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  • Post #121 - August 13th, 2009, 12:24 pm
    Post #121 - August 13th, 2009, 12:24 pm Post #121 - August 13th, 2009, 12:24 pm
    nr706 wrote:But, at least when I was there, as an apology for being closed, they were handing out coupons for a free drink to anyone they had to turn away. Classy operation.

    I shouldn't have walked off so quickly!

    -Dan
  • Post #122 - August 13th, 2009, 2:08 pm
    Post #122 - August 13th, 2009, 2:08 pm Post #122 - August 13th, 2009, 2:08 pm
    I'll try to remember this class act next time I call ahead and am told that they cannot even confirm that there is a wait for a table, let alone tell me how long the line is. :)
  • Post #123 - August 17th, 2009, 5:57 pm
    Post #123 - August 17th, 2009, 5:57 pm Post #123 - August 17th, 2009, 5:57 pm
    I'd been meaning to try Hop Leaf forever, and finally had an opportunity, when I planned on meeting an old friend and co-worker for happy hour. I was expecting to be greeted by lots of gruffness and attitude, but was pleasantly surprised by the friendly bartending staff. It wasn't very crowded (a thursday at around 5:15), so maybe that explains it.

    I had two big goblets of Delirium Tremens, which I loved, and our dinner was damn good pub food. We split an order of mussels, which were just ok. Didn't love the really beer-y tasting broth. Mussels were fresh enough. The frites, however, were fantastic, and so was the garlic aioli. Great.

    I had their CB&J sandwich, which is cashew butter, fig jam, and morbier cheese (!) griddled. Very rich. A bit too sweet from too much fig jam, I thought. It came with stilton mac and cheese, which was excellent. My friend had the duck reuben, which I liked except for the overly-sweet cranberry cream cheese they spread on there. What's that doing on a reuben?

    Overall, I liked it a lot, but I'd still be wary of going back and getting lost in the crowds and the attitude. I'm thinking we may have gotten lucky and caught them at a not-that-busy time.
    http://edzos.com/
    Edzo's Evanston on Facebook or Twitter.

    Edzo's Lincoln Park on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Post #124 - August 17th, 2009, 7:06 pm
    Post #124 - August 17th, 2009, 7:06 pm Post #124 - August 17th, 2009, 7:06 pm
    I've never been given any sort of sass or attitude from the bartenders, so I'd tell you not to worry too much about that. Next time, try the divine ham sandwich! :)
  • Post #125 - October 4th, 2009, 8:12 pm
    Post #125 - October 4th, 2009, 8:12 pm Post #125 - October 4th, 2009, 8:12 pm
    I stopped late-afternoon today at Hopleaf, for a few brews and something to eat. I forgot, however, that the kitchen doesn't open until 5 p.m. on Sunday, but, somewhow, I managed to pass the time productively (from 4 to 5 p.m.). The place was wall-to-wall full, with many people standing in line waiting for the restaurant to open. The bartenders were knowledgeable, friendly, efficient and displayed no attitude that I observed or experienced.

    Brooklyn Brewery – Manhattan Project

    Image

    I'd seen elsewhere here on LTF mention of limited availability of Brooklyn Brewery's Manhattan Project and that Hopleaf was one of only a couple or several places in the city where kegs had been shipped and the beer was available for purchase. To learn more of the Manhattan Project beer, click on this link: http://tinyurl.com/yjm4bdq.

    It's a complex beer that'll probably not be to the liking of many folks, but I enjoyed my three goblets-full ($6 each) and my discussions with other drinkers nearby as we disected the flavors.

    Steak Frites

    Image

    I chose to eat at the bar and ordered the steak frites ($23). A nicely-charred strip steak cooked perfectly, flavorful, with a lemon-horseradish butter topping it and accompanied by a side of some of the best French fries I've tasted in a very long time.

