Reverie in River North


The Must-See Daydream Turned Reality

You’ve heard the buzz…something new has come to the trendy River North neighborhood; something unique enough to actually garner buzz in an area fixated on being hipper than hip. Located at 414 North Orleans Street, an area the restaurant is now toting as the East Bank District, Reverie opened on Friday, August 1.

Reverie’s name in itself is a definition of the restaurant, “a daydream or impractical idea;” the idea to reinvent the classic American sports bar into a mecca of innovative food and sophisticated nightlife. With superstar Master Chef Rodelio Aglibot (TLC’s The Food Buddha) at the helm, backed by sportscasting investors Lou Canellis (WFLD-32), Ryan Baker (CBS Chicago) and Kip Lewis (Comcast SportsNet Chicago), it’s no wonder Reverie managed to accomplish the impossible with flying colors.

The mood is immediately set with modern architecture that flows seamlessly between the two stories, brighter and more open on the first floor, which serves as a full restaurant, and then dark mood lighting with a chic, cozy feel on the second floor cocktail lounge. The space itself certainly oozes style unlike any sports bar I’ve ever seen, although I could do without the mustard yellow seat-ware in the lounge.

With an innovative cocktail menu from mixologist Benjamin Newby (you’ll have to stop yourself from gulping Dream of Genie, which is served in a smoke filled bottle) and sushi bar with organic black and white rolls (you must try the Brass Monkey, which perfectly combines tempura shrimp, crab, and spicy tuna into bite-sized pieces of heaven), there’s no denying this place is a gastronomic haven. Reverie somehow perfects American classics with an Asian-fusion and gourmet twist. I devoured an embarrassing amount of their chicken wings, served in a spicy sesame glaze. It’s almost easy to forget that the restaurant serves as more than just your typical hip lounge.

Yet, Reverie is most definitely a sports bar, with sleek TVs mounted around the circumference of both levels. At the time of my visit, they were playing the Sox game alongside the Little League World Series – a nearly too-good-to-be-true serendipitous juxtaposition that mirrors the classic and new elements of this restaurant destination. Literary devices aside, Reverie is unlike anything in Chicago, which would be reason enough to check it out, but it’s also absolutely divine, so you’ll keep coming back for more. I know I will.

Other top eats:

  • Tempura asparagus ‘fries’ (so you can pretend to be healthy whilst ignoring the deep fired bit)
  • Ahi Tuna ‘Pokstada’ (I never thought I’d enjoy a crispy seaweed tostada)
  • Love Handles (a fabulous dessert option: mini wafer cones filled with cheesecake and topped with strawberry-chocolate sauce)

Steve Hardy Photographs


About Marissa Bergman

A Connecticut native, Marissa Bergman recently graduated from Brown University. Her love of journalism blossomed from her time as editor-in-chief of the school's fashion, arts and culture online magazine and director of an affordable fashion blog. She is currently TCW's associate editor, writes the blog "Woman About Town" and spends her free time in pursuit of the perfect cupcake.