Taps: 12 / Bottles: 46
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 34 | Show All Ratings:
5/5 rDev +10.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
The Publican seems to be housed in a warehouse district near downtown Chicago, but for all the authentically rustic character of the neighborhood, the place is a polished gem. The decor is expansive and distinct; a group seating arrangement of long banquet tables is given a modicum of indivual privacy by virtue of the very high backs on the chairs; this particular design element is stunning. Cocktail tables are placed in the center of the space and serve as the bar. Individual tables are cozily arranged in a novel box-seating array. Even the bathrooms are gorgeous. Aside from the design and decor, the beer list is phenomenal, if pricy. The house-made Lambic, "Lambic Doux," is ridiculously delicious; as was the bottle of 100% BA Coton me and Alex drank. The servers are quite knowledgeable. And the oysters were among the best I have ever had. I ate nearly two dozen, a la carte. I will daydream about the Publican until I can return.
05-12-2011 00:17:53 | More by ktrillionaire
5/5 rDev +10.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$$
The motherland. Absolutely ridiculous food, absolutely everything made from scratch. They have a butcher shop across the street that dry ages beef, makes every type of charcuterie by hand, and bakes their own absolutely-top-quality bread. Organic, Fresh, Local everything. Great oysters, Great seafood, I could go on and on and on. If they ever have the duck hearts when you're there, GET THEM.
Beerwise, holy sh*t. They have everything from tiny belgian breweries to cantillon (basically all the time) to the best american craft. Every server has at least level 1 cicerone certification, and you can order a bunch of food then say "please pair these for me." Never ever been disappointed when I went here, ever. Worth at least a 2 hour drive.
Paul Kahan is very very very good at taking my money.
07-05-2013 06:53:02 | More by YogiBeer
4.9/5 rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
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
4.85/5 rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
This is my favorite eatery in my favorite city. Not sure there's much more I can say.
If you get the chance, go here and order anything. It will be awesome.
Also, stop by the butcher shop across the street. Take home some bacon and sausage. You won't regret it.
06-28-2013 01:45:28 | More by RMelyon
4.83/5 rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
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
4.83/5 rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
If I lived in Chicago I would be a regular. Everything was a bit pricey, but...really well done! Interesting wine/beer list, fantastic menu, with food that didn't disapoint. Our server knew the menu and beers, and was friendly.
I think a couple of visits would help to know the menu, leading to economical choices. What I mean is, some dishes, while delicious, were tiny, while others were generous. I would reccomend avoiding dishes with expensive ingredients, and trying the more humble offerings. Incredible flavor was coaxed from pork country ribs, and chicken, for instance, and the fries that were served under the chicken were the best I have ever, ever, had...fried in lard.
06-03-2010 17:49:36 | More by Sanford
4.78/5 rDev +6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Visited with my girlfriend for our 4th anniversary dinner in July 2011.
VIBE: pristine and modern decor with beautiful lighting and a comfortable, medium-sized bar. An L-shaped communal table occupies the middle of the restaurant with two-seater "horse stall" booths off to the left and assorted tables adjacent to the patio. Crowd is upscale yuppy and all of the staff wear uniforms. We enjoyed marveling at the breathtaking ambience of this high-end American eatery while eating our meal.
SERVICE: we received impeccable treatment from a young and knowledgeable waiter. He briefly described every single dish on the menu, including portion sizes, and was quite helpful with his recommendations. At one point he brought a plate to the table that we didn't ask for (he thought we did), but he quickly assured us that we wouldn't be charged for it and he apologized for the mistake. I left a 25% tip because we were so thoroughly impressed with the service.
SELECTION: the draught lineup was chock-full of rarities such as Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier, Porterhouse Wrasslers XXXX Stout, and The Bruery Trade Winds Tripel. Throughout our four course dinner, I had a Three Floyds Apocalypse Cow DIPA, Lagunitas Zephyr, and Mikkeller Draft Bear on tap and a Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster DIPA out of the bottle. These beers were among the best that I sampled on our trip to Chicago, and they nicely complimented the hearty food. Much to my relief, the lady loved the wine that she ordered.
FOOD: unbelievable cuisine for surprisingly good prices. We split the Three Hams plate, Market Salad, a delicious fish entree, and a chocolate meringue pie for dessert. All four dishes tasted phenomenal with immaculate presentation. Truly superb fare.
OVERALL: I'm glad we chose this spot for our special occasion. We had a lovely time here and will definitely return in the future. The Publican is an exemplary model of sophisticated dining matched with fine beer, and I highly recommend it to beer geeks and foodies alike.
09-11-2011 21:58:55 | More by cratez
4.75/5 rDev +5.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$$
If you live in chicago you need to visit. If you were like me and a traveler go out of your way and stop in. However before you go plan and make reservations the place was packed.
I went on a Saturday night and fortunately made reservations that day for 6 showed up at 5 to sit and the bar. boy was i surprised to see this place. I expected upscale and it met my expectations
we sat by the bar and had mussels to do with our two drafts. and were later showed to our tables. We spent almost 4.5 hours in there eating and drinking,
Food - i would say belguim/french style. Seafood I had both the mussels and the seafood stew . both were outstanding. My friend had the pork belly . everyone around was enjoying the food.
Atmosphere one long u shape table were you sit and meet your neighbors talk beer, and food. it was great fun. I could see spending many a night eating and drinking in here
Beer selection: the selections leans to belguims and belguims made elsewhere. the staff was extrenely knowledgable and made excellant recommendation. Ended the night with a Surly 3 (ok 2 surly 3s)
a great place to expiernce beer and food
06-11-2009 04:52:57 | More by Gratefullawyer
4.75/5 rDev +5.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
To say I had been anxiously awaiting my Friday night reservations (booked 4 weeks in advance) would be one of the understatements of the year - i could barely contain my intrigue.
when they say it's located in the meatpacking district, thats not just some cute city rhetoric about an old reformed district. its literally in a meatpacking district. we walked from the loop, past the chocolate factory, under the interstate and through some crummy streets. Cabs were waiting when we left fortunately.
we rolled in at around 7:30 and left no earlier than 11. This place was absolutely buzzing - no wonder this was the new restaurant of the year in Chicago and is generating tons of national attention.
the interior is warehouse-style with thoughtful lighting, family style tables, boxcar style tables, and lots of bar space that is rotated as possible.
the beer list is one long page with about 8 taps and a bunch of bottles. there is nothing even close to pedestrian on this list - bottles of cantillon, obscure french and belgians, old rasputin xxi, plenty of lambics/geuze. Markups seemed reasonable given the quality and attention given to beer. impossible to not drink well here. it should be noted that this is not a bar. dont plan on coming here on a busy night and not eating - you wont even get in the door.
all that said, this place is about the FOOD...one of the most incredible restaurants i have ever eaten at - i didnt want to leave. This place pays homage to the pig like no other - oh and shellfish too. Started with chef's samplers of oysters and aged hams, moved into some pork skins, some mussels, and 2 FANTASTIC entrees (pork shoulder with clams and chorizo, sweetbreads with a lobster cream sauce).
service was slow but people here are forced to know their menu. our $150 2-person bill was reduced to approximately $100 after receiving some of the mentioned items for free. i couldnt have cared less - i wanted a 3 hour dinner and thats what i got.
08-31-2009 01:58:11 | More by dirtylou
4.75/5 rDev +5.3%
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
The Publican in Chicago, IL
98 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.