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  • Post #211 - August 11th, 2011, 12:21 pm
    Post #211 - August 11th, 2011, 12:21 pm Post #211 - August 11th, 2011, 12:21 pm
    theskinnyduck wrote:I did not have the squash at the publican, but if you are looking for ideas of using squash and zucchini, my old time favorite way is to slice them thin and quickly saute them with olive oil and garlic and server them with yoghurt on top (either greek or bulgarian yoghurt). Really good summer treat.


    Even better when sliced the long way and grilled over lump charcoal!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #212 - August 11th, 2011, 1:21 pm
    Post #212 - August 11th, 2011, 1:21 pm Post #212 - August 11th, 2011, 1:21 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:
    Attrill wrote: as was the marinaded squash. I've got loads of squash in my garden right now so I'm going to try to replicate it at home.


    Please describe--I have a TON of squash and zucchini and am in search of ideas. It's not my favorite veg--admittedly grew them for the blossoms which I have reveled in all summer--but feel guilty not doing something with the fruit.


    I'll have to ask my wife what it was marinaded in (I think she asked our server), but it was uncooked summer squash with a light dressing (possibly white wine vinegar and a lighter EVOO). Tasted like it had just a bit of lemon juice and s+p. It was served with a really smooth and rich Ricotta.

    There's a great recipe for zucchini in the "Seven Fires" cookbook that I've been using a lot this summer. The basic ingredients are lemon juice and zest, EVOO, Parmesan, and loads of Basil and Mint. I'm buried in Basil and Mint (along with squash and zucchini) so I'm happy to be using three things I've got too much of!
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

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    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #213 - August 11th, 2011, 2:27 pm
    Post #213 - August 11th, 2011, 2:27 pm Post #213 - August 11th, 2011, 2:27 pm
    Wow! I was there again on Tuesday night and was blown away by some phenomenal dishes like steak tartare (one of the best renditions I can remember), marinated summer squash (sent out gratis by the kitchen, dressed with ricotta, pumpkin seeds and chili), fried clams (eggplant, fried green beans and lemon slices) and cucussu (pork confit, beef tongue, cotechino over Israeli couscous in supremely savory broth). I'm consistently impressed by the ingredients, conception and execution at Publican. They take some risks, most of which are successful, and that makes dining there exciting.

    It's also one of a very small number of places in town where quality dining after 10 pm is possible. On this night the kitchen was open until 10:30 and accomodated our 10:15 arrival with aplomb. Service, provided by Stephanie and the ever-reliable Seth at the bar (who served us samples of house-select barrels of 4 Roses Single Barrel and Old Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond), could not have been better.

    The Publican continues to be a gem.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #214 - August 17th, 2011, 2:31 pm
    Post #214 - August 17th, 2011, 2:31 pm Post #214 - August 17th, 2011, 2:31 pm
    All -

    One of the dishes I have come to love at Publican is their Waffle. I know I know, simple, but hot damn is it good.

    Any of you masters of the waffle domain care to share some insight as to what makes this thing so different and tasty?

    J.R.
  • Post #215 - August 17th, 2011, 2:39 pm
    Post #215 - August 17th, 2011, 2:39 pm Post #215 - August 17th, 2011, 2:39 pm
    jpeac2 wrote:All -

    One of the dishes I have come to love at Publican is their Waffle. I know I know, simple, but hot damn is it good.

    Any of you masters of the waffle domain care to share some insight as to what makes this thing so different and tasty?

    J.R.
    They're now offering a second waffle option with caramel ice cream and cashews. For me, it's just as good as the honey butter and fruit preserves original.

    Ronna
  • Post #216 - August 17th, 2011, 7:58 pm
    Post #216 - August 17th, 2011, 7:58 pm Post #216 - August 17th, 2011, 7:58 pm
    Ok, Im out of my food coma now so here are some pics and a few words on the Publican deliciousness.

    Image
    Veal Brain

    I was pleasantly surprised to see veal brains on the menu, a very unappreciated dish in the U.S. In a lot of areas of the world, brains are boiled or steamed, which I very much disagree with. The delicate richness of the brains needs some contrast of textures and flavors. Crusted and fried, served with something tart and crunchy, like the ones at the Publican, is the way to go. Very classic, and even though not the best fried brains I have had, they were the best brains I have had inside the U.S.

    Image
    Shrimp, Potatoes, Corn

    The shrimp boil that came next was one of the best things I have eaten lately. The shrimp came with corn, fingerling potatoes, Tabasco sauce and a homemade aioli. The herbs mixed with the melting butter over the corn and the jumbo shrimp were a thing of beauty and would probably be rated R by the MPAA. Hungry and tired, diving into that dish was very therapeutic.

