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 or tap their forks to the rhythms of live DJs, who tend to put on better parties than dead DJs.
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).
ChicagoBlu’s crack team of chefs conjure press-lauded burgers, sandwiches, and chicken wings to round out their menu of classic pub grub. Meal-prefacing portions of Southside skins ($6.99) load crispy potato skins with bacon and cheese, the greatest meal partnership since tea and pinkies. Wrap fists around the steakhouse cheddar burger ($8.99), which wards off hunger pangs with a patty of flame-grilled beef, steak sauce, and onion rings. Boneless chicken strips ($7.99 for five) take marathon swims in sauces such as Bayou Blaze, barbecue, and teriyaki as mouths patiently await them at the finish line. Finally, postmeal cool-downs begin with ice cream ($1.99) anointed with caramel or chocolate sauce and end with talking oneself down from the taste bud–coddling experience.
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.
Post Game Pub & Sedona Grille's upbeat crew slings hearty sandwiches, piping pizzas, and zesty wings from an extensive menu selection. Prevent bellies from roaring at children by savoring a Sedona-stuffed burger, a half-pound patty packed with onions, jalapeños and bacon, and coated with barbecue sauce ($8.95). Specialty pub wings don their breading, dive into in a deep fryer, sear on the grill, and sidle onto plates wearing a bold slathering of honey mustard, barbecue, or hot sauce ($6.95 for eight; $9.95 for 12). Diners can stage their own extreme Wheel of Fortune tournament by spinning a 12-inch pub pizza ($8.50+) and then demanding a trip to Barbados.
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.
Rokwelz Bar Meets Grill piles plates with classic pub fare that is well met by pints of varied brews slung in a jovial neighborhood setting. A frosty domestic beer ($3), glass of wine ($5–$7), or spunky mixed drink ($4.50–$7) can cool palates scorched by the punchy, jalapeño-topped Light My Fire burger ($8.99). The brotherly-love-laced beef slices and soft mozzarella cheese of the philly steak Samich ($8.99) presents a sentimental counterpoint to the unblinking new york strip steak ($18.99), a seasoned city dweller that eschews taste-bud small talk in favor of forthright flavor. The chefs at Rokwelz use their uncanny origami skills to flip and spin disparate ingredients into delicious wraps and paninis, such as the ham, cheese, and pesto-strewn Lucky Lefty's panini ($8.99). To cover deafening sounds of satisfied chewing, Rokwelz occasionally hosts live music, and on nice days, guests may elect to be seated outdoors on the large patio.