Menu Musts: Pub Royale

Well Chicago, just when I thought you had every food genre covered, you proved me wrong. Indian bar food is where I’m categorizing Pub Royale, and I mean that in the best way possible. Small bites and big flavors unite at this ultra hipster Wicker Park spot and I am already dying for another pillowy salt cod samosa.

If you want to fit in with the Wicker Park crowd, consider growing a thick beard before going, because there was more than enough facial hair to go around.

Here’s what to get:


 

Lamb dumplings

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India hot chicken with crazy pickles and chewy naan

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Gobi Manchurian-crispy cauliflower with sweet and spicy Manchurian sauce, sesame seeds and cashews

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Salt cod samosa

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Not pictured: fries

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Sweetstagram, Holiday edition

Even though I technically don’t celebrate Christmas, I love a Christmas treat as much as the next guy. Maybe even more than the next guy, depending on who that guy is.

It certainly is the season for sugary treats all over “The Gram,” (Broad City reference). Here are some of my favorites that I would not turn down in person.

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Swift and Sons

One thing I’ve learned from going to new restaurants too soon, is that it usually takes a while to to get things right. They run out of food, reservations run late, and there is too much lag time between courses. So, when my friend and I arrived to the newly opened Swift and Sons to find that they were running behind on reservations, I was admittedly skeptical. But, it was Saturday night after all, and killing time at the “un” stuffy bar wasn’t the worst option in the world.

A short wait with apologies from the hostess led us to a roomy booth, and all was forgotten. The waitress paid great attention to us and coursed out the menu with perfect recommendations. A slight delay between our salad and steak was a win with a mercy shrimp cocktail. Score!

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House baked rolls for days

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Ricotta dumplings with squash, mint, pomegranate seeds, and spiced yogurt

 

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Autumn chopped salad with tarragon vinaigrette

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Shrimp on ice

 

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Tartiflette potato, the star of the evening. Just do it.

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Filet medium rare, done and done.

There is no shortage of steakhouses in Chicago, and to stand out from the crowd takes uniqueness and quality. Swift and Sons does both of these things. Go for the atmosphere, stay for the food, leave in a state of satiated contentment.

Menu Musts: Davanti Enoteca

Davanti Enoteca is one of those restaurants that is consistently delicious no matter when you go. Although I personally favor the Taylor Street location, their River North hub is often my go-to, because of its proximity from my apartment.  Oh, and it may also have something to do with the Glazed and Infused attached to it.

My Musts:


 

-Ricotta and Honeycomb Vasi-(mini mason jar served with toast)

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-Truffle Egg Toast-with fontina and asparagus

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-Focaccia di Recco-Ligurian style baked focaccia + fresh soft cow cheese

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-Roasted beet salad-with walnuts, creme fraiche and pistachios

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Too much bread? Is there really such a thing? Listen, you wanted my favorites. I’m not saying I don’t order the calamari to offset the focaccia, but is that my favorite dish? I think not.