    Image
    Fries

    As we were waiting for our next dish to come, some fries caught my eye and finding it hard to resist the urge, I ordered them. As our waiter (Matt) suggested, we got fries with the egg. The fries came with two easy-sunny side up eggs. The chubby non-symmetrically cut fries, the wonderful pleasure of breaking into the yolk and seeing the perfect orange sauce find its way between the crisp fries, was messy perfection.

    Image
    Corn

    In the grain world, I consider myself more of a wheat person; I am more fascinated by the genetics of corn than its actual taste. My dining partner at the Publican was even more indifferent to corn. However armed with our two little spoons we were back to fighting like siblings over the last kernels of corn in the bowl. The corn was buttery, creamy, sweet, and so complex in its simplicity.

    Image
    Suckling Pig

    The suckling pig was perfectly cooked and so tender and delicious.

    The sweet corn ice-cream was interesting and definitely unique, but what stood out to me in the desert course was the bread that came with the cheese selection. Some bread tends to be overly sweet and fake. Earthy, old fashioned, perfectly toasted bread and creamy raw milk cheese is a marriage that has survived for many centuries, through many wars and revolutions. Who am I to give differing advice on their relationship? Instead I just laid back and enjoyed the perfect combination the Publican had offered me as the perfect ending to a wonderful meal.

    I had some of the best bites I have had lately and if it wasn't for the noise levels, it would have been perfect.

    I remember reading Hitlers biography a few years ago and thinking what a sad day for human kind it was when Hitler gave up painting for politics and then I am reminded again that career changes sometime turn out for the best. Indeed it was a wonderful day for Chicago when chef Kahan decided to pursue a career as a chef!
  • Post #217 - August 18th, 2011, 6:49 am
    Post #217 - August 18th, 2011, 6:49 am Post #217 - August 18th, 2011, 6:49 am
    Unnecessary Hitler, two minutes in the penalty box. :wink:

    I wonder if this post is a coincidence, because I've had some of my best local sweet corn ever this summer. Just utterly delicious.
  • Post #218 - August 18th, 2011, 11:04 am
    Post #218 - August 18th, 2011, 11:04 am Post #218 - August 18th, 2011, 11:04 am
    theskinnyduck has Godwin'd this thread.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law
  • Post #219 - August 18th, 2011, 11:12 am
    Post #219 - August 18th, 2011, 11:12 am Post #219 - August 18th, 2011, 11:12 am
    TCK wrote:theskinnyduck has Godwin'd this thread.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law


    Thats funny, I did not know that. He is the first person that came to mind when thinking of career changes (for the worse). If you have a better option, I will substitute it!
  • Post #220 - August 18th, 2011, 1:14 pm
    Post #220 - August 18th, 2011, 1:14 pm Post #220 - August 18th, 2011, 1:14 pm
    I think it's only Godwined if you invoke Hitler/Nazis in a way that shuts down conversation (you know, "Only Hitler/the Nazis would have hated puppies more than you do" "You're such a Nazi for hating puppies" sort of thing)
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
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  • Post #221 - August 18th, 2011, 2:20 pm
    Post #221 - August 18th, 2011, 2:20 pm Post #221 - August 18th, 2011, 2:20 pm
    theskinnyduck wrote:
    Image
    Corn

    In the grain world, I consider myself more of a wheat person; I am more fascinated by the genetics of corn than its actual taste. My dining partner at the Publican was even more indifferent to corn. However armed with our two little spoons we were back to fighting like siblings over the last kernels of corn in the bowl. The corn was buttery, creamy, sweet, and so complex in its simplicity.


    What's on that corn? It reminds me of the elote casserole my dad makes. And that shrimp makes me want to go back there so badly.
  • Post #222 - August 18th, 2011, 2:26 pm
    Post #222 - August 18th, 2011, 2:26 pm Post #222 - August 18th, 2011, 2:26 pm
    abe_froeman wrote:What's on that corn? It reminds me of the elote casserole my dad makes. And that shrimp makes me want to go back there so badly.


    Parmesan and a sour aioli type cream sauce. My dinner partner and I were both "fighting over it" so I did not try to figure out all the ingredients. Tasted wonderful though.
  • Post #223 - August 18th, 2011, 2:33 pm
    Post #223 - August 18th, 2011, 2:33 pm Post #223 - August 18th, 2011, 2:33 pm
    theskinnyduck wrote:
    abe_froeman wrote:What's on that corn? It reminds me of the elote casserole my dad makes. And that shrimp makes me want to go back there so badly.


