Ratings: 263 | Reviews: 179 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kensuthe:
4.78/5 rDev +7.7%
Atmosphere - The Hopleaf Bar is a bar and restaurant located to the north of downtown Chicago on Clark Street. The front of the establishment has a bar with stools stretching the left side of the room, booths and tables to the right side of the room, and a walkway to a ramp to the restaurant area of the establishment down the middle. The restaurant area consists of the main dining space, a smaller loft space upstairs, and an outdoor deck that can be used during nice weather. The restrooms are at the bottom of the stairwell that also goes up to a private room and the loft dining area. Neither the bar nor the restaurant is excessively cramped, although they're not really spacious either. Brick, iron, wood, and glass can be found in various areas. You could say that there is an intimate feel to the building.
Quality - The beers, meads, ales, and other assorted beverages were served at the correct temperatures and in the correct glassware. Almost everything we sampled on tap was fresh, and almost all of the bottles were in great condition. One beer that we ordered was the tail end of the keg and had completely unbalanced carbonation, but the staff took care of it and replaced that beer with another one.
Service - The service here was pretty good. The bartender was spot on with his pours, the servers were quick to make sure we were never left waiting long, and the bussers were quick as well. The staff was knowledgeable about the food selection and the beer, and they didn't get any of the numerous items we ordered wrong. They replaced the one beer that was bad with no problem, and the waitress not only knew that they were out of a certain beer that we ordered for dessert but also knew something that would be a good replacement.
Selection - The draft selection was good, with a variety of Belgian, English, German, and American craft options to choose from. I'd guess that there were between 40 to 50 options on the list, but I didn't actually count. The bottle list was extensive with well over 100 beers available, and there was a good mix of styles and prices available to choose from. We made two trips here during the same week, and we always found something new to experience in their beer menu booklet.
Food - The food is a little different than what you might expect from regular bar fare, with appetizers like a Belgian style mussel pot, frites with aioli, sausage and cheese plates, and onion rings, sandwiches including a duck reuben and a Montreal-style brisket, and entrees such as lamb stew and venison meat loaf. Everything we tried was good, and the food we ordered made for some interesting combinations with the beers we were drinking.
Value - Three people drank plentifully and ate extensively through roughly five or six hours and three courses, and the total price per person after everything was said and done was more than reasonable. Some of the items on the beer list are a bit pricey, and some of the items on the food menu are slightly high, but all in all it was a great value and I plan on stopping here again in the future.
04-30-2008 20:38:06 | More by kensuthe
More User Reviews:
4.29/5 rDev -3.4%
Stopped by hopleaf on a recent trip to Chi town. Just prior to hopleaf I stopped by a modestly impressive bottle shop located nearby (unsure of the name, same intersection)
The bar had an English pub kind of feel walking in, though it was weird being carded at the door before it was even nighttime (midday on a Friday). The bar seats were generally taken, but it was easy enough to grab a table, which had the draught and bottle menus available.
There were many local options available, but I gravitated towards the 3 floyds options, which included zombie dust, yum yum, and fantasmo - all for $6/pint. Yum Yum was a new option for me, so I requested a sample first (1/4 oz pour into a highball glass - barely enough to coat my palate or to get much aroma) and eventually I settled on that option for my full pour. Service was reasonably quick and it was already busy (considering the time of day and location - kind of far North compared to other options). There were no issues using card/closing tab, getting water, using the bathroom, etc.
Unfortunately I didn't stay for a meal.
Overall I'd say this is a worthwhile stop. The taps were selective (including some STL love with their perennial collab hopfentea) and I was able to grab a pint of a fresh local beer I was actually interested in trying with general ease (and for a reasonable price).
Protip: check out some amazing viet food @ tank noodle beforehand and make the reasonable walk from there
08-12-2014 00:30:24 | More by ThePorterSorter
Hopleaf in Chicago, IL
98 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.