It was time for another family birthday celebration--my sister's--so she was granted the opportunity to choose a restaurant to celebrate. Having heard great things about The Publican, we decided to go on the Sunday after Thanksgiving (as if we weren't still full from that meal!).
The West Loop restaurant is filled with wooden beams and communal tables, as well as (pig) stalls surrounding the perimeter. The warmth of the restaurant came through the numerous light orbs hanging from the ceiling. We were lucky enough to snag one of the wooden stall booths, although we had a hard time fitting in them after our meal!
Now, if you've never heard anything about The Publican, all you really need to know is that it's the perfect place to go for all things beer and pig-related. We're talking about an extensive list of local and imported brews, as well as all parts of the glorious pig. The menu itself is divided into three parts: fish, vegetable and meat.
We started out with some beers with the help of our extremely knowledgeable waiter. He recommended some seasonal winter ales, as well as Belgians to pair with our food.
The Publican is best for groups, as it is truly meant as a restaurant for sharing small plates. This allows you try to a variety of dishes off their daily-changing menu.
|Seasoned Pork Rinds|
Next up were a selection of pickled vegetables including, cucumbers, cauliflower, carrots and green beans. These were slightly salty, but mostly sweet and were a great snack before our other courses.
The Publican also offers a wide variety of fresh seafood, so we decided on the chef's sample of oysters. Although I wasn't able to tell the difference, the sampler came complete with three east coast oysters, and three west coast oysters. I hadn't had oysters in probably ten years, but these were good! You could definitely taste the fresh quality. I drizzled the oysters with a garlic chili sauce for extra oomph!
|Chef's Selection of Fresh Oysters|
|Mussels with Bay, Celery, Garlic and Butter|
Next were the country ribs cooked with chicories, red onion and peanuts. The tender meat fell off the bone and was perfectly complemented by the sweet sauce and salty crunch of the peanuts. This was by far my family's favorite meat dish that we ordered.
|Country Ribs with Chicories, Red Onion & Peanuts|
|Cauliflower Gratin with Gouda and Ham Crumbs|
The last meat dish was my sister's choice, the roasted duck breast. Although, I'm not a big fan of duck, my sister said it was the most tender piece of duck she's had, and not at all greasy. The duck was served atop a bed of tuscan kale with beans, feta and radish.
|Pork Belly with Sweet Potatoes, Nicoise Olives, Israeli Couscous & Clams|
|Duck Breast with Tuscan Kale, Flageolet Beans, Feta & Radish|
|Fresh Pear Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream|
The Publican gets 5 stars for different spins on common dishes, and their amazingly vast beer menu.
837 W. Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607