    Parmesan and a sour aioli type cream sauce. My dinner partner and I were both "fighting over it" so I did not try to figure out all the ingredients. Tasted wonderful though.
    The menu lists elote-type ingredients: chili, lime, aioli - - and parm.

    Ronna
  • Post #224 - September 9th, 2011, 11:17 am
    Post #224 - September 9th, 2011, 11:17 am Post #224 - September 9th, 2011, 11:17 am
    Seating question regarding The Publican. I have only eaten on the patio, and have not paid close attention to the inside seating. I am aware that there is either communal seating, or "private" seating in the snug-like booths. We will be dining at The Publican tomorrow night with a friend of ours who is a bit larger. I am wondering whether it would be best to request a booth, or whether the seating in the booths is fairly tight and we might be better off at a table? He's the kind of guy who might be annoyed by communal seating, but if he can't get in or out of the booth, that might be worse. I seem to recall the booth tables appeared to be fixed to the floor, so there may not be an option to move them.
    Marno
  • Post #225 - September 9th, 2011, 12:11 pm
    Post #225 - September 9th, 2011, 12:11 pm Post #225 - September 9th, 2011, 12:11 pm
    I'll be in Chicago in October for a couple of days and most likely be dining solo. I really want to go here and was wondering how it was for a solo diner? Sounds like they have a bar, which is my preferred way to dine alone.
    Visit my new website at http://www.splatteredpages.com or my old one at www.eatwisconsin.com
  • Post #226 - September 9th, 2011, 12:32 pm
    Post #226 - September 9th, 2011, 12:32 pm Post #226 - September 9th, 2011, 12:32 pm
    eatwisconsin wrote:I'll be in Chicago in October for a couple of days and most likely be dining solo. I really want to go here and was wondering how it was for a solo diner? Sounds like they have a bar, which is my preferred way to dine alone.

    My biggest concern about going to The Publican solo would be regarding sampling sufficient breadth of the menu. If you opt for communal seating, you can make a few friends and get to try more items. The bar is fine, but I've never felt overly comfortable there. It's not particularly conducive to conversation with the bartenders...there's a part of the bar like a half-wall that comes up to chin height and then the beer taps right in front of you (picture here). There are not a lot of bar seats, either, and they're seated by the hosts (not first come) so depending on when you arrive, it may not be an option.

    marno wrote:Seating question regarding The Publican. I have only eaten on the patio, and have not paid close attention to the inside seating. I am aware that there is either communal seating, or "private" seating in the snug-like booths. We will be dining at The Publican tomorrow night with a friend of ours who is a bit larger. I am wondering whether it would be best to request a booth, or whether the seating in the booths is fairly tight and we might be better off at a table? He's the kind of guy who might be annoyed by communal seating, but if he can't get in or out of the booth, that might be worse. I seem to recall the booth tables appeared to be fixed to the floor, so there may not be an option to move them.

    Does "larger" mean like NFL linebacker or something more? I'm a pretty big guy (6'4", 280 lbs), and I fit in the booths okay, but someone who is much bigger or even built differently might not. There are a handful of tables that are not communal, though I believe most (perhaps all?) of them are 2-tops.
  • Post #227 - September 9th, 2011, 1:28 pm
    Post #227 - September 9th, 2011, 1:28 pm Post #227 - September 9th, 2011, 1:28 pm
    You can request your preference for a booth, a private table, or the communal seating, and they will try to accommodate it when seating you. I haven't sat in a booth so I can't advise you on how roomy they are.

    I prefer to call them "stalls"; I believe their swinging doors are intended to suggest a stockyard stall, given the pork theme of the restaurant.

    If I were dining alone, I'd sit at one of the communal tables.

    kl1191 wrote:There are a handful of tables that are not communal, though I believe most (perhaps all?) of them are 2-tops.

    Those comprise the north end of the room. They are happy to move the 2-tops together to accommodate groups of up to six. Six of us ate there last year at our own table, which they constructed this way.
  • Post #228 - September 9th, 2011, 4:26 pm
    Post #228 - September 9th, 2011, 4:26 pm Post #228 - September 9th, 2011, 4:26 pm
    kl1191 wrote:My biggest concern about going to The Publican solo would be regarding sampling sufficient breadth of the menu. If you opt for communal seating, you can make a few friends and get to try more items. The bar is fine, but I've never felt overly comfortable there. It's not particularly conducive to conversation with the bartenders...there's a part of the bar like a half-wall that comes up to chin height and then the beer taps right in front of you (picture here). There are not a lot of bar seats, either, and they're seated by the hosts (not first come) so depending on when you arrive, it may not be an option.


