Taps: 12 / Bottles: 46
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 34 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by WOTO97:
3.88/5 rDev -14.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$$
First off, the quality of the food is very high. The focus is pork, oysters, and beer. The first two categories are well-represented. The food is designed to be shared at the table; no traditional entrees. The food, generally, is considerably more upscale traditional pub fare.
The beer list is okay. Without a doubt it contains some very great beers. Nonetheless, The Publican has made a point of advertising how much time they spend on integrating the food and beer menus, but, based on this, the beer menus definitely lacks any cohesiveness. Some of the rare beers that made an appearance on the list seemed to be there to be there and not for the purpose of complementing the food.
Still, if you are looking to spend a nice night out with friends and drop some money, you could do much worse than The Publican.
03-02-2010 00:09:06 | More by WOTO97
More User Reviews:
4.14/5 rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 5 | $$$$
This is an extremely conflicting review for me to write...This is Beer Advocate, right? Okay I'll do my best.
They open at 3:30...they serve a limited afternoon menu until 5:30. We had a reservation at 5:30, and showed up around 4:30, and were promptly sat at the table where our reservation had been situated for later that evening.
The tap list consists of 10 to 12 options, ranging from easy drinking German Pils to fine American Craft offerings, and even a house blended Lambic (which stated it was from Lindeman's). We started with a Rueze from the Bruery. A beer I had been wanting to try, but since we don't get their stuff in Michigan, I was very excited to see it.
The afternoon menu consists of 8 to 12 Oyster options, quite a few different cheeses, some cured meats, a few salads, and a half chicken. We started with the Chef's Choice Oysters that were absolutely fantastic. They gave us two of each, totaling 12 Oysters (the cost was $30, so just under $3 an Oyster, fair price IMO). Since they had about 12 Oysters on the menu, we decided to go back for round 2, and try the other 6 that we did not get on the first platter. And the chef was more than happy to do that for us. They were all wonderful.
By this time, it was 5:30, and the full menu was available. We stuck with the draft list (which I'll get to later), and got a glass of the house Lambic. Which turned out to be absolutely delicious. We both enjoyed it more than the Rueze.
The dinner menu is vast. Lots of really good looking options. We did some family style dining, and went with a couple different things. We had some baked sweet potatoes that were absolutely delicious, as well as some kale gnocchi. The kale wasn't as present as I would have liked it to be, but the gnocchi was to die for. Absolutely amazing. For entrees we went with dry aged duck breast and beef heart tartar. Both of the entrees matched the apps, very well presented, and tasty. An amazing dining experience food wise. With that said...
We were sat on the first table when you walk in the door. The only occupied table at 4:30. Probably the worst table in the house, honestly. I called for a reservation 3 months ago, because I know it's extremely difficult to get into the Publican. Every time someone opened up the door, we got a blast of cold air, and it was rather uncomfortable for us.
The server wasn't the friendliest girl in the world. She was pleasant enough, but she had this snottiness to her that just rubbed me the wrong way. I'm a religious 20% tipper, and unfortunately she walked away with just over 15%...
The beer list is...hmm. The tap list is affordable, yes. But as far as the Publican being a beer destination, I'd have to say absolutely not. Yes, they had Bourbon County Coffee on the list, but for $18 a bottle? You gotta be kidding me. Yeah they had Sobre Humano from JP (and there isn't alot of that left around), but for $45 a bottle? No way. The prices were just way too high.
Taking everything into account, this is a really nice stop. The food is fantastic, and priced very well for what you get. The service could have been better. The beer list is impressive but overpriced.
It's nice to have such a high quality dinner with great beer options available. I don't understand the idea that if you are going to enjoy such a treat, you need to be gouged for it. I'm guessing people pay for the bottles, or else they wouldn't carry the selection they do, or they wouldn't charge as much. The restaurant seems to be very busy, so they don't need my help. I just don't agree with their practice.
12-12-2013 15:55:38 | More by MarcatGSB
4.56/5 rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 5 | $$$
Ahhh... The Publican. Just writing that brings a smile to my face. Located right in the middle of what used to be the historic meat packing plants in Chicago.
Paul Kahan might be one of the most famous chefs in Chicago today and in my opinion, The Publican is his finest creation. If you like beer, pork, and seafood... look no further.
First of all, every server at The Publican is a certified Cicerone. So, not only do they know their beer, they can pair it perfectly with their food and even the nerdiest beer nerd will likely feel at home with the selection. On my last visit there, I drank Cantillon Kriek on tap until I simply could drink no more... it was fantastic. Even the bourbon selection was amazing. Would you like a 23 year Pappy neat? No problem here. The Publican also has unique offerings, such as their own house blended lambics.
As amazing as the beer is at The Publican, the food is the real star, but since this is a beer review site I will keep it short. Just do a Google image search for "Publican bacon."
PS - Around the corner at Publican Quality Meats, you can grab some amazing cuts of meat take take home too. If you like head cheese, you need to try some while you are here. In my opinion, it's the best there is.
10-01-2013 19:32:16 | More by cnbrown313
4.73/5 rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75 | $$$
Very neat place to drink and eat.
Great beer and food pairings.
Knowledgeable staff makes good recommendations.
Great place to spend a few hours drinking an eating.
I would definitely visit again and recommend it to fellow beer and food lovers.
08-03-2013 21:33:12 | More by Bowers-Brew
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The Publican in Chicago, IL
98 out of 100 based on 40 user ratings.