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Taps: 30 / Bottles: 3
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
800 W Randolph St
phone: (312) 929-4580
Monday - Saturday: 5 pm - 2 am
Sunday: 5 pm - 1 am
(Place added by: emerge077 on 03-25-2012)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 3
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Au Cheval was a welcomed addition to Restaurant Row and the all around beer scene in the West Loop. We have a little unassuming corner spot across from Haymarket that's hard to even tell what it actually is from the outside. When entering there's always a buzz and energy from the happy patrons. Au Cheval's layout is just like an old school diner with a narrow space, bar to the side wall with an open kitchen, booths across from the bar against a windowed wall and a few four tops in the back. The decor is old school diner but dressed up with brick, gleaming tap towers, dark wood, and maroon upholstered booths. Music, loud enough to hear but quiet enough to have a conversation, pumps from the speakers and can range from Ghostface to David Bowie.
Thirty drafts adorn the beer menu with a good smattering of styles and selections. Everything from Rodenbach to Ayinger to Three Floyds to Budweiser (only macro) is on tap at any moment so there should be a style for any mood that happens to strike. Lines are clean and beers are well kept. Servers are knowledgeable and friendly no matter how slam packed they are, which is usually pretty often. Prices are a touch high but nothing out of the ordinary for the location.
As good as Au Cheval's taplist happens to be the main draw for me is still the food, most notably the burger, which is possibly the best in the city. The menu also reads like an old diners but with interesting ingredients and perfect execution. Potato hash with duck heart gravy, Foie gras with scrambled eggs & toast, Fried house-made bologna sandwich, Pork Porterhouse with foie gras & roasted apples are just a few things on the menu worth drooling over. The single burger is two thin diner style patties with american cheese, house cured bacon and a fried egg if you'd like, and the best hamburger bun in the city.
I can't recommend Au Cheval highly enough. Also, check Beermenus for their updated taplist.
08-25-2013 17:10:29 |
More by joe1510
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped in here after my most recent visit to Haymarket, figuring hopping across the street wouldn't be much of a detour from the norm. Plus, I'd heard they had a collaboration brew from Against the Grain and De Molen (Bo & Luke). The place is a slender-ish restaurant with the bar extending along the left wall and acting as a barrier between the drinkers and the cooking area. There's a stripped-down kind of feel, though a home-y-ness still somehow pervades. It was a busy Sunday, presumably due to it still being Brunch, and I was met at the door by the hostess, who helped me to a seat at the end of the bar (I've never been seated like that at a bar...), popped me a bottle of water (always welcome during my City excursions), and promised me a server would attend to me presently (another bar first for me). Unfortunately, no server ever found his/her way to me. Luckily, though, the bartender noticed I'd been sitting there unattended for several minutes (at least ten) and took my drink order. He even shot the shit with me a bit, which was pretty nice. The tap selection was pretty strong, though there was a lack of a complete listing (some featured drafts were listed on the brunch menu), so it would be difficult to know what's on without scanning the handles or knowing ahead of time (luckily it seems as though they update BeerMenus fairly regularly). From looking around, things looked to be served in generally appropriate glassware. The prices seemed high on the food side, but I didn't partake and am unfamiliar with the norm in the CIty. As far as the beers went, prices appeared as they usually do in the City. Overall, this is an interesting place to grab a beer, but I don't think I'd make this a regular stop of mine. In my eyes, it's more of a hip little restaurant that happens to have a bunch of solid taps.
10-15-2012 21:43:42 |
More by TMoney2591
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
New corner spot along the burgeoning Randolph restaurant corridor, located kitty-corner from Haymarket. Wood paneled exterior with hand painted script signage that adds a touch of French bistro simplicity to this busy intersection. Looks sort of quiet and unassuming from the outside.
Once inside, there's a small maitre'd stand to the right, with a TEAC reel-to-reel and stereo setup behind it, from which a seamless blend of eclectic tunes poured into the narrow room. On the left was the bar, which seats roughly 20, with an open grill behind it and pots hanging overhead. 30+ taps mounted along the front corner of the bar, with an eclectic array of tap handles. Decor was sparse yet textured, giving the place a functional "diner" feel but with creative touches that elevated the atmosphere a bit. Vintage tile floors and dimly lit exposed ductwork overhead. Large windows facing Halsted were framed by exposed cutaway brick, with detailed wood paneling between the table and comfy upholstered booths.
We tried a few beers: Local Option's Anthony of Bourdania, Stillwater Existent and Bri-Witter Weisse, Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog, and Anchor Liberty. Draft list was divided into four categories: Light, Full, Specialty, and Rich. The page was well designed with abv, tasting notes, and price detailed for each draft. Prices were a bit high, drafts ranged from $7-12, but in line with the trendy area. There was also Berghoff root beer on tap that seemed a bit flat.
Exclusive list highlights (not online as of yet): Foret Blanche (12), Hacker-Pschorr Maibock (7), FFF Brian Boru (6), JP Bam Noire (10), Evil Twin Freudian Slip (12), HA Baumé (6), De La Senne Taras Boulba (12), FW Double Jack (8), Founders Red Rye (6), FFF Arctic Panzer (9), Lakefront Bridgeburner (6), Rodenbach Grand Cru (12), St. Feuillien Brune (12), Stone Sublimely Self Righteous (9), Ayinger Celebrator (8), Allagash Black (6).
Table service was friendly and timely, and they offered to chat beer if necessary or offer suggestions. One guy was wearing a Fette Sau t-shirt, if that gives some idea of the hip Brooklyn vibe they're going for here.
On beermenus now:
Au Cheval was a relaxing place to have a couple rounds, and a welcome addition to the West Loop area that includes Publican, Haymarket, Girl & The Goat, Jak's, Beer Bistro, and Bottom Lounge, if you feel like a spontaneous mini-pub crawl.
04-04-2012 03:23:47 |
More by emerge077
Au Cheval in Chicago, IL
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