Wow. I was truly amazed. Wonderful beer selection. One of the best selections for domestic and imported selections I’ve ever seen. Great bar food. I highly recommend the mussels. Essential for when you are in Chicago.
Best selection of Belgian styles in the city. Can get crowded at night, and is probably out of the way for many people. Map Room probably has a better overall selection, but if you’re in the mood for Belgian, this is the place. We usually top of the night with a Polish mead.
It took me a year of living in Chicago before I made my way here. If you’re driving from the Western Suburbs, it’s not the easiest place to get to as it’s 3 1/2 miles East of I90, which itself is congested virtually 24-7. Parking at 3:30pm on a Saturday wasn’t really a problem though as there were several metered parking spots available on Clark St. (50 cents for 2 hours). The El is your better bet even if it takes a little longer. This is a fairly large place with nice brick interior. They close the back area and upstairs until dinner hour when I understand the place gets packed. I saw at least one group of five leave because they couldn’t find seating in the front bar area at around 4:30pm. The upstairs section is perfect for private parties. They will apparently provide you with up to 5 tap beers of your choosing for a flat fee. There’s an area in back that would be perfect for an outdoor patio, but they don’t use it as such. Too bad. 24 American craft brews on tap and another 16 draught imports. They keep their online draught list updated. The list is obviously selected with care and changes. A must visit for any beer geek. Probably only about a 25 minute el ride north from the loop.
I really liked this establishment. The ambiance is that of an upscale restaurant situated behind a well-stocked bar. The bar has a selection that could keep you busy for weeks. The service was a tad lacking. The bartender was nice and knowledgeable yet the waitress needed some education. The food was great yet over-priced. Overall, a must see when in Chicago.
Stopped in on a Saturday afternoon for the first time, and really enjoyed the place. Bartenders were friendly, and even went out of their way to help my wife who was drinking wine. Cozy place with comfortable neighborhood vide, obviously the great beer list, my only complaint is I could not stay to sample the food.
I was just there this past weekend. Great selection of Belgium beer, knowledgeable and helpful wait staff and bar tenders. While questioning a bartender about certain beers they offered samples to my friend and myself. Very good food also
Arnie (17) Chicagoland, IL, Illinois | August 2, 2006
I wasn’t as impressed with the beer selection as I thought I’d be, but there’s enough of a variety that everyone’s happy. I was impressed by the Belgian selection; it’s a shame I’m rarely impressed by Belgians (beers). Had my first Rauschbier, an interesting experience that went very well with my Rabbit Stew. All in all, I’d say "check it out." It’s worth the time, have dinner, even if it can be pricey.
The hop leaf is always crowded on the weekends but order some food and you can usually get a seat pretty quick in the back. One of the best selections of beer in the city, more Belgians than anywhere and a lot of good micros. A little pricier than the maproom but at least there’s more seating and if you’re with people who aren’t into beer they can definitely find something too.
Definitely a good selection of Belgians and US micro. The frites and aioli were tasty. The clientele is young for the most part. It’s also nice to hit up after a Cubs game when everyone else is trying to catch the L south back into town, you can ride it north a couple of stops and find yourself here. The staff is fairly cold, so don’t worry about having an annoyingly over-attentive wait staff.
It’s all about the beer and this place is all about beer! When I went in 2003, this was the only place in the U.S. where one could purchase a bottle of Girardin Geueze Black Label.... period! Excellent selection.
Not much more can be said that hasn’t been said already. Crowded on Saturday night? Yes. Good selection? Definitely. Study the draft and bottle menus from home, take a cab, prepare to stand in a line or two and don’t expect the bartenders to babysit. (For me, seeing those little white bottles of Gulden Draak staring at me longingly from the coolers was enough to ilicit some fairly high numbers!)