Eating & Drinking, Chicago
Revolution is a great brewpub that is an anchor of the developing "scene" in the Logan Square neighborhood. It's wonderful to get out and explore the different areas of Chicago, many of which are fairly unknown to the typical visitor to Chicago but which offer restaurants, clubs and nightlife that are exciting and vibrant as any to be found downtown or in the fashionable districts close to Lake Michigan. The Revolution Brewing Company was opened a few years ago and quickly established itself as the best of the batch - that is to say, the place with the best combination of atmosphere, patron-base and superb beer craftmanship. The extensive food menu features thoughtful and tasty bar food, prepared creatively - with a full range of options for people of all tastes and appetites.
Dress Code: Casual
Very much part of the burgeoning neighborhood of Logan Square, Whistler mixes sophisticated drinks with the feautres of an art gallery and performance space. The night we were there a D.J. was spinning a deep chill vibe that was fantastic. The mixologists here are among the most highly regarded in the entire city of Chicago.
(I returned to Whistler on a Thursday evening in June 2013. There was a fun and free-spirited and non-pretentious atmosphere with two djs spinning (old school) upbeat lounge music. It was a delightfully mixed crowded - the "theme" for the night was "Slo-Mo for the Homos.")
The Pour House is a cavernous sports bar on N. Wells in Old Town. I went there for the beer selection, which is truly impressive. They claim to have 90 beers on tap! But the place is loud and cavernous, and the huge t.v. sceens are a big turn-out to me. It's a little too reminiscent of an upscale Buffalo Wild Wings for my taste, so I probably won't be back.
Sleek, atmospheric, and chic during the day, the Wit Rooftop Bar becomes one of the "one and be seen" places in Chicago at night, with long lines in the lobby waiting to get access to this 32nd floor aerie. Certainly it's a gorgeous space, but I'm not a fan of the big crowds (and their attitude) at night. And careful with those bar prices too. The Rooftop Bar has high prices to go along with its high views.
Still, it's great to see State Street doing well after a time in the recent past when it was definitely hurting.
With the name "Hop Haus," I was really hoping that this would a serious beer-lovers place, a downtown equivalent (perhaps) of the Hopleaf, on Clark in Andersonville, or the Map Room in Wicker Park. But no. The draft beer selection is really not that great, and the atmosphere is suburban-generic sports-bar, acceptable for a TGIFridays, but falling far short of my expectations.
The Hop Haus makes a big fuss about its "pairings" of special burgers and beers, but I was disappointed with my "Smokehaus," which turned out to be a fairly bland fatty cheeseburger with a little chipotle sauce for flavor.
This location used to be the home of a Leona's, and it still seems very "chain"-esque. And bathroom access isn't up to par either - through several heavy doors and around the corner of a long corridor. Waitress, check please!
Dick's Last Resort is a chain of resteraunts where they give you a lot of attitude while dining there. The Dick's in Chicago is right in downtown and is accessable by boat.
I've been there a couple of times late night and had a great time. It was packed full of people and they allow you to throw dry napkins at people, so it became a huge paper fight. Lots of fun. There was a good cover band, a good mix of people, and 36 oz beers. Good times.
Dress Code: Very Casual