Restaurant Review – Mission: Possible-Channel your inner 007 at SafeHouse Chicago

From Instagram-worthy cocktails to larger-than-life burger… hiding the evidence of your mission will be anything but impossible.”

– The Management at SafeHouse Chicago

One not-so-secret escape from the world is hidden behind a red door just off the Magnificent Mile; if you hadn’t heard of it before… it’s because SafeHouse Chicago has been on a secret mission the last two months, closing its doors to deal with an internal breach. 

But on May 19, the owners of posted on its Facebook page: The wait is over! Chicago’s spy headquarters are NOW OPEN! Find the Red Door at 60 E. Ontario Street to enter a world of espionage. Do you know the password to get in?”

And that’s where the fun starts! At the Red Door, guests either know the password OR do whatever the door person, aka ‘Moneypenny,’ tells you to do. And when they tell you what to do…you listen. Or you don’t get in.

I first visited SafeHouse Milwaukee many years ago. My traveling companion and I were fortunate enough to meet someone who was familiar with the SafeHouse and told us the password. Perhaps you’ll be just as lucky. By now, the password may have changed. But your alternative will live on forever, captured by the video camera.

Once inside…be shaken, not stirred. There’s music. Interactive gadgets. Neon lights.  And food. Delicious food. But let SafeHouse Chicago tell you all about it. 

Chicago’s spy headquarters are hidden in plain sight in the heart of River North. Your mission begins when you locate the Red Door, located just a block off The Magnificent Mile,” they say. “Behind the Red Door lies a world of espionage… To gain entry, you must provide the correct password to Moneypenny or pass a fun clearance test to prove you are not a double agent. Once inside, you are invited to explore authentic spy artifacts, interactive gadgets, and delicious eats & cocktails.  SafeHouse Chicago is a family-friendly experience. Plan your mission today.”

Should you choose to accept it, your dining mission starts with THUNDERBALLS…SafeHouse Chicago’s meatballs, made with dry-aged prime beef, and served with garlic toast and marinara sauce. Or FOUCHE’S FRIES…disguised under the cover of C4 Cheese Curds, pork belly béchamel, and a fried egg “top hat.” A.K.A. Poutine. Once captured, try a “007” LAYER SALAD, with chopped lettuce, bacon, cheddar cheese, sweet pea hummus, stilton cheese, and English cucumber, tossed in Bond’s creamy herb dressing. Or, learn why DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, glittering with gem lettuce, tomato pearls, ruby red beets, emerald island blue cheese cat’s eye crisps, and Jaden rice vinegar dressing. The BAY OF PIGS is a bowl of steamed pork dumplings, pork belly, tonkatsu broth, ramen noodles, radish, sweet corn, and serrano chiles. A decidedly dangerous and unorganized invasion of flavors. THE BIG KAHUNA is a Hawaiian-style ahi tuna poke, with garlic fried rice, ripe avocado, pickled vegetables, and wasabi mayo. And did someone mention BURGERS? For the bravest of spies…. take the OOMG BURGER CHALLENGE Down a 15-patty cheeseburger, 2 pounds of C4 Cheese Curds, and 51 ounces of beer.  “Complete this mission in an hour or less,” promises ‘M, “And receive the meal for free, plus spytastic prizes!”

Thought we were done? Hah! Not with entrees like A LICENSE TO KILL MAC & CHEESE, Lupe Lamora’s fiery South American version with cavatappi, cheddar cheese, smoked chicken, peppered bacon, broccolini, chipotle peppers, and green garlic crumb. Explosive! And THE KINGSMAN…48-hour braised short rib, Yorkshire pudding, horseradish mashed potatoes, and Kentucky bourbon demi-glace.

SafeHouse Chicago is located at 60 E. Ontario Street. They are open Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4pm – 10pm, Fridays, 4pm-11pm, Saturdays, 11am – 11pm, and Sundays, 11am – 9pm. They are closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For reservations, click here.

 Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago