1633 north halsted street
chicago, il 60614
the menu at balena is comprised of four main categories: starters, pizza, pasta, and grill/oven/rotisserie. also offered is a nice selection of house made breads as well as cheeses and cured meats. for drinks, there is an interesting list of craft cocktails that are all rated from one to ten in terms of their bitterness as well more than thirty italian wines available by the glass. after looking things over for a bit and talking with our server about portion sizes and ordering strategies, we placed our order with a warning from our server that we had better be hungry.
as a whole, our meal at balena was a success. with the exception of the initial seating issue everything went really well from a service standpoint, and the food was mostly excellent as the only question mark for me was the pizza which was likely due in part to my full belly. this was our second meal at a boka restaurant group property (girl & the goat was the first) and definitely makes me want to try the rest along with the bristol for more from chefs pandel and rockman. i would also jump at the chance to visit balena again with a group to try more dishes without filling up so quickly.