    Ahh, looking at those pics and your description I can see why the bar isn't the place to be. I might have to rethink my solo dining spot choices or try and get some friends to meet me there. Thanks for the input!
    Visit my new website at http://www.splatteredpages.com or my old one at www.eatwisconsin.com
  • Post #229 - September 9th, 2011, 7:27 pm
    Post #229 - September 9th, 2011, 7:27 pm Post #229 - September 9th, 2011, 7:27 pm
    Does "larger" mean like NFL linebacker or something more?


    Something more. Probably 5'10" and 300#? I phoned the restaurant this morning, and the reservationist indicated that larger guests may have trouble with the booths, given the tables don't move, but also that the communal seating is crowded, and not spacious either. Hence my desire for further feedback, as what I got from the restaurant was "You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't" (not any critique of the hostess, she was just being honest, and very, very polite).
    Marno
  • Post #230 - September 9th, 2011, 8:08 pm
    Post #230 - September 9th, 2011, 8:08 pm Post #230 - September 9th, 2011, 8:08 pm
    marno wrote:
    Does "larger" mean like NFL linebacker or something more?


    Something more. Probably 5'10" and 300#? I phoned the restaurant this morning, and the reservationist indicated that larger guests may have trouble with the booths, given the tables don't move, but also that the communal seating is crowded, and not spacious either. Hence my desire for further feedback, as what I got from the restaurant was "You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't" (not any critique of the hostess, she was just being honest, and very, very polite).


    Sounds like you'll want to ask if they can seat your group at some of the free-standing tables on the north side of the room.
  • Post #231 - September 9th, 2011, 9:27 pm
    Post #231 - September 9th, 2011, 9:27 pm Post #231 - September 9th, 2011, 9:27 pm
    kl1191 wrote:
    marno wrote:
    Does "larger" mean like NFL linebacker or something more?


    Something more. Probably 5'10" and 300#? I phoned the restaurant this morning, and the reservationist indicated that larger guests may have trouble with the booths, given the tables don't move, but also that the communal seating is crowded, and not spacious either. Hence my desire for further feedback, as what I got from the restaurant was "You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't" (not any critique of the hostess, she was just being honest, and very, very polite).


    Sounds like you'll want to ask if they can seat your group at some of the free-standing tables on the north side of the room.

    Bingo. That's where I usually sit but I also like the bar and the communal tables. I've never tried a booth so I don't know if I'd fit in one or not.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #232 - September 11th, 2011, 5:38 am
    Post #232 - September 11th, 2011, 5:38 am Post #232 - September 11th, 2011, 5:38 am
    nsxtasy wrote:I prefer to call them "stalls"; I believe their swinging doors are intended to suggest a stockyard stall, given the pork theme of the restaurant.

    nsxtasy, this comment of yours got me wondering about doors on pub booths, and I wound up down an internet rabbit hole (e.g.) where I have not yet found a path to an answer. I can't help thinking the swinging doors have less to do with treating the patrons as pork in the hoof and more to do with differentiating "snug" areas of the establishment from more public areas, but I don't know yet. Might have to resort to emailing a friend or two in the UK for an opinion. Anyway, interesting question (to me, anyway); I'd be curious to know if you or anyone else learns any more about it.
    Last edited by Katie on September 11th, 2011, 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #233 - September 11th, 2011, 6:41 am
    Post #233 - September 11th, 2011, 6:41 am Post #233 - September 11th, 2011, 6:41 am
    Katie wrote:
    nsxtasy wrote:I prefer to call them "stalls"; I believe their swinging doors are intended to suggest a stockyard stall, given the pork theme of the restaurant.

    nsxtasy, this comment of yours got me wondering about doors on pub booths, and I wound up down an internet rabbit hole (e.g.) where I have not yet found a path to an answer. I can't help thinking the swinging doors have less to do with treating the patrons as cattle and more to do with differentiating "snug" areas of the establishment from more public areas, but I don't know yet. Might have to resort to emailing a friend or two in the UK for an opinion. Anyway, interesting question (to me, anyway); I'd be curious to know if you or anyone else learns any more about it.