    Hoipleaf: The temple of hops in Chicago and good food, too (and no big-screen or other television sets displaying sporting events!).
  • Post #126 - October 14th, 2009, 8:08 am
    Post #126 - October 14th, 2009, 8:08 am Post #126 - October 14th, 2009, 8:08 am
    Last night was frustrating, trying to find a place to eat in the places a friend and I were looking. First, Wrigleyville was a ghost town. The Barylcorn was closed. Not one person was in Goose Island, or the diner (forgetting the name) next door. So we headed to Andersonville, and stopped at Hopleaf - which was packed to the gills, offering no place to sit . . . and a line of people waiting to get into the dining room. This was at 7-7:30 p.m. We left Hopleaf and ended-up at Hubs on Lincoln Ave. where others were eating, but no waiting in line required (good gyros, too). Hopleaf is definately doing something right - to pack 'em in . . . on the night of the dead.
  • Post #127 - October 14th, 2009, 10:44 am
    Post #127 - October 14th, 2009, 10:44 am Post #127 - October 14th, 2009, 10:44 am
    Just wanted to note that the Hopleaf's kitchen only opens at 5pm every day.

    Had a few beers there last Friday. Of note was the Monk's Cafe. My first time trying it - it was described as "an Oud Brun-style beer aged in oak". Sweet and sour, but less tart than the gueuze. I'm definitely going to have to go back for another one soon. Excellent choice to start an evening.
  • Post #128 - January 20th, 2011, 1:20 pm
    Post #128 - January 20th, 2011, 1:20 pm Post #128 - January 20th, 2011, 1:20 pm
    Hopleaf is looking to expand their space and their hours this summer.
    http://chicago.eater.com/archives/2011/ ... -lunch.php

    The lunch hours especially interest me as that is when I am most likely to get up there.
  • Post #129 - March 31st, 2011, 9:53 am
    Post #129 - March 31st, 2011, 9:53 am Post #129 - March 31st, 2011, 9:53 am
    Last minute decision to hit Hop Leaf for dinner last night. It was 7:15 and there was no wait for a table. We were seated upstairs in the front room overlooking Clark. I didn't realize they used that room for regular seating.

    First round of beers: Urthel Saisonniere for me, De Proef Witte Noire for Mr X. I didn't love the Saisonniere and was much happier with my second beer...which I can't remember what it was. We loved the duck meatballs. Great flavor with a surprising kick. The risotto cake, although a touch greasy, was a nice foil to the meatballs. Mr. X had the steak frites with lemon-horseradish butter (too light on the horseradish) and I had the spicy-crusted sturgeon with roasted baby turnips and turnip greens. I don't think I've had sturgeon before. It was quite good. My quibble with our entrees is that the kitchen had a heavy hand with the salt and I mentioned that to our server. We finished with the banana pudding fool.

    Service was pleasant, although the kitchen pacing wasn't great. That didn't surprise me andI encouraged Mr. X to start on his steak. My food came well after his. Whether for the delay in service or for the saltiness of the food, our dessert was comped.

    I'd go back for those duck meatballs for sure!
    -Mary
  • Post #130 - March 31st, 2011, 11:01 am
    Post #130 - March 31st, 2011, 11:01 am Post #130 - March 31st, 2011, 11:01 am
    My wife and I had dinner at Hop Leaf on Tuesday night. Our fries were inedible because of the salt. Beer, mussels, and PB & J were great.

