Thursday, October 25, 2012

Square One Adds Delicious Hot Plates to Their Menu

Last week we were invited to come to Square One (1400 S. Michigan Ave.) to check out their new "hot plate" menu.  If you're up-to-date with the dinning/drinking scene in the Sloop you would know that when Square One opened they originally stated they would "evolve with the neighborhood".

Originally, the food menu primarily consisted of cheese plates, meats, salads and light sandwiches.  Apparently it's time to evolve to food that is hot -- which sounded like a good reason to check the place out again.  While the hot plate menu isn't huge, it offers a nice variety:
Mac and Cheese - $6
Roasted Tri Color Potatoes - $6
Grilled Fish Tacos - $7
Cheese & Vegetable Croquettes - $6
Lemon Shrimp Kabob and Spanish Rice - $9
Albondigas - $8
Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Pepper Vodka Tomato Sauce - $9
Warm Goat Cheese Spread in Marinara Sauce - $6
Roasted Pork Shoulder Sliders - $7
Roast Beef Sliders - $7
Given our love of cheese and all things tacos, we opted for the Mac and Cheese, Grilled Fish Tacos, and Warm Goat Cheese Spread in Marinara Sauce:
First off, they clearly do a good job with presentation.  When the plates came out our mouths were watering.  The two cheese plates were piping hot and ready to be devoured.  It took some serious restraint to get a picture before digging in.

The Mac and Cheese was super rich and very flavorful.  While the portion size was average, it definitely needed to be shared, because one person couldn't finish it.  

The fish tacos on the other hand were delicious, but rather small.  Two bites for us and they were gone.

The Goat Cheese and Marinara was probably the highlight of the group and definitely something that would be good and easy to share with a larger group.

While all the food was quite enjoyable, this was clearly not a substitute for dinner...and as far as we can tell that's not the objective of Square One.  If you're looking for a full meal, this isn't the place for you.

If you're looking for some interesting cocktails/wines, coupled with a cool, laid-back vibe (love the high ceilings) with the option of some delicious nibbles  this is the place for you.  

Seems like a perfect place to meet-up with a friend, go on a date, or spend sometime pre or post dinner.

We will be back.


Anonymous said...

Last time we *tried* to eat here while having drinks, it took them 3 hours to get us 2 cold appetizers. And we were not the only ones left waiting most of the night for our food.

They need a bigger and/or more efficient kitchen before they try a menu expansion...

Anonymous said...

There was this review of the new hot plates at Square One in the Reader:

Anonymous said...

Great place; we love the wine & beer selections, they have a wicked Manhattan, amazing ceiling height inside and love how they use that extra wall space to display movies. Staff is friendly and attentive... I just am not sure about the bearded guy that is preparing and serving the food... I'm not a fan of their meat & cheese prep station at the bar and of the potential of hair in my food. Needless to say we haven't eaten there... yet.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked someone would return to Square One, especially based on the food experience. After our first visit, my husband and I agreed that the food lacked proper presentation, originality, and taste. We ordered several hot plates and were exceptionally disappointed by the Warm Goat Cheese Spread in Marinara Sauce. Simply put, it was can of Ragu over slabs of goat cheese served with tasteless bread. We have seen this small plate/appetizer done SO well by other restaurants like piece pizza and Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba. If something as basic as that can taste poorly, I think they need to revisit their recipes.

In truth, I was actually thrilled about Square One from the start and felt it was exactly what the South Loop needed. After visiting another wine bar near Milwaukee that had similar wine dispensing machines, it was awesome to see that Square One had a couple of them, making it easy to sample different types of wine. In our visit there, we didn't have the opportunity to use the machines at all and our server couldn't tell us how they worked or the wines that were in there. It was confusing and disappointing.

The owners need to think about the type of neighborhood that Square One exists in... with a place like City Tavern right down the way (a foodie's heaven), they should be serious about offering good food, wine, and a unique experience. Unfortunately, we haven't seen any of that yet... but we can always hope!

Anonymous said...

I plan on buying their spot in a few years and turning it into a pub that fits the hood. I will find a few good sandwiches, soups and salads and have beers people actually want to drink. I don't believe their business plan will survive that long. They did a great job on the build out and will thank them for that

Anonymous said...

does anyone really care about this??

Anonymous said...

I would never return to Square One. My husband and I had an awful experience, which was witnessed by the owners/investors who ignored us like our waitress did.

Does anyone else have a problem with them walking their food down the street from the Waffles kitchen? I am shocked they have not been shut down by the health department.

Anonymous said...

Hey sloopin. Quit reviewing restaurants. It is a conflict of interest. Plus your recommendations suck. Karamela and square one are both horrible. Just check yelp. Many people would agree with me. You run a gret blog but keep it about the neighborhood and not your endorsements.

Anonymous said...

Waffles and Square One are both operated by the Shady developers of Michigan Ave Towers I & II, and not by anyone with any experience in the restaurant industry. This is blatantly obvious and a huge issue. Unfortunately, this also means that neither will have rent issues with the "landlord." I refuse to patronize Square One after the terrible customer service we endured at Waffles; however, I am not surprised at all by all the negative reviews from unbiased folks on this board (as opposed to others who are so desperate for the Sloop to become hip that they give every new venture rave reviews).

Anonymous said...

for all those know-it-alls who wanna give horrible reviews to every place in the south loop----

why dont you open up your own place and show us all how its done instead of sitting one your fat duffs and complaining like old women everyday on a blog..

go back to the suburbs, we dont want you here.

Anonymous said...

Suburbs? No. However, am I rethinking my decision to move to south loop from Lincoln park? Absolutely. Proximity to my office in the loop is no longer a reason to not have restaurants, bars, shops, parks, galleries, cupcake stands, real Starbucks (with bathrooms!), etc. within short walking distance.

Anonymous said...

"delicious"? Are you kidding me?!

colie said...

I have nothing to gain by giving a good review and I have had great experiences at both Waffles and Square One - I welcome them to the Sloop!

Anonymous said...

anon@ 10:13

stay in LP.


All of us

h said...

I have to agree with anon @10:13 about re-thinking the decision to buy in the Sloop. We own 2 condos here and have been living in the neighborhood since 2004 but I'm fed up with the lack of choices in the neighborhood. Sure there are a couple great spots but nothing compared to LP, Wicker Park, Bucktown & the West Loop. Proximity to the lake only goes so far when winter hits.
I was excited for Square One but was dissapointed when we ordered more than drinks. Cocktails/decor are great, service is awful. At the time we ordered their cheese plate and olives and they were just terrible. I had no idea they were walking food over from Waffles- that is awfuL!!!!

Anonymous said...

you people are priceless.. "yeah dont move to south loop because the bars all suck". Get real-- its a great location with mid-high end property that is spaced out accordingly. grocery stores, dry cleaners, daycare, mechanics, some resturants, and big box stores all within distance. oh yeah-- the mueseums and lake.

its not a bar hopping neighborhood, if youre that immature to denounce an entire neighborhood because of that then you belong with the other kids in wicker park, maaaaaaaaaaan.

Anonymous said...

Take square one for what it is..A really nice place to get drinks..It was never meant to be a place for dinner. The food options are only meant to be a bite with cocktails. Many of these opinions posted such as Anon @6:46am "Operated by the shady developers" are not true reviews of the place. Just children continuing their vendettas.

Anonymous said...

Why is a Starbucks only real if it has bathrooms? It's a coffee place, go to the bathroom at home.

This blog is hilarious.