**** (4 stars)
I’m sure this place can get really loud when it is full, because of all the hard surfaces and pulsing soundtrack, but late on a Sunday evening it was a good spot for dinner for two.
The focus is evenly divided between drinks and food, with a well-thought out menu of mostly shareable plates, and an iPad-based wine and spirits list. The wine selections are mostly eclectic, and there aren’t a huge number of by-the-glass choices, but there are plenty of spirits. Interestingly, some wines are served by the glass, 500ml or 750ml, and even when ordering the 750ml they are poured from carafes rather than bottles.
We started with the mussels, which were in a tasty broth that didn’t overwhelm the delicate shellfish. The accompanying grilled bread was nicely charred, a perfect vehicle for dipping.
Scallops were also good, with a nice sear, and accompanying peas and pea tendrils.
It takes some nerve to serve a burger when you’re across the street from one of the country’s most famous, but this one stood up to the competition, with nice crisp lettuce and cucumber pickles providing some crunch. I just would have liked for the bun to be grilled or toasted.
Service was friendly and the manager was attentive, and we didn’t feel rushed, even though we basically closed the place.
The Lunatic, The Lover & The Poet
736 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661