    We eat at Hop Leaf a lot because we live nearby. But there is a least one major thing wrong with our meal every time we go.
  • Post #131 - October 24th, 2011, 9:22 am
    Post #131 - October 24th, 2011, 9:22 am Post #131 - October 24th, 2011, 9:22 am
    After a failed effort to go to Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind (reminder: never try going anywhere the last night of a Groupon), we hit Hopleaf for dinner. Arrived at 7:00 PM, no wait for a table. One friend started with the duck confit salad. She declared it excellent. Mr. X had the cream of broccoli soup. We think the broccoli was roasted. It was also quite good. For entrees, our salad friend had the Stilton mac & cheese. She thought it was too bitter, but I thought my bite was quite good. (It's possible she doesn't know or like Stilton cheese.) Other friend had the monkfish. I didn't read the description so have no details. Mr. X had a side of the German potato salad for his main course. I had the mussels, which were fantastic. We finished with the chocolate mousee and a brownie. I felt that Hopleaf was hitting on all cylinders -- great food and service. I'm looking forward to my next visit.
    -Mary
  • Post #132 - October 25th, 2011, 8:51 am
    Post #132 - October 25th, 2011, 8:51 am Post #132 - October 25th, 2011, 8:51 am
    I love Hop Leaf. My wife and I have eaten there about 4 times. I usually order the mussels & frites and she orders the Montreal Brisket Platter. Our last visit (3 weeks ago) was not very pleasant. My mussels were great as usually but, her brisket was a blob of fat. It also lacked the good smokey flavor that she was used to. The macaroni and cheese was also off. Was this just an off night or has something changed?
  • Post #133 - October 25th, 2011, 10:50 am
    Post #133 - October 25th, 2011, 10:50 am Post #133 - October 25th, 2011, 10:50 am
    urbanpln wrote:I love Hop Leaf. My wife and I have eaten there about 4 times. I usually order the mussels & frites and she orders the Montreal Brisket Platter. Our last visit (3 weeks ago) was not very pleasant. My mussels were great as usually but, her brisket was a blob of fat. It also lacked the good smokey flavor that she was used to. The macaroni and cheese was also off. Was this just an off night or has something changed?


    It's been a crapshoot for several years, from my experience and many others I've talked to, seemingly based in part on how busy it is. People I've talked to who usually go right around when the kitchen opens (and thus not swamped yet) seem to have almost entirely great experiences with the food and seem surprised that I've had bad experiences, but people who go when it's fairly busy to very busy seem to have more of a mix of good and bad. Given that, I've been hoping that when they expand the expanded kitchen space (and presumably an additional kitchen employee or three) might help the situation.

    If they were screwing things up that night count yourself lucky that you didn't get a bad mussels experience, I wouldn't wish it on anyone. But (at least for a beer lover) a bad night at the Hopleaf beats a bad night at most other restaurants due to the tap selection.
  • Post #134 - October 25th, 2011, 12:08 pm
    Post #134 - October 25th, 2011, 12:08 pm Post #134 - October 25th, 2011, 12:08 pm
    urbanpln wrote:I love Hop Leaf. My wife and I have eaten there about 4 times. I usually order the mussels & frites and she orders the Montreal Brisket Platter. Our last visit (3 weeks ago) was not very pleasant. My mussels were great as usually but, her brisket was a blob of fat. It also lacked the good smokey flavor that she was used to. The macaroni and cheese was also off. Was this just an off night or has something changed?


    It wasn't an off night. This is what I wrote in March:
    Darren72 wrote:We eat at Hop Leaf a lot because we live nearby. But there is a least one major thing wrong with our meal every time we go.
  • Post #135 - July 2nd, 2012, 11:10 am
    Post #135 - July 2nd, 2012, 11:10 am Post #135 - July 2nd, 2012, 11:10 am
    Via facebook:
    Three and a half years after our project was conceived and after a host of obstacles, we at Hopleaf are proud and delighted to announce that we have received our licenses to open our new space on Monday, July 2. Some of you have been peeking in our windows or through the pass through over the past few months and have see the space. We think that it looks great and hope that you'll agree.

    We have 113 new seats, a vastly larger kitchen featuring a wood fired grill and 28 new draft lines including 8 devoted to legged wine. We are adding some special bottled beers to our list and are building an innovative new bottled wine program. We are now serving lunch every day. We have added new seating to our patio.

    We have worked hard to keep Hopleaf like Hopleaf but without the crowding and long waits for seating......even on weekends!

    We look forward to welcoming you soon.


