friday-night visit with reservations, it actually wasn’t full but still busy and quite loud. it’s definitely a food-first destination, with about a dozen taps that range from common to those rarely seen elsewhere, and the list appears to be selected with food in mind. food quality was certainly good but not what I would call great (for Chicago).
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.
Visited here on Dec. 6, 2011. Fun spot in downtown Chicago. Trendy vibe, excellent service. Nice beer selection, although the prices aren’t exactly on the "excellent value" side. Food was very good as well.
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.
Really great food goes along with a pretty darn nice draft list here. We really enjoyed our visit. Reservations are recommended. Prices aren’t great, but I didn’t think they were terrible either. Pretty much what I expected.
DuffMan (345) the land of bitumen, beef & beer, Alberta | January 9, 2013
Charcuterie place with a very cool vibe. Awesome paintings of giant characterful pigs, booth seating that amounts to a miniature fenced-in stable or paddock for your party, while the central floor boasts common tables of enormous length to share with fellow diners. The food was, without exeption, excellent. Probably the best pork belly we’ve had (certainly the most generous portion!). Beef heart was also a standout. Our server knew his stuff and was spot-on. Beers were top quality, with a few Three Flloyds to choose from (including Zombie Dust , Snow Weasel, and Alpha Klaus). Just a great great evening! Would return in a heartbeat.
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
Very brightly lit, extravagantly designed place with a distinctly high-society feel, and most everything else about this restaurant also reflects this. The unconventional bar is made up of dining-style seating that is low to the ground, while the bartender serves you from what feels like two steps above. Though this to me was very awkward and uncomfortable, the service was excellent. The beer selection is solid, and the prices are of course high. Given the meat-centric foundation of the place, it was fun to be surprised by the incredible creativity and quality of the vegetarian dishes here. That they cannot offer a comfortable bar experience for my preference is my only issue with this phenomenal restaurant.
cratez (256) Toronto, Ontario | September 11, 2011| Updated December 28, 2013
Visited with my girlfriend for our 4th anniversary dinner in July 2011.
VIBE: pristine and modern decor with beautiful lighting and a comfortable, medium-sized bar. An L-shaped communal table occupies the middle of the restaurant with two-seater "horse stall" booths off to the left and assorted tables adjacent to the patio. Crowd is upscale and all of the staff wear uniforms. We enjoyed marveling at the breathtaking ambience of this high-end American eatery while eating our meal.
SERVICE: we received impeccable treatment from a young and knowledgeable waiter. He briefly described every single dish on the menu, including portion sizes, and was quite helpful with his recommendations. At one point he brought a plate to the table that we didn’t ask for (he thought we did), but he quickly assured us that we wouldn’t be charged for it and he apologized for the mistake. I left a 25% tip because we were so thoroughly impressed with the service.
SELECTION: the draught lineup was chock-full of rarities such as Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier, Porterhouse Wrasslers XXXX Stout, and The Bruery Trade Winds Tripel. Throughout our four course dinner, I had a Three Floyds Apocalypse Cow DIPA, Lagunitas Zephyr, and Mikkeller Draft Bear on tap and a Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster DIPA out of the bottle. These beers were among the best that I sampled on our trip to Chicago, and they nicely complimented the hearty food. Much to my relief, the lady loved the wine that she ordered.
FOOD: unbelievable cuisine for surprisingly good prices. We split the Three Hams plate, Market Salad, a delicious fish entree, and a chocolate meringue pie for dessert. All four dishes tasted phenomenal with immaculate presentation. Truly superb fare.
OVERALL: I’m glad we chose this spot for our special occasion. We had a lovely time here and will definitely return in the future. The Publican is an exemplary model of sophisticated dining matched with fine beer, and I highly recommend it to beer geeks and foodies alike.