Our second restaurant stop in Chicago was Publican for dinner. The restaurant focuses on simple dishes containing mainly pork, fish and vegetables. Clean, simple food. They also have an amazing beer list, and a great wine list as well.
We knew our night would be great when our waiter asked if we had been there before. After hearing we hadn't; he gave us a quick breakdown of the restaurant and offered to come back with beer samples. Yes, please! Within a couple minutes we had two local beers in front of us, and we were ready to order.
Before we begin some of these pictures are lack luster. For more beautiful pictures please go to Publican's website. I try to be as inconspicuous as possible when I take pictures at restaurants; because of that they often don't come out great!
First out came bread with bright flavorful butter. Nice crisp, chewy crust. Tried not to fill up on it, but that buttered bread was hard to resist.
Chefs selection of three hams. Serrano, La Quercia rossa ham and Prosciutto. Our favorite was the Serrano. This was a fun plate to share.
Just dug radishes quartered with butter and fleur de sel. Simple, perfect.
Our favorite (how couldn't it be). Frites with Louis's organic egg. I don't know who Louis is, but I would like to shake his hand. Those eggs were outstanding. The frites were fried in both animal and vegetable fat. So good. Our waiter treated us to a side of aioli, which was perfect for dipping. Not diet friendly, but worth every bite.
Next we had the Market salad which was contained onion, cucumber, haricovert, sungolds, ricotta salata & hazelnuts. I forgot to snap a picture of this one, probably because it was a little too salty for us. The veggies were fresh and the hazelnuts added a nice crunch though.
Finally, we had the Potée which was toulouse sausage, pork tenderloin & two ribs with some vegetables. This was lovely, but we were so full when it came to the table, we could barely eat it. My favorite on the plate was the toulouse sausage while Joe's was the tenderloin which was perfectly pink in the middle.
Writing about Publican makes me wish I lived much closer to Chicago. The next day Joe wanted to go back there for dinner because we had so much fun. The restaurant is beautiful. I loved everything there from the bar with the wooden taps, to the long wooden table, to the bathrooms with a communal sink. This place is about great food and socializing.
One last thing about how great this place is. Oftentimes at restaurants we'll want to keep our food and drink menu nearby, but because of space issues we have to give it to the server. Publican solved this problem. Their chairs all have a shelf below them to hold your menu-clever.