    Still no reservations, but here the new hours are below. I don't see different menus for lunch/dinner so I don't see why there's a distinction -- maybe that will become more apparent moving forward.
    BAR HOURS
    Sunday – Friday 12pm – 2am
    Saturday 12pm – 3am
    LUNCH HOURS
    Weekdays 12pm – 5pm
    Weekends 12pm – 4pm
    DINNER HOURS
    Monday-Thursday 5pm – 11pm
    Friday 5pm – 12am
    Saturday 4pm – 12am
    Sunday 4pm – 10pm
    best,
    dan
  • Post #136 - July 3rd, 2012, 9:58 am
    Post #136 - July 3rd, 2012, 9:58 am Post #136 - July 3rd, 2012, 9:58 am
    With 113 new seats, I wonder if they might open the place up to people under 21, at least in the early hours.
  • Post #137 - July 3rd, 2012, 10:35 am
    Post #137 - July 3rd, 2012, 10:35 am Post #137 - July 3rd, 2012, 10:35 am
    JeffB wrote:With 113 new seats, I wonder if they might open the place up to people under 21, at least in the early hours.

    They have been pretty vocal via facebook about keeping it 21+ at all times.
    best,
    dan
  • Post #138 - August 21st, 2012, 4:03 pm
    Post #138 - August 21st, 2012, 4:03 pm Post #138 - August 21st, 2012, 4:03 pm
    So, I liked Hopleaf so much that I'd like to return with some friends tomorrow night. Our group could very easily grow to about 8 or so by 8:30- is that going to be a nightmare to get seats? I don't know how busy it gets.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #139 - August 21st, 2012, 4:17 pm
    Post #139 - August 21st, 2012, 4:17 pm Post #139 - August 21st, 2012, 4:17 pm
    For a group that large, not sure what the policy is these days--pre-expansion, I'm pretty sure they were strictly no reservations but don't know if they've changed that since they've increased the seating space. I'd call them and ask. Personally, I'd be reluctant to go anywhere with 8 people without a reservation just to avoid the aggravation of trying to shoehorn in someplace or improvise on the fly. Anteprima has a 3 course prix-fixe for $29 Sun-Thursday--and a reservation for 8 at 8:00 there would likely be no problem on a school night. They're on Open Table too so it's easy.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #140 - August 21st, 2012, 5:09 pm
    Post #140 - August 21st, 2012, 5:09 pm Post #140 - August 21st, 2012, 5:09 pm
    As boudreaulicious said, unless they recently changed their policy, they don't take reservations. But, you can go earlier and leave your name. You need to have everyone there to be seated, however. The nice thing is that you can wait in the front bar room and drink beers while you wait.

    In general, I think with a group of 8 people it is best to talk to them ahead of time. Like boudreaulicious said, I would call in the early evening to get their advice about to schedule this.
  • Post #141 - August 21st, 2012, 5:18 pm
    Post #141 - August 21st, 2012, 5:18 pm Post #141 - August 21st, 2012, 5:18 pm
    jpschust wrote:So, I liked Hopleaf so much that I'd like to return with some friends tomorrow night. Our group could very easily grow to about 8 or so by 8:30- is that going to be a nightmare to get seats? I don't know how busy it gets.
    I find that if you get there as close to when the kitchen opens (5pm) the better. It fills up pretty quick and 8:30pm is primetime. Being a weeknight, though, it may not be such a long wait.
  • Post #142 - August 21st, 2012, 9:37 pm
    Post #142 - August 21st, 2012, 9:37 pm Post #142 - August 21st, 2012, 9:37 pm
    Not sure about Friday/Saturday but we went last Sunday around 6 p.m. . No wait for any sized group. Great beers, good mussels & an heirloom tomato salad that was fanatic.
  • Post #143 - August 22nd, 2012, 11:09 am
    Post #143 - August 22nd, 2012, 11:09 am Post #143 - August 22nd, 2012, 11:09 am
    d4v3 wrote:
    jpschust wrote:So, I liked Hopleaf so much that I'd like to return with some friends tomorrow night. Our group could very easily grow to about 8 or so by 8:30- is that going to be a nightmare to get seats? I don't know how busy it gets.
    I find that if you get there as close to when the kitchen opens (5pm) the better. It fills up pretty quick and 8:30pm is primetime. Being a weeknight, though, it may not be such a long wait.


