[Note: With the COVID-19 outbreak, Illinois restaurants and bars have been ordered closed through at least Tuesday, April 7. However, this restaurant has its menu items for take-out or delivery through that date.]
Mason House ( 613 N. Wells St.; MasonHouseRestaurant.com/Chicago ) is what I call a "deceptive" place. Its almost plain exterior ( even though it's on the first floor of the FOUND Hotel ) masks a cool interiorand some tempting dishes.
This spot was known simply as Mason about two years ago, but recently underwent an extensive change, now offering what the manager called "polished casual" contemporary American cuisine.
And polished, it is. Start with the tangy lamb meatballsso tender they practically fall apart with the mere touch of a fork. Take in the nacho tots as well; they're cooked well, and come with pulled pork, cheese sauce and jalapenos. ( Other appetizer choices include tuna tartare, pulled-pork sliders, and sausage-and-rapini flatbread. ) The salads were also good, especially the warm spinach version ( which I got with salmon ).
Entrees impressed me, for the most part. I was most taken with the mushroom campanilea delightful pasta dish that comes with black-truffle cream sauce. The shortrib ravioli was flavorfulperhaps a little too much so.
Also, I urge you to try the drinks at this establishment. I really enjoyed my Mixed Fruit Bramblewhich is a lot more sinful than it sounds. The pasta was cooked well and I liked the addition of horseradish cream, but there was just a tad too much red-wine jus; a little of that can go a long way, and too much of it can lend to a bitter aftertaste. Other options include Faroe Island salmon and beef Wellington ( which is purported to be the spot's signature itemand which takes almost a half-hour to prepare, so take note ).
And please don't skip dessert. The Nutella creme brulee is simply sublime, as was the white-chocolate cheesecake. ( At the time we dined in the restaurant, there were also caramel espresso chocolate cake and cherry crumble. )
By the way, once the restaurant ban is lifted, you might want to also patronize Blind Dragonan Asian-themed karaoke bar that's next doorfor a different type of fun. But if you want to just stick with Mason House, that's a fine way to go as well.
Mason House items are available on GrubHub and Seamless.
Note: Profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.