A couple weeks back I reviewed Lincoln Park’s Balena. From the same ownership is its older sister The Bristol in Bucktown, which has been around a good deal longer yet continues to garner coverage in the Chicago culinary scene (including maintaining a spot on the Eater 38). I paid them a visit to see if they are still living up to the hype.
We visited on a Friday night, having reserved the day before. The place wasn’t packed til around 8, but our server Shannon was exuberantly attentive from beginning to end.
What we drank: Mine was decidedly simple yet perfectly muddled, the Sarsparilla with Knob Creek bourbon and Goose Island root beer. Hers perfectly tart and quirkily decorated, the Poire & Elderflower of Grey Goose La Poire, St. Germain, white grape juice and housemade sour mix. I thought I’d outgrown such feminine cordials, but this was fantastic. The couple at the adjacent table had each ordered one.
What we ate: Stop your gruesome mind from wandering at the title of fried bones and order it. These were some of the best ribs I’ve had in this 21st century. The table next to ours was fawning over their apple salad with marinated manchego cheese and hazelnuts. As for entrees, the pasta we chose wasn’t outstanding, but we admired their effort in making the dish entirely from scratch. The roasted half chicken, rather, is unanimously a restaurant favorite.
If you stay for dessert, do yourself a favor and choose the basque cake, a favorite of mine and co-owner John Ross’s.
Psst, they’re now serving brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. [Grubstreet].