Great vibe in cool airy setting. West Loop location in the meat packing district. Everyone from the host to the server to the bar tender was perfectly polished. Beer menu is not extensive, but well thought-out with excellent choices. Servers are required to have passed the Cicerone certified beer server exam. Servers were well versed in their beers and knowledgeable about the food as well...which was excellent. Beer was very reasonable. Food was somewhat expensive, but definitely worth it. Go here.
I finally made it out to Publican, a Friday night for drinks and snacks. A typical West Loop joint, meaning modern looking, new and clean, wide open space with adjoined tables. Cool place for having dinner probably not exactly what I want out of a place for drinks. The booths are awesome though as they basically look you in with wooden doors like your in a horse stall...The beer list is organized pretty good, draught then countries and styles. About 10 draft and probably 50 or so bottles. The selection is pretty decent, a lot of base staples, some stuff I’ve not seen before. Fluxus on tap is nice. The service was decent, talked to 2 people new basic beer stuff and things about the beers available, suggestions were not spot on...The snacks we had were good, nothing special though. The fries were very disappointing, guess I was expecting something Belgianesque. It was not crowded at all for Friday, making me wonder why its impossible to get reservations. Way too expensive for the beer and good.
A cool place to go, would go here for dinner for a special occasion because they have decent beer but I wouldn’t come back to just drink. Paramount room is close enough, if downtown head there for cheaper beer with similar quality.
Cliff (72) The Land of Milk and Honey, Ohio | February 4, 2011
Went on a Monday evening while in Chicago for business. Reletively small place in the meat packing district. Long, community style tables with a handful of private booths. Pretty good beer selection, focused on Belgians mostly. Nothing all that exciting, but solid. Food menu is very interesting and eclectic. All meant to be ordered and eaten family style among your party. I was with one other and we got the charcuterie plate just to sample a few items. It was very good, but very rich. Service was excellent and the atmoshpere was nice, but the value is not very good as both the beer/wine and food prices are pretty high. I would go back, but it was not my favorite.
Visited on a weekday night at about 9pm, and this place was packed. A unique beer list that includes mostly Belgian inspired beers. Lots of higher ABV stuff is featured, with few session beers. The beers were about on par price-wise with the food menu. The food was excellent and it was probably some of the best pork I’ve ever had. I guess you get what you pay for here (which is a lot).
Great food, great atmosphere, solid draft list (Stone OG, DDC Penombre, GI Sofie & Matilda, Cantillon Vigneronne) gREAT BOTTLE LIST. fOOD WAS HIGH END & VERY GOOD. Real nice place, higher end dress/ a must for foodies
May 2010. Visited on a very busy Friday night. No surprise -- no table available "for about an hour and a half." We were at least able to secure a spot at one of their few stand-up high-tops, where we could peruse the very unique draft and bottle list. We didn’t get a chance to eat much more than a little snack, which was good, if enormously overpriced. All in all, our impression of this place was a little pretentious. Not sure I’d go out of my to go back, except maybe just for a beer.
The beer list is very well designed (available online), and organized into the following sections: Draught, Trappist, Belgian-micro, Abbey Style, Methode Champenoise, Lambics (all traditional), Flemish Red/Bruin, Saison, Biere de Garde, German, Danmark, Norwegian, Finnish, British Isles, Swedish, and American. Drafts rotate fairly often, currently the highlights were Matilda Framboise, Hopsinjoor, Flossmoor Pullman Brown, and Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek. Drafts ranged from $5-9, and bottles were $5 for Avery IPA, up to $50 for Deus and Lou Pepe Framboise. The list was eclectic and varied, but seemed to focus most on Belgian Saison/Lambic/Biere de garde.
We ordered off the "snacks" menu (available from 3:30-5:30), and not from the full dinner menu. Spicy pork rinds, frites with aioli, a trio of aged hams, and L’Etivaz, a Swiss Gruyere style cheese. The frites were a standout paired with the beer, cooked in beef tallow, and my favorite in the city. The menu was a perfect compliment to the beer, sort of high-end "deli/junk food" if you will. My favorite ham was la quercia rossa, the sample trio was $18...if you get a reservation for dinner here, expect it to be in the "$$$$" range. Everything on the small menu was under $20, with the exception of the chef’s selection of a dozen oysters ($30). I’m planning a return visit to try the mussels steamed in Cuvée René. Atmosphere was clean and modern, lots of brass and wood, with shades of brown everywhere, even the staff’s coats. The bar was low (with seats), with uniform wooden tap handles towering above. Taps were identified by small dangling engraved brass medallions. There were giant illustrated canvas prints of equally giant hogs on the walls. It was an ultramodern shrine to the other white meat...
edit: After returning for dinner last night, i’d put the food score at 4.75. We shared the suckling pig and sweetbreads dishes, which were really worthwhile. The Kumamoto oyster was a bit gritty with sand or shell pieces, otherwise everything was flawless. Right up to the pigpen corral tables which were surprisingly un-claustrophobic. Oh yeah... and Older Viscosity on tap :)
This was a nice place to try in Chicago, but honestly my wife and I liked the Bristol better (granted we live in Bucktown). Large open space. The food is solid, but I feel a little expensive for what you get. The beer list is incredible, but the draft choices are more affordable and very good. They had some stuff there on tap I wouldn’t even see at places like Map Room. Good place and I could see going back there again, but it probably won’t be for a little while. A little loud.
After listening to all the hype I guess I was setting myself up to be disappointed, and that’s what happened. The setting is cool, a high-ceilinged Euro bistro. The food is served family style, which means the four of us got to try five entrees. The chicken was excellent, the fish and the others good but hardly memorable. The beer list is impressive, although it seems designed to convert wine snobs more than to appeal to beer snobs -- not a single Imperial IPA on the long list, but plenty of Belgians with the most European sounding names they could find. The beer sommelier is knowledgable and very attentive, the other staff members so-so at best. But the food was overpriced and the beer more so -- bottles I can buy at Binny’s for $14 were $35. I expect to pay more in a bar or restaurant, but not that much more.