From the description of "cozy fireplace" and BBQ, this wasn't what I was expecting, but I did enjoy it. True, there is a more tavern-like room with a fireplace, but most of the space is a sports bar, filled with TVs.
The Big Ass Pretzel is indeed giant, and very good, with a crisp crust and light interior, and served with a slightly piquant cheese dip.
The BBQ baby back ribs were also good.
I had an excellent porter, and an equally excellent Irish coffee.
On a Saturday at lunch they were very busy, but the service was on top of it, and the meal was enjoyable.
I always check out the interior pictures on Yelp before I visit a restaurant, because they tend to tell me more about the dining experience than almost anything, including sometimes event the menu. So I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at Pescadero, because it is really much nicer than the Yelp photos (even my own) suggest. Rather than the Long John Silvers decor of the photos, it really is more restaurant-ish. And despite the concrete floor, they've added acoustic treatments to the ceiling, which really help with sound levels.
The menu offers a variety of cooked fish, from pan-seared to fish and chips, a ceviche that sounded tempting, and a few "from the land" items. And of course there are oysters. There are happy hour specials on the latter, along with tap beer.
But I went a different route and had the Mussels Frites. They were a traditional French preparation in a garlic broth. The serving sizes of both the mussels and the accompanying frites (French fries for you landlubbers) were very generous. The garlic broth for the mussels was simple, but good, and the mussels were tender and tasty. The frites were the right dimensions for traditional Parisian frites, but could have used a couple more minutes in the fryer.
The wines by the glass offer a nice variety. My Albarino was a perfect match.
For dessert I had the special Bananas Foster cheesecake, which had lots banana flavor and a nice graham cracker crust, and an espresso.
Service was friendly, and the restaurant, open only a couple of weeks, seems well managed.
Pescadero Seafood & Oyster Bar 1258 W Belmont Ave Chicago, IL 60657
This is one of my favorite Chicago restaurant interior designs. It's spacious, elegant without being stuffy, not too brightly lit, not too noisy, and all around simply comforting and welcoming.
We tried several cocktails, and all were very nicely done. My favorite was the Rosemary Gimlet. It was terrific with the Mushroom Toast.
The food is top notch, with most items designed for sharing. We adored the mustard that came on the cheese plate and even asked for a to-go container of it! It was also fantastic on the scrumptious mushroom toast.
Confit Potatoes and Crispy Brussels sprouts were also both delicious. Spagettone Carbonara was cooked too far past al dente for my taste, and lacked the usual carbonara ingredients behond the speck.
We didn't make it to any meat or fish course, but we did try both the desserts, and loved the ice cream and chocolate sauce in the Profiteroles. The Pink Squirrel and Brandy Alexander were also two good ice cream based dessert beverages.
The wine list is eclectic, and well-chosen to match the food.
What a wonderful neighborhood hang out! Drew's has a full bistro menu, so be sure to explore beyond the wonderful hamburgers.
Their pizzas have a thin, scorched crust that we loved. The pear salad was one of the best salads I've ever had, with a perfect balance of sweet and tart, chewy and crunchy. The steak served with the steak frites is a New York Strip, much better than the usual cut, and the accompanying mountain of fries were thin and crispy. There were no survivors.
On Tuesdays bottles of wine are half price. Our Klinker Brick Zinfandel was a great choice at a great price.
By luck we were there on the second Tuesday of the month, which is cabaret night. What a wonderful procession of talented singers! I've paid hundreds of dollars for shows not as good as the impromptu one we enjoyed as we dined. A great evening.
While the emphasis in the name is on the drinks, the food here is good, too. The free chips are delicious, really crisp and with a strong toasted corn flavor, and the accompanying salsa has lots of cilantro.
The nacho starter was good, if not my favorite style.
Fish tacos were excellent, with grilled fish in double corn tortilla wrappers. The black beans that came with it were some of the best I've had. I also tasted the refried beans, which I normally prefer, but these black beans were amazingly complex and flavorful.
Of course margaritas are the highlight, and there are a dozen to choose from. We went with a pitcher of the Cadillac, a standard lime margarita plus Gran Marnier.
The service was good, and the ambiance is relaxed.
This charming restaurant is located on a side street of St. Helena’s Main Street. The delightful space upstairs offers high beamed ceilings and an open kitchen, plus lots of duck hunting memorabilia. Downstairs is an atmospheric bar that also has table seating. And there is also lovely outdoor dining.
The menu offers elevated comfort food such as fish and chips, or cheesesteak sandwiches, both of which were good. The orange tart with kumquat marmalade was excellent.
The wine list is very extensive, with plenty of selections from around the world and a nice assortment of half bottles.