by Jennifer Olvera
Back in the day, lushes in Chicago could booze it up, get grub to soak it up and—if that failed—get a room for the night under the same roof. Reviving the tradition: Longman & Eagle, a vintage-inspired saloon with rough-hewn-chic vibe. It’s from the folks behind The Empty Bottle, Mode Carpentry and Struggle Inc., and it’s rolling out the first phase—a seasonally minded gastropub—January 20.
Jared Wentworth, fresh from Quinn’s in Seattle, is in the kitchen, and his menu has us enamored at first glance. First up are small plates like a wild boar sloppy Joe with crispy sage, onion and pickled jalapeño and smoked sweetbreads with salsify, roasted beets and brown butter applesauce. Using willpower, we’ll save room for the charmoula-spiced tuna loin (the pairing of cannellini bean ragout and black trumpet mushrooms in foie broth sounds too good to pass by).
Needless to say, Wentworth won’t be doing anything too wacky to start—he’s got to warm you up first—but he promises more nose-to-tail eating soon.
The beverage program—which leans toward cask-strength bourbons, boutique biodynamic wines and classic cocktails with a decidedly modern twist—will drive its tavern theme home, as will its shot-and-a-beer mentality. In other words, no one’s going to shun you for tipping back any of its 50 small-batch bourbons at breakfast.
When the rooms open in spring, they’ll be plenty hip. However, stays won’t be of the concierge-minded variety–they’re geared toward insiders (or those with insider knowledge of the city).
Longman & Eagle, 2657 N. Kedzie Ave., 773-276-7110, www.longmanandeagle.com