    Katie, you're right. The designer Thomas Schlesser modeled The Publican after the types of establishments you've been reading about. The doored seating areas are a take on wraparound booths. The design references can be found on Design Bureaux's (Schlesser's firm's) website:

    http://design-bureaux.com/imagelib/site ... lx_pic7hu4
  • Post #234 - September 11th, 2011, 8:25 am
    Post #234 - September 11th, 2011, 8:25 am Post #234 - September 11th, 2011, 8:25 am
    Interesting, happy stomach; thanks.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #235 - November 7th, 2011, 9:11 pm
    Post #235 - November 7th, 2011, 9:11 pm Post #235 - November 7th, 2011, 9:11 pm
    Had a delicious brunch at The Publican this past Sunday.
    Image
    In a week filled with disappointments, relying on my safety worked out extremely well.

    Brunch started off well with:
    Ricotta & Pumpkin Bread walnuts, honey & pomegranate
    Image
    Though I saw this on the menu, we did not have any intention of ordering it. Was a very nice surprise when it was brought out.

    Pork Belly Bibimbap fried egg, brown rice, garlic, ginger & kimchi
    Image

    Image

    Maple-Glazed Pork Shoulder sunny side up egg, kale, polenta & pickled chard stems
    Image

    Omelette prosciutto, escarole, gouda & aged balsamic
    Image
    Notice the absence of prosciutto, and my buddy's girlfriend asked for an egg-white omelette. Though I didn't find this too appetizing, I think it speaks volumes for the Chef to prepare a vegetarian dish in such a meat-centric restaurant.

    Soft-Scrambled Eggs & Bone Marrow shallots, capers, curly parsley & toast
    Image

    Image

    My dish. Eggs were fluffy and marrow was buttery and delicious. Only complaint is that the bones did not yield a lot of marrow. Still, I would order this again and again.

    Sides

    Burton's Maple Syrup-Braised Publican Bacon
    Image

    Frites with fried eggs
    Image
    A staple for any dinner at The Publican. Very excited this was offered for brunch.

    The Publican - perfect for any time of day.
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  • Post #236 - November 7th, 2011, 10:14 pm
    Post #236 - November 7th, 2011, 10:14 pm Post #236 - November 7th, 2011, 10:14 pm
    incite wrote:Had a delicious brunch at The Publican this past Sunday...

    As many times as I've been to the Publican and as much as I adore it, I've still never been there for brunch. Your report -- and great pics -- have me feeling like I need to prioritize it.

    That bacon is the stuff of dreams. :D

    Thanks,

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #237 - November 8th, 2011, 7:58 am
    Post #237 - November 8th, 2011, 7:58 am Post #237 - November 8th, 2011, 7:58 am
    A few months ago my wife and I hit Publican for brunch. It's a relatively limited menu, but it provided an interesting counter vantage to what I'm generally used to there. We sat outside (warm, at the time) for a leisurely, quiet, still meat-centric and awesome breakfast. I still regularly fantasize about the aforementioned bacon, indeed the Maltese Falcon of pork products.

    Incidentally, I had friends pop in here over the weekend when they realized they arrived at Next the wrong night, a week early. This corridor, man - take or leave a restaurant or two, but talk about am embarrassment of riches!
  • Post #238 - November 8th, 2011, 8:58 am
    Post #238 - November 8th, 2011, 8:58 am Post #238 - November 8th, 2011, 8:58 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    incite wrote:Had a delicious brunch at The Publican this past Sunday...

    As many times as I've been to the Publican and as much as I adore it, I've still never been there for brunch. Your report -- and great pics -- have me feeling like I need to prioritize it.

    That bacon is the stuff of dreams. :D

    Thanks,

    =R=


    To say that the brunch at the Publican is my favorite brunch destination doesn't do it justice. To think of brunch at the Publican as an afterthought of their dinner service also doesn't do it justice. Their brunch has become a regular destination for me, especially before Bears games. The bacon is heavenly. Ronnie, don't have another brunch until you get yourself to The Publican.
  • Post #239 - November 8th, 2011, 9:21 am
    Post #239 - November 8th, 2011, 9:21 am Post #239 - November 8th, 2011, 9:21 am
    Agreed. For me it is their best meal offered. Perfect Bloddy Mary's also make it heavy on our rotation. Still thinking about an "Immaculate Mary" cocktail that we had at the height of tomato season made using only the tomato water, amazing!

    Regards,

    Bourbon
  • Post #240 - November 8th, 2011, 12:48 pm
    Post #240 - November 8th, 2011, 12:48 pm Post #240 - November 8th, 2011, 12:48 pm
    Agreed. I've only had brunch at the Publican once, but it was fantastic. Ooh, that crazy, thick and sweet bacon. Also, I highly recommend ordering anything they do there that is fried, breaded, or schnitzeled.

    Incite's pictures are wonderful. I really need to get back to the Publican for brunch. Thanks for posting, K_E

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