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The Publican

Not Rated.
The PublicanThe Publican

Taps: 12 / Bottles: 46
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
99
world-class

60 Ratings
Ratings: 60
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 7.02%
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]

837 W Fulton Market
Chicago, Illinois, 60607-1318
United States
phone: (312) 733-9555

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @thepublican2008

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: rhoadsrage on 11-26-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SurlyDuff
SurlyDuff

Oregon

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$$

The Publican is one of those world-class establishments that does everything just right. Whether it be the taplist, the food, the atmosphere or the service, they seem to have their shit together.
The beer is supurb, bit I almost want to praise the food to a higher honor. This place is a foodie's delight, especially the carnivorous types. They specialize in small farm and artisanal food, and don't shy from the organs, brains, and other amazing tastes.
Showed up without a reservation on a busy Thusday night, but we found a standing table for the wait. Enjoyed some beers and french fries smothered in fried egg. Got our booth (we called it our pen, as it had a door) and were greeted by a knoweledgable server who, on our bidding, delivered the most delicious vittles, plate after plate. Amazing food and beer, great service, and a very cool vibe with their long common tables and cool booths. Prices were high, but not outrageous, luckily my work paid for the food part ;)
Check this place out if you're anywhere within 2 hours of it, okay?

09-01-2011 14:59:49 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of stercomm
stercomm

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$

Took my son and daughter-in-law to dinner here, we had a most enjoyable time. The atmosphere was very nice, with the long tables you end up sitting next to folks and get to have some very nice conversations with those around you.

The beer selection is very nice, had a couple of Three Floyds offerings which is always good. The wait staff was very knowledgeable on the beers as well as being very friendly. While our waiter was very busy he did take the time to chat a bit

The food was outstanding albeit a bit pricey. The pork belly was out of this world. This is a family style menu, you order a bunch of stuff and everyone shares and the selections come out when they are ready.

Will definitely go there again.

08-27-2011 19:58:37 | More by stercomm
Photo of malcontent
malcontent

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$$

Ah, Publican. What's left to say? Of Paul Kahn's places this is neck-and-neck with Avec (hey, that rhymed!) for me.

The room is a long, family style (read: shared tables) set up which has become Kahn's go-to lately. There are a smattering of tall, standing-only tables in the middle of the room for the a)hardy diners or b)folks who only intend to have a beer or two and munch on some snacks. The kitchen is exposed, which seems to be de rigeur these days but a move that is right in line with the open layout of the dining room. Side note: the restrooms are bizarrely fun. Yes, that's an odd thing to write in a review but go there and see if you don't agree.

The service is excellent with an impressive command of multitasking considering the size of the place. The knowledge of the menu is outstanding and only once did I have a server with just an OK grasp of the beer menu.

The beer menu, while constantly rotating, still places a heavy emphasis on the local. There have been some who quibbled with the lack of cohesion for the beer selection but I think this has far more to do with making sure each of the myriad food items has at least one ideal pairing.

Yes, it's a beer site but let's not kid ourselves, Publican is a food establishment and this is where it should receive most of its attention. I've had nearly everything on the menu over my visits (although this is an evolving seasonal menu) and standouts include the sweetbreads with pecans and pink lady apples, the spicy pork rinds, the selection of pickles (always different), crudee of fluke and a shockingly simple heirloom tomato salad.

If you're a beerhound with only semi-adventurous food tastes this might not be the place for you. If you worship at the altar of food porn this is a must.

08-20-2011 19:07:12 | More by malcontent
Photo of RayYanks23
RayYanks23

Connecticut

4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$

The first place we went to, based mostly on BA reviews. It was a short walk off of the metro stop. Definitely a fancier place, the food was not your basic bar grub. The beer list was excellent! They were promoting their Zephyr collaboration with Lagunitas and Big Star.

The wait staff was excellent and very helpful in going over my bar list for the rest of out trip. The one draw back of this particular bar is that you will definitely need to cab it out of there because it is not that close to anything else, but I would recommend stopping in.

