Garden Party

November 2021 View more

Oakbrook Center mall has no shortage of restaurants to choose from, but this fall it gained an especially posh option on the rooftop of the massive three-floor outpost of home furnishings company RH (1300 22nd St., Oak Brook, 630.572.0074,

The 60,000-square-foot store—officially called RH Oak Brook, the Gallery at the Center— features endless alcoves of sleek furniture, grandiose lighting fixtures, and modern artwork. To get to the Rooftop Restaurant & Park, walk up the double staircase to the third floor, where the steps open up to a glass-enclosed dining room centered around a fountain and a quartet of faux olive trees (shown above).

RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) has similar restaurants inside stores in Chicago, New York City, West Palm Beach, Dallas, Nashville, and elsewhere, and the menus are much the same: salads, steak, seafood, elevated handhelds, and trendy appetizers (charcuterie boards, burrata and toast) to share with the table. By day it feels like a lush conservatory at a botanical garden, with light streaming in from all angles. After sunset the vibe shifts romantic, with dramatic uplighting and golden glass chandeliers glowing above nearly every table.

Dining Under Glass
Atrium eating might be my new favorite iteration of rooftop dining. When the retractable glass walls are closed, it’s fully climate controlled, without any of the pesky elements that can potentially plague an outdoor meal—insect intruders, wind gusts, or a pop-up rainstorm. If you arrive early for your reservation, order a glass of wine or beer from the bar and take it outside onto the rooftop terrace, where RH-brand sofas surround fire pits and bowls of succulents.

There are expansive booths for groups—ideal for a bachelorette brunch—and white marble tables for two surrounding the fountain. Every seat is thoroughly cushy, encouraging you to linger and keep those $15 Bellinis coming. During opening week in late September, the people-watching was top-notch, with plenty of stylish influencers focused on getting just the right shot.

Luxe Pricing
RH’s furnishings are firmly in the luxury category, and the same goes for the restaurant’s offerings. Prices are on par with a high-end steakhouse, with entrées and side dishes served à la carte—so the $20 burger or $28 shaved rib-eye sandwich arrive unaccompanied unless you add the $10 order of fries.

The crispy artichokes are an appetite-stoking starter, served with potato disks, fresh rosemary, and addictive garlic aïoli. The shaved vegetable salad (shown at right) is simple and beautiful, with paper-thin slices of watermelon radish, golden beets, and fennel tossed with baby greens, pecans, and a light cider vinaigrette.

If you’re feeling the lavish vibes, spring for the classic lobster roll (shown below), lightly dressed—almost undetectably so—with drawn butter and mayo and sprinkled with seasoning, with no celery or onion to distract from the luscious chunks of lobster meat. The roasted half chicken comes with a dreamy potato purée and garlic confit cloves cooked slowly in oil until they reach a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

And as for those $10 fries, well … they’re delicious. Not too thick and not too thin, they arrived at the table perfectly salted and hot from the fryer in a parchment-lined silver cup. You won’t catch me upgrading to the $18 Parmesan-truffle version, but the frequency in which they were coming out of the kitchen led me to believe this decadent option is anything but passé.

If you have someone to impress—from a big client to a first date—there’s no question that RH’s restaurant fits the bill. Make those reservations now, as there’s nothing else in the burbs that’s quite like RH Oak Brook.

Photo courtesy RH