The 2 Brothers after party, for those of you who didn’t get the golden ticket, took place at Nightwood in Pilsen. Alright, it wasn’t really an after party, but Rachel, Erin, Bambi (Erin’s mom), and I decided that a few sips of delicious beer and a couple of brats just wasn’t enough to satisfy us. The decision was made to head down the street to Nightwood. A bit weary that we would be competing with the Pilsen art walk crowds, we piled into Rachel’s car and headed south.
After snagging a sweet parking spot just up the block we walked over to the restaurant and entered through the patio door (come to think of it, I think that was the only way to enter). Their patio is cozy and has a kind of woodshed feel, because of the firewood artfully stored hither and thither about the patio and the partial enclosed nature of the structure itself. The semi-enclosed feel is actually quite nice given that some of the south Halsted scenery includes some vacant lots and chain-link fences, and the partial walls also serve to block any dust and wind coming off the street and it offers a very intimate setting with candlelight projecting on the walls. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived, the patio service was finishing up so we opted for the inside. [edit…Rachel discovered, by chatting up Sommelier John, that the patio is awaiting licensing and will not be officially seated until then. Guests are welcome to chill on the patio, but no service is yet available as of this very moment]. The wait time for a table was… a long time, but we were able to snag enough seats at the bar for the ladies to sit down (I called “shotgun barstool” but then I remembered my manners and let Erin sit down).
The interior is very cool, seats are pretty close together, but whose aren’t these days? The decor is very warm and makes me think of a mixture of a western saloon and the Violet Hour (I know, that doesn’t make sense, but I think you’ll see what I’m talking about when you go). One more thing I should mention is that, no matter what you think when you walk in, there is NOT another room on the left side down the hallway, that is just a floor to ceiling mirror-or possibly a portal to another dimension (as I walked by it on my way to the bathroom I thought “hey what’s this room all about,” and would have walked right into it had I not seen my reflection at the last second).
As for the food and beverage department, I can tell you that the beverages here are well done. The beer list is quite nice, nothing on tap, but a smattering of wonderful beers including the small-batch Matilda (from the brewpub-it does taste better, I checked), and Dogfish Head 90 min. The cocktails are lovely, especially the Ransom Gin-based concoction that Erin and Rachel ordered (remember the Ransom Old Tom Gin we had for about 10 seconds before it sold out?)[another edit…Rachel says there are still a few bottles at the Roscoe shop!]
A couple sips of beer/cocktails will make you hungry, so we looked over the “snack list” and decided on the deep fried asparagus (mmmm deep fried stuff…mmmm). Turned out to be mighty tasty, the crunchy batter reminded me of barbecue potato chips (in a good way), and was nicely contrasted by the very tender and juicy asparagus. I’m blanking on what the dipping sauce was, aoli maybe? Either way, Erin and I pretty much finished off what we could not fit on the asparagus spears with our fingers.
About that time Mitch showed up, and a short time later there was a plate of pate and deep fried croutons in front of us. Another round of drinks was ordered and a few extra croutons came to help us finish off the pate. Great combo by the way, the croutons provide a wonderful texture to the pate and again, they’re deep-fried, yummy!
All in all I had a lovely time out with the Lushies, as per usual, and am looking forward to convincing my “roomates” to take me out for a dinner on Nightwood’s patio (it is a little pricey, but the food, drinks, and experience, as far as I could tell from what I tasted and saw, is what I would expect for the price).