The shtick: A taste of the British high life (commoners welcome!) from Soho House’s lobby kitchen.
The vibe: Soho House’s Allis bar (which is open to non-members) was an insta-hit with the West Loop’s loveliest. The scene-averse would be happy to know, however, that the space has a decidedly relaxed feel by daylight. On our weekday drop-in, the sunny lobby was deserted, save for a sprinkling of solo thirty- to forty-something dudes on their laptops. In place of mingling singles, the marble-topped bar now played host to house-baked bread and pastries and coffee fixins. Sure, it’s lobby dining, but it’s actually quite welcoming. 7 out of 10
The food: The menus could stand to be rewritten. We suspect the descriptions are written as such in order to maintain their British accent, but, case in point: Avocado toast (as it’s known to us Yankees) falls under the “EGGS” heading and receives the unappetizing description of “boiled with avocado on multigrain” ($10). Tasty things come with ugly names, however, and this is an exemplary version of the oh-so-trendy dish. Bright chunks of fresh avocado get punched up with a basil-y kick and a just-right poached egg, and it’s served atop housebaked multigrain. Our only qualm was that the bread arrived overly toasted.
The super grain bowl ($10) is an unlikely must-try. A thick porridge of oats, quinoa, farro, flaxseed, and chia seeds with a rich coconut milk base is finished with blueberries and goji berries; its consistency is less of runny oatmeal and more hearty risotto. When something that’s nutritionally virtuous tastes this good, we must offer props. 9 out of 10
The drinks: Blue Bottle Coffee is a rarity in these parts, and we were stoked to find it here. Maybe they’re rationing it, because even after multiple refill requests, our tea party-sized ceramic cups sat empty for most of our meal. 5 out of 10
The service: Despite her coffee-related shortcomings and the her failure to deliver a side item we’d requested, our server was a perky delight. It was hard to be annoyed with someone so likeable. 6 out of 10
Overall: If you’re harboring less-than-positive preconceived notions about this place, you just may leave with a changed tune. The food is memorable and fairly priced, the space is inviting, and the ’tude is nowhere to be found. 7 out of 10
The Allis at Soho House, 113-125 N. Green St., West Loop, theallis.com