Submitted by liz on Wed, 2014-11-12 11:42
Culled from: Drury, John. Dining in Chicago, New York: The John Day Company, 1931, pp. 157-158.
Note: The Newberry Library holds the personal papers of author John Drury.
Most pleasurable of dining experiences along the Avenue is that to be found at the tables on the open-air balcony of the historic Auditorium Hotel, where you may eat your sirloin steak a la Auditorium while gazing down at the promenaders on the sidewalk and across to the sweeping Lake Front plaza, with its two Mestrovic Indian statues and the gushing Buckingham Memorial Fountain. The balcony, of course, is only open during the summer months. There is no additional charge and the luncheon and dinner menus here are the same as in the main dining room. Being on the second floor, the balcony is sufficiently close to the sidewalk below to be interesting. There is an 85 cent table d'hote luncheon and a $1.25 table d'hote dinner.
The atmosphere of the Nineties is found in the main dining room, the Oak Room, and the Coffee Shop. Here are the same oak panelled rooms and ornate leaded glass windows that were so admired by our fathers and mothers when the Auditorium Hotel and Theatre, designed by the great architect, Louis H. Sullivan, were dedicated by President Harrison in 1888. Here, also, are the same tables where over two generations of opera-goers sat in their formal dress, until a few years ago when the Chicago Civic Opera Company deserted the incomparable old Auditorium Theatre for newer quarters. What is called the Oak Room now used to be the Auditorium Bar, where conviviality was notable during pre-World War days.
Today, the foods are o£ the same high quality as formerly and you will see many pioneer Chicago notables in the dining room. Chef Joseph Bencivenga has introduced a few highly edible specialties worth any epicure's attention.
Maitre d'hotel: Peter Pampei
1931 - 1931