Named in honor of local firefighters and police, The Department's restaurant and liquor lounge serve modern cuisine in a loft-style space outfitted with exposed-brick walls, gleaming wood floors, and an abundantly stocked bar. In preparation for the dinner rush, waiters flip crisp white cloths to hide tables’ risqué tattoos while chefs fire up the grill and stir marinades for gourmet steaks, pork loin, and seafood plates. House specialty dishes reflect the chef's meticulous attention to detail; the Cajun rib eye basks in a marinade for 48 hours, and the crab-stuffed tilapia offsets the rich seafood with a white-wine sauce. At lunch, a menu of gourmet sandwiches and burgers fosters casual meals. Fridays see live acoustic entertainment filling the air with quarter notes as bartenders work hard shaking potent cocktails and luring corks out of wine bottles with maraschino cherries. Those craving al fresco eats during warmer months may dine on The Department's tree-lined, second story balcony.
Chicago Street Pub's entrée artisans craft a menu of traditional Irish dishes and hearty pub fare flanked by a cascade of ten constant draughts and assorted Irish whiskeys. Start by tongue-diving for deep fried lobster bites ($7.25) then tooth trek to European shorelines with the Irish surf 'n' turf— a platter of two pieces of beer battered cod accompanied by three irish-sausage links ($8.50). The Rugger burger bombards meat-seeking mouths with two juicy beef disks under irish bacon, portobellos, an onion ring, and a quartet of cheeses ($9.95) and garden-garnished options, such as the provolone-packed portobello sandwich, pacify herbivores and newly vegan pet rocks ($7.25).
McBrody's eclectic chefs inscribe menu pages with scrumptious tales of pub cuisine. Appetizers plunge french bread into creamy spinach artichoke dip and lasso herds of spicy buffalo shrimp from the seaweed plains of Atlantis. During the main course, bread embraces tender steak sandwiches or flaky grouper Reubens, while patty melts are held together, like most modern skyscrapers, with gooey cheese. Bacardi cocktails are on hand to lighten eating spirits, while buckets of domestic beer offer an effervescent alternative to celebratory douses in Gatorade.
At TomKelly's Chophouse and Pub, an emblazoned cloverleaf over the door may grant Irish luck to all who enter, but it?s the menu of Irish-inspired pub fare that leaves eyes (and stomachs) smiling. Emerald Isle dishes of corned beef and cabbage and shepherd's pie join American counterparts including pizzas bedecked with buffalo chicken and po boys topped with prime rib, grilled onions, and mozzarella cheese. While devouring Irish eats, guests can take in sporting events from 14 plasma TVs.
Paul Heatherington’s Ats A Nice Pizza serves homemade pizzas decorated with hand-braided edges. The cooks even craft specialty shaped-crusts on holidays, such as a heart for Valentine’s Day, or the entire Mount Rushmore on President’s Day. Classic pizza toppings share crust space with hot pepper juice, garlic powder, and barbecue sauce. Pasta-laden house specialties range from homemade meat lasagna to veal parmesan nestled in a pile of mostaccioli.
McBride's On 52 is a lot like its classic Blarney burger: at first glance, it conjures the history and tradition of the Emerald Isle, but inside, it's full of all-American favorites. The lettuce-, tomato-, and onion-topped Angus patty joins philly steak sandwiches, more than five styles of wings, and barbecue ribs to lend a taste of home as the neighborhood haven's big-screen TVs and video games forge a bustling atmosphere for drinking and dining. Both draft and bottled beer of the domestic and imported variety?including the essential Guinness stout?balance the hearty flavors, and special events and weekends usher in live bands that croon love songs to reticent bacon cheeseburgers.