    It's worth noting that the kitchen opens at Noon every day now -- but the menu is pretty limited until dinner hours begin. Per their website:
    Open 365 days of the year.
    Starting at Noon every day.
    BAR
    Sunday – Friday until 2am Saturday until 3am
    LUNCH
    Monday – Friday until 5pm
    Saturday – Sunday until 4pm
    DINNER
    Monday-Thursday 5pm – 11pm Friday 5pm – 12am
    Saturday 4pm – 12am
    Sunday 4pm – 10pm
    best,
    dan
  • Post #144 - August 22nd, 2012, 11:55 am
    Post #144 - August 22nd, 2012, 11:55 am Post #144 - August 22nd, 2012, 11:55 am
    danimalarkey wrote:
    d4v3 wrote:
    jpschust wrote:So, I liked Hopleaf so much that I'd like to return with some friends tomorrow night. Our group could very easily grow to about 8 or so by 8:30- is that going to be a nightmare to get seats? I don't know how busy it gets.
    I find that if you get there as close to when the kitchen opens (5pm) the better. It fills up pretty quick and 8:30pm is primetime. Being a weeknight, though, it may not be such a long wait.
    It's worth noting that the kitchen opens at Noon every day now -- but the menu is pretty limited until dinner hours begin. Per their website:
    Open 365 days of the year.
    Starting at Noon every day.
    Thanks, I did not know that. Lunch at Hopleaf sounds like a good option, if I find myself in the neighborhood in the afternoon.
  • Post #145 - February 2nd, 2013, 6:17 pm
    Post #145 - February 2nd, 2013, 6:17 pm Post #145 - February 2nd, 2013, 6:17 pm
    Had a very nice lunch at the bar this afternoon. A duck reuben, great frites, and a side of delicious roasted brussels sprouts. Washed down with couple of good Michigan brews, an excelllent Hopslam on tap and a tasty Vivant Farm Hand.

    Lunch is a very enjoyable time at Hop Leaf, nice and quiet, at least today.
  • Post #146 - February 3rd, 2013, 12:36 am
    Post #146 - February 3rd, 2013, 12:36 am Post #146 - February 3rd, 2013, 12:36 am
    It appears that Hopleaf has hired Andrea Deibler who was the butcher at City Provisions, so I'm interested to see if they run any workshops or add some farm dinners like CP was running.
  • Post #147 - July 8th, 2013, 10:24 am
    Post #147 - July 8th, 2013, 10:24 am Post #147 - July 8th, 2013, 10:24 am
    Went to the Hopleaf yesterday and was surprised to find they changed their fries.
    They replaced their thin, crispy frites with thicker hand-cut fries. :shock:
    I asked the kitchen why they changed them, and they said that someone made a mistake, but the chef and some customers liked the thicker fries, so they decided to roll with the new ones.

    Here's a photo I took of the new fatties.
    Image

    Personally, I miss the thin frites.
    I'm interested to hear your opinions.
  • Post #148 - July 11th, 2013, 3:06 pm
    Post #148 - July 11th, 2013, 3:06 pm Post #148 - July 11th, 2013, 3:06 pm
    Nooooooooooooooo!!! I love their frites. This is so disappointing.

    andshewas wrote:Went to the Hopleaf yesterday and was surprised to find they changed their fries.
    They replaced their thin, crispy frites with thicker hand-cut fries. :shock:
    I asked the kitchen why they changed them, and they said that someone made a mistake, but the chef and some customers liked the thicker fries, so they decided to roll with the new ones.

    Here's a photo I took of the new fatties.
    Image

    Personally, I miss the thin frites.
    I'm interested to hear your opinions.
  • Post #149 - July 12th, 2013, 8:35 pm
    Post #149 - July 12th, 2013, 8:35 pm Post #149 - July 12th, 2013, 8:35 pm
    andshewas wrote:Personally, I miss the thin frites.
    I'm interested to hear your opinions.
    Frites are supposed to be thin. Seems that they should offer both "frites" and "fries" Somehow steak frites, would not seem right with thicker skin-on potatoes. Somewhere a portly Belgian is turning in his grave.
  • Post #150 - July 13th, 2013, 1:46 pm
    Post #150 - July 13th, 2013, 1:46 pm Post #150 - July 13th, 2013, 1:46 pm
    I agree. I hope they'll bring back the thin fries.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."

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