Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Restaurant Review: Reclaimed Bar and Restaurant, Chicago

On occasion, one hears about a restaurant outside the obvious restaurant destinations of Chicago like River North or the West Loop. Reclaimed Bar and Restaurant sits in Chicago's North Center area, a few miles West of Wrigley Field and well-worth searching out. Run by the husband and wife duo of Chef Craig Bell and Adrienne Fasano, this is a family business that is both a neighborhood joint and also more. The menu is Southern (mostly) and Italian food through the lens of the chef's experiences (training at Le Cordon Blue, a stage with Chef Hilario Arbelitz at Zuberoa in San Sebastian, Spain, and a background in competitive barbecue). Adrienne brings the Italian angle with special dishes on Sundays.

Restaurant Review: Reclaimed Bar and Restaurant, Chicago

Reclaimed is all about honoring the past yet being modern about the results. Flooring and other wood items have been reused in the decoration and a repurposing project is soon to happen in the outside patio area, which will result in a second bar space. Music is also important to the co-owners, evidenced by a turntable and vinyl LPs as well as weekly LIVE music sessions. Craig was playing Supertramp while we were there, definitely a blast from the past for me.

We ordered from the Brunch menu, available from 10:00am to 3:00pm, which has an interesting mix of dishes expected and some not so much. Much of the menu is available later for Dinner (5:00pm to close), along with a host of additional options. We can heartily recommend the Biscuits and Gravy (Buttermilk Biscuit, Breakfast Sausage, White Gravy), the French Toast (Baguette Bread, Cinnamon, Raspberry Compote, Maple Syrup), Fried Chicken (Buttermilk Brined, Chicken, Orange Ginger Honey Dipping Sauce) and Bacon Brittle (Apple Smoked Bacon, Candied Sugar Cayenne Crust), but be careful of the last one - it's spicy! All of the dishes are an elevated version of what you might have had before, with some special additions that lift them beyond the ordinary (the raspberry compote was a revelation). We definitely plan on finding time to visit again during dinner hours.

Restaurant Review: Reclaimed Bar and Restaurant, Chicago

Don't be shy and order a craft cocktail to go with your meal. If the other drinks are anything like the Bitter Southerner (Medley Bros Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Amaro Montenegro, Jack Rudy Sweet Tea Syrup, Lemon Juice), I could easily spend hours tasting my way through the cocktail menu. The beer and wine lists show attention to detail as well. In fact, the only thing lacking was much of a choice for non-alcoholic drinks, something that could be easily remedied via the plethora of craft sodas available these days or having the mixologist come up with some options.

There's no doubt that, if I lived in the area, this would be my neighborhood restaurant - casual and friendly in feel, but with inventive food and drink to keep it interesting. Don't wait for a Cubs game to head over either.

Reclaimed Bar and Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

*Meal provided for review purposes - all opinions are my own.

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