Toeing the line between corner bar and gourmet grill, The Point serves old-fashioned comfort food alongside vegan and gluten-free fare. The eclectic menu matches the decor, which effortlessly blends exposed brick and timeworn racing photos with sleek chrome light fixtures and sentient bar stools. Diners can plumb new depths with intriguing menu items such as the crab cake with caper remoulade, the vegan mushroom broth risotto, and the tilapia ceviche with orange and lime. Or they can rely on old standards such as the Point burger with cheddar and bacon or the chicken wings, which come in chipotle barbecue or gorgonzola-bacon. It's not all rib-sticking entrees, either. In her glowing review, the Chicago Reader's Julia Thiel praised the lineup of libations as well, saying, "The drinks menu is just as impressive as the food, offering a dozen beers on tap... another 20-odd in bottles and cans, plus a dozen wines by the glass, the same number of cocktails, and a good selection of spirits, particularly whiskey and tequila."
Though it's mere steps from Millenium Park, The Gage is hardly a tourist trap. According to Forbes contributor John Guiffo, its out-of-towner crowd is tempered by a heavy contingent of locals, which Guiffo called "a testament to its appeal." And it's no wonder—the Zagat-rated restaurant flaunts not only a media-lauded sommelier and bartender, but an excellent menu devised by Executive Chef Dirk Flanigan. Though lunch is when the eatery is at its fullest, diners at any hour can dig into a signature Scotch egg or popular vindaloo mussels. At dinner, the air ignites with aromas of roasted duck breast and tender, braised lamb shank. Thanks to its rock-star libation experts, the selection of beers that Guiffo called "smart and varied" ranges from the delicate Belgian Affligem Blonde to Stone's bold and hoppy IPA.
Though, as the Chicago Tribune puts it, O&E’s staff “can discuss the subject [of beer] intelligently”, the bar’s in-house Cicerone can plug any leaks in their knowledge. The British-inspired menu boasts brews from around Europe and North America, including BBQ from Boulevard Brewing Co. in Missouri and Primator Maibock from Pivovar Nachod in the Czech Republic.
The Belgian-centric menu at Hopleaf reads more like a beer encyclopedia—descriptions often include a story about the brew’s name or origins. The draft list also tells you what type of glass the beer will be served in; the bar keeps many of the beers’ branded glassware on hand, such as Kwak’s duckbill-shaped goblet that perches in a wooden bracket.
A bubbling fountain serves as centerpiece for Fountainhead’s rooftop dining area, which overlooks the Ravenswood neighborhood. While guests lounge in the sunshine, staff bring out seasonal dishes such as plates of charcuterie, smoked duck with apple clove chutney, and wild boar black bean chili.
Winner of James Beard Foundation’s award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2012, Mindy Segal of Mindy’s Hot Chocolate regularly creates new and exciting desserts. Here you’ll find stout-and-caramel milkshakes, apple-cider sorbet, and chocolate souffled tarts with burnt-honey ice cream.