Don't expect to do hot wings and burgers...we ended up with a cheese and mixed ham plate, but the beer prevails and I am glad I stopped in. We went to the Map Room next and were very happy there for the rest of the night...

07-13-2011 14:53:11 | More by RayYanks23
Photo of GoldenVIKE
GoldenVIKE

Illinois

4.9/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$

This is the best "gastro pub" in Chicago if not the world. They have an incredible selection of meats and organ meats, and all are prepared, cooked, and served masterfully. The sweet breads is my personal favorite. Unreal.

Then there's the beer list. They've got hundreds of craft brews available including many on tap. You can even order hard to find brews like Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Stout and Founder's Breakfast Stout--of course you have to pay a heavy price for beers like that, like $45 for a bottle for example.

My only beef with this place is that I don't really care for the atmosphere. It sort of feels like a cafeteria due to the high ceilings, open rectangular room, and long bench tables. I know that's what they're going for, but it makes the place a bit loud and crowded feeling. This place would be even better if it felt more like a tavern.

05-20-2011 23:33:23 | More by GoldenVIKE
Photo of immobilisme
immobilisme

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$$

The Publican is possibly my favorite restaurant in Chicago.

I know I am supposed to review the beer selection, but whatever. The food is amazing.

Ok. They always have a nice tap list and often have crazy stuff that you can't get anywhere else.

Their beer dinners are the highlight of my life. I have been to beer dinners at Hopleaf and a few other places, but none of them compare to The Publican. The Bruery beer dinner in April was ridiculously good and so was the Ommegang beer dinner last year.

The bottle list is expensive. Ok. It is very expensive. They do have rarities that you won't see anywhere else in Chicago though.

Service is great. They hire people who care about beer and care about their customers.

05-12-2011 03:09:18 | More by immobilisme
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

5/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$

The Publican seems to be housed in a warehouse district near downtown Chicago, but for all the authentically rustic character of the neighborhood, the place is a polished gem. The decor is expansive and distinct; a group seating arrangement of long banquet tables is given a modicum of indivual privacy by virtue of the very high backs on the chairs; this particular design element is stunning. Cocktail tables are placed in the center of the space and serve as the bar. Individual tables are cozily arranged in a novel box-seating array. Even the bathrooms are gorgeous. Aside from the design and decor, the beer list is phenomenal, if pricy. The house-made Lambic, "Lambic Doux," is ridiculously delicious; as was the bottle of 100% BA Coton me and Alex drank. The servers are quite knowledgeable. And the oysters were among the best I have ever had. I ate nearly two dozen, a la carte. I will daydream about the Publican until I can return.

05-12-2011 00:17:53 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -14.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$$

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.

10-09-2010 17:54:09 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Sanford
Sanford

Missouri

4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$

If I lived in Chicago I would be a regular. Everything was a bit pricey, but...really well done! Interesting wine/beer list, fantastic menu, with food that didn't disapoint. Our server knew the menu and beers, and was friendly.
I think a couple of visits would help to know the menu, leading to economical choices. What I mean is, some dishes, while delicious, were tiny, while others were generous. I would reccomend avoiding dishes with expensive ingredients, and trying the more humble offerings. Incredible flavor was coaxed from pork country ribs, and chicken, for instance, and the fries that were served under the chicken were the best I have ever, ever, had...fried in lard.

06-03-2010 17:49:36 | More by Sanford
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$

I was visiting Chicago and I figured I had to try this place after looking at the menu and the beer list. If you are into interesting foods, you have to give this a try. All food is shared among the tables. My table had things such as sweet breads and lamb brains. There are things that are closer to "normal" too on their menu, but other than the spicy greens, I didn't try any of it.

The beer list was also great. They had a good selection of beer from the mid-west as well as plenty from around the US and international.

I would recommend making reservations well in advance. I called on Friday as soon as it opened for reservations for that night and they were booked solid. They said they were booked solid on Saturday too. I was told that since my group was only 3 people, we could probably get fit in somewhere if we were willing to hang out at the bar first. With the beer list there, that wasn't an issue, though we did get our table before we finished our first round.

05-28-2010 13:52:22 | More by kwjd
The Publican in Chicago, IL
99 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.