The weather is getting to the point where we just want to get cozy with yummy, hot food in our bellies, and enjoy some jazz music snuggled beside our loved one in a nice dark room. If this is the kind of vibe you’re digging, Storyville at River North should become your new favorite this winter.
Within one single step through the front door, the howling wind and chilling weather of Chicago disappeared. Sounds of the Crescent city embraced us with warmth. We looked around and asked ourselves: Is that the ghost of Jellyroll Morton at the keyboard or the piano simply playing itself!?
Just Like the Old Times
Storyville takes its name from New Orleans’ illustrious historic red-light district, which, in turn, takes its name from Alderman Sidney Story. In 1897, Story drafted legislation to keep prostitution legal, but only in this 16-square-block portion of the French Quarter. And as we’ve known, music and art often prosper where romance and erotica thrive.
Indeed, the red-light district was a fantasia paradise. No wonder, then, that the area is best known for elevating the careers of up-and-coming jazz artists who found eager audiences in Storyville’s myriad saloons, brothels, and dance halls.
Authentic New Orleans Cuisine
There are plenty of restaurants that claim to have the real Louisiana dishes. But not everyone lives up to that name. With high hopes, we started our dinner with some Oyster Bites and Voodoo Chips.
Right away, we were surprised by how good the oyster bites were. Because, trust us, we’ve ordered enough soggy, flavorless oyster bites throughout our life that we almost thought this dish cannot be done right. But Storyville went way beyond our expectations!
After our appetizers, we decided to try their famous Cajun Pasta. And you bet we did it the right way by adding blackened shrimp to it! Our favorite part about the pasta is the thick, hearty sauce. If you’re a fan of cajun pasta in general, then you’ve got to try it.
Of course, you cannot conclude a special meal without dessert. And we must say — what a surprise when we found out the Banana Foster was lit at tableside like in the old days! Do you want to watch your desert light up in bright blue rum flames? We bet you do.
It’s Time to Live
All in all, the visit to Storyville felt like a stroll into an old movie. We can almost see the talents, young and old, full of dreams and ambition pour their creativity under the dimming, charming light.
“Storyville’s history is so rich, so vibrant. With décor, music, and a menu boasting French Quarter cocktails and small bites, we aim to bring this legend to Chicago—to pay tribute to a place and time that brought jazz to the world and shaped our concept of ‘party’ to this very day,” says Co-Founder Vincent Lujan.
Loyal to the past, Storyville has recreated the romance of the past with a touch of the contemporary. So, if you’re looking for a place to rekindle the love — not only for a special someone but for art and life in general, come to Storyville.
Just imagine how it would feel living a life so pure and passionate that the cold outside could never invade. Isn’t that delightful?
Plan Your Visit
The good times are ready to roll at 712 N. Clark Street now that Storyville at River North has opened its doors.
Wednesday through Sunday, Storyville features dinner and late-night cuisine and libations (don’t miss the mini po’boys, fried redfish served with jambalaya, Cajun pasta prepared with blackened chicken, and Storyville’s storied hurricane).
On weekends, an evening of decadence and debauchery can be followed the next morning with a soul-restoring brunch including fresh beignets dusted with powdered sugar and café au lait prepared with chicory.
To make a reservation, visit https://www.storyvillechicago.com/
Are you ready? Let’s fall in love again under the gaze of the King and the Queen.
Featured Image Credit: Storyville