RoPa Restaurant and Wine Bar, Chicago

~$55 for two (1 person had the $17.99 set menu)

Located in Roger’s Park Chicago (hence the name), this small-ish romantic restaurant serves up some great seafood dishes and a killer cheesecake! Though portions seemed to air on the “smaller” size, compared to other American restaurant portions, as long as you go for appetizers in conjunction with your entree, everything works out fine. Unless your really hungry, which we were!

The bread basket came as soon as we sat down and was nice and warm. The boyfriend loved the fluffy white bread rolls, though I had my hesitations. It was flavorless and was less fragrant than the frozen dinner rolls that one can buy at the grocery store…which I’m sure this might have been. No winner here with the bread basket, but hey, it pleased one of us!

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We finished all four rolls, though the bf took care of 3 and a little more.

***

Appetizers

Spinach & Artichoke Dip 6.95

Baked casserole of fresh spinach, artichokes, four cheeses and served with crostini

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This was a great appetizer. There were many lumps of artichoke and spinach pieces bathed in warm fragrant cheeses. Though i’m a not big fan of cheese, the flavor was so subtle I managed to go though 1/4 of it. The crostini itself was forgettable, but the dip overall was a pleasant intro to the mains.

Fresh Mesclun Greens 4.95 a la carte ($17.99 total with set menu)

Mesclun mix tossed with strawberries, blue cheese, red onions, walnuts and balsamic dressing

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I asked to have the dressing on the side and the salad without any cheese (Indeed, I am a blue cheese hater). It tastes exactly what you would expect. No twists and special mentions for this dish. The ingredients were all fresh, but not above and beyond delicious.

***

Entrees

Cajun Tilapia$15.95 a la carte ($17.99 with set menu)

Pan-seared Cajun seasoned Tilapia with lemon dill sauce & steamed asparagus

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My main was excellent. The fish was seared to perfection with a crusty outside and soft flaky inside. The butter lemon dill sauce was very well flavored and was a wonderful complement to the fish and fried shaved sweet potato. The asparagus however, were definitely not steamed. They were likely sauteed in a butter sauce.

Orange Roughy 16.95

Stuffed with crabmeat and topped with mozzarella cheese & sauteed spinach

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Poor Nick didn’t have enough to eat. For $16.95, this was a TINY piece of fish and a small bed of greens…FAR from enough to fill a grown man. I doubt even I would be satisfied. Taste-wise, the fish was luke-warm in the center, but flavors were aromatic, well-seasoned, and well-sauced. Nick had no complaints with the taste, only the size.

***

Dessert

Cheesecake

This came with the 3-course set menu for $17.99 and was an original NY cheesecake served with some blueberry sauce

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This was a wonderful piece of cheesecake that both Nick and I enjoyed. It was nothing like the traditional Cheesecake Factory style dense and rich cake that we expected. Instead, it has a more flaky texture that melts on your tongue. Only lightly sweetened, this was a perfect end to the meal.

***

RATINGS

Overall: 3.5 (Probably wouldn’t go back again)

Taste: 4/5 (Well seasoned and well cooked dishes on average)

Originality: 3 (Though entrees were more “unique”, the menu wasn’t that unique)

Plating: 4

Value: 2.5 (if a la carte), 3 (with set menu)

Service: 4.5 (Attentive polite server, almost a little overbearing)

FINAL WORDS…

Nick says: “It’s a decent deal with the set menu, but if not, it’s definitely not worth it!”

Michelle says: “Good flavors and service, but you could find a better deal elsewhere with more generous portions and lower price!)

***

Check out the restaurant link for more info!

http://www.roparestaurant.com/

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