The Publican – West Loop, Chicago

The Publican
West Loop, Chicago
http://thepublicanrestaurant.com/

The publican was a last-minute find based on googling and boy am I glad I found it,

It was a loud atmosphere with a very warm and beer hall like ambience,

Looking at the menu I had no idea what my cousin and I were going to get; we decided to let the chefs choose, ordering the Tasting platter and the crudi (mostly because we just had to try it).

The tasting menu was going to be 8-9 course that were “portioned” to suit the number of people; essentially we were in for a lot of food.

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We started the tasting menu off with oysters; they were so fresh and vibrant; some of the best I think I’ve had; this was closely followed by the crudi; two different types of fish flown from Japan’s biggest fish market.

 

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It was unbelievable to see how well it was crafted; simple and select t ingredients excelled with the different fishes really causing the texture and flavour profile to really stand out.

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The next dish out was the Potted rillettes, served on toasted bread with a berry compote then topped with fresh raspberries. As a classic combination, the rillettes were warm and flavourful cut with the cool berries to create a great dish with a bitey yet creamy texture with great European like flavours.

Out next we had two salads; the apple salad and the beet salad.

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The apple salad was one of the best dishes of the night, such a simple idea that paid dividend to a texturally and palatably stunning dish. The Apple, cucumber, pistachio and creamy burrata combined with the dressing was a winning combination; a salad I would order again in a heartbeat.

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The beet salad was also great, the crunchy hazelnuts with the beets that were roasted and the avocado all worked so well; I wasn’t sure if beets and avocado would have worked well but they came together spectacularly and helped calm the beety flavour while adding another dimension of texture.

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Next out was an off menus special, pieces of fluke fish that was done similarly to the sand dabs on the menu. It was a really good dish, light, flavourful and so fresh. Even with the brown butter the poached fish shone; being elevated by the addition for fresh grapes and a touch of citrus.

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The next two dishes out were the porchetta (their signature dish) and the fried cauliflower.
The porchetta was their signature for good reason, a phenomenal sauce amidst tender roasted pork and a few scattered clams. The only thing missing was a side plate of crusty bread to make sure you didn’t lose any of that magnificent sauce.

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The fried cauliflower was great, super light batter with the romesco sauce with the honey combining perfectly to leave you wanting more.

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Finally, the last main meal of the night was their farmhouse chicken with fries and sausages. A huge end to a huge meal they gave us a half chicken, 3 pieces of the sausages and a generous helping of fries. The chicken cooked really well, the back of the breast a little dry but the sauce and rub that it was served with helped it retain some moisture while the sausage as a sweet and spicy delight. The chicken served with a great rub – tangy, lemony and well-balanced with a variety of herbs really made the juices that the fries soaked up extra tasty.

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Lastly a German two layer cake. The first layer, ice cream, the second a dense cake all topped with a decadent chocolate butterscotch sauce. Simply divine. No other words necessary.

This meal will go down as one of my best for 2015; every dish, the wine and beer fantastic, the atmosphere warm, welcoming and completely encapsulating. A must go when in Chicago.

The Publican Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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