Red Square: Steam, Drink & Eat at Chicago’s Oldest Russian Bath House

Image via redsquarechicago.com
Image via redsquarechicago.com

I can get a drink delivered to me in the hot tub? A group of Russian friends were happily chatting away with cocktails in hand when I stepped into the locker room to change before heading into the Turkish steam room. Sure enough I saw the phone to dial-up to order from the bar. I see why Al Capone liked to hang out here.

Check out my Tastemade video to look inside Red Square.

Red Square Call Front Desk

For thirty dollars you get an all day pass to the sauna, hot tub, steam rooms (20% off coupon off first time if you sign up for the newsletter) slippers, towels and robe. You can wear said robe anywhere you would like in the facility. Don’t feel like changing to go upstairs for your massage, eating at the train cafe or having a shot of vodka at the bar? Not a problem.

Downstairs are separate wet saunas, hot tub and steam rooms which are clothing optional. About 90% of the women were in suits but that may be because most were in groups of friends. There is a co-ed sauna and lounge to hang out in, clothing not optional.  A Banya is a wet steam room enjoyed by many eastern Europeans for its relaxing qualities and health benefits. It is thought to improve circulation and aid in stress reduction. At 81 Celsius the Turkish steam room provided ample heat to sweat out my impurities. When it gets too hot there are buckets of cold water to pour on yourself and a cold shower.

A traditional Platza is a healing therapy that uses a venik, “Fully grown leaves of birch, oak or eucalyptus are bundled together and soaked in warm water for about 2- min. A quick 10-min. second soak in hot water makes the venik soft and fragrant, providing an organic aromatherapy throughout the platza.” Sounds interesting but I wimped out and went with the reflexology foot massage and felt very light on my feet after it was done.

Red Square_Platza

The restaurant is designed to feel like you are stepping into an old Russian train complete with “windows” that are screens showing actual footage of the Trans-Siberian Railway. I expected some serious Russian food as the menu stated the chef is, “Lil, the great-great-granddaughter of “Rosa”, who was chef to Tsar Nicholas ll circa (1894-1917).”

Red Square Train Window

Red Square Bar

I forgot how much I like sour cream and it took this meal to remind me. Home made Russian comfort food shared family style is what is served and boy is it good.

Red Square Mural

Russian summer salad: tomato, cucumber, onion and dill tossed with oil or sour cream. Fresh and light salad that made for the perfect meal starter.

Red Square RUSSIAN SUMMER SALAD

Mushroom Julienne sautéed and served with sour cream and mozzarella. This is a little cup of heaven. So rich and creamy it will make you wanna cry. Piping hot cheese, cream and butter with mushroom flavor, yes please.

Red Square MUSHROOM JULIEN

Kremlin Wings chicken wings with hot sauce. I have my favorites when it comes to wings but these wings ranked up there as being very juicy and the hot sauce was delicious. It wasn’t so much hot to me but the flavor was very interesting. I asked what was in it but chef Lil wasn’t giving out any recipes.

Red Square Kremlin Wings

Veal Pelminy: veal dumplings with sour cream. Made from scratch tender dumplings filled with seasoned veal and dipped in sour cream are something you deserve to experience. If you are with a group order a bunch and eat them fast as they will go quickly.

Red Square VEAL PELMINY

Special of the day: Veal with pilaf. The rice had a wonderful rich flavor and the meat was falling off the bone. This was on the heavier side so I only need a few bites.

Red Square Rice Pilaf with lamb

Notes:

1.You are given a bracelet that can be charged so you don’t have to worry about carrying your wallet around.

2. Great place to come with a group of friends for the day/night.

3. Having said that, the women’s facilities are about half the size as the men’s side. Best to go on a week day if you do not like a crowd.

4. Valet parking is $3

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