Chicago higher and higher on my list of possibilities! This and watching too many episodes of Diners, Drive Ins & Dives (love that show).

Stay well! Xx

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