Monday, March 1, 2010

The Publican review

I recently visited some friends in Chicago. We decided to check out the gastropub The Publican. They advertise as being specialists in shellfish, pork and beer. (a Palace to Porcine Pleasures) If that doesn't sound like an ideal place for two guys to eat out for the evening, I don't know what does.

Oyster sampler platter. I'm not sure which ones we got since it was chef's choice, but the web site lists the following pick the 6 that sound the best and imagine that is what we had...because they were delicious.
  • Kumamoto (oyster) Oakland, Washington; sweet, buttery, cucumber
  • Penn Cove (oyster) Northern Puget Sound, Washington; fresh, briny
  • Watch Hill (oyster) Rhode Island: precious, firm.
  • Raspberry Point (oyster) P.E.I., Canada; rounded, substantial
  • Wianno (oyster) Cap Cod Massachusetts; briny,sweet
  • Peter's point (oyster) Blue Hill, Maine; virtuous & crisp
  • Bagaduce (oyster) Bagaduce River, Maine; unyielding, brackish.
  • Island Creek (oyster) Duxbury, Massachusetts; firm, beautiful
Spicy pork rinds Slagel Family Farm, Fairbury, Illinois
I always think of pork rinds as those bags of nasty that you get at road side gas n' sips. These were delicious. A cone full of light, fried, spicy pork goodness.

Suckling Pig Slagel Family Farm, Fairbury, Illinois; choucroute & toulouse sausage
This was a good sampling of different cuts of pig. But the best was yet to come.

Beets Nichols Farm, Marengo, Illinois; ricotta & balsamic
Roasted beets with ricotta it was served as a salad of sorts between courses. Very tasty.

Porchetta Becker Lane Organic Farm, Dyersville, Iowa; turnips & rosemary
This is the dish that made the whole evening worth the effort of coming to the restaurant. It was a pork tenderloin with pork belly wrapped around it. It was absolutely delicious.

Dessert? Are you kidding me? There was no way I was fitting another morsel of food in my belly. But according to our waiter, who was very attentive and friendly, he would have been highly disappointed if we were able to order dessert. We did not disappoint.

Oh and we tried several different beers, but since I can remember a name of any of them, I'm not going to review them. Let's just say they were good...really good.

The Publican
837 W. Fulton Market
Chicago, IL 60607

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