Four restaurants with good whiskey programs
Duke of Perth Not a fan of Celtic music? Try spending an afternoon at this Scottish ale house. In warmer months, it plays on the serene patio while hungry customers gobble fish and chips (it’s all-you-can-eat on Wednesdays and Fridays); in colder months, the music accompanies folks inside who nurse selections from one of the best Scotch whiskey lists in the city. In either setting, the experience is so pleasant that soon you’ll be humming along. 2913 N Clark St (773-477-1741). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Diversey. Bus: 8, 22, 76. Lunch (Tue–Sun), dinner. Average main course: $10.
Longman & Eagle There will be strategically scruffy dudes, waifish women in Grandma sweaters, flannel as far as the eye can see. This place is owned in part by the Empty Bottle guys, after all. But these are hipsters who know hospitality and a chef (Jared Wentworth) who knows pub grub: He turns the quizzical texture of beef tongue into a hash alternately crisp and fatty; he deep fries clams to perfection; he slow roasts cauliflower and pairs it with delicate beluga lentils. While the gluttony of some of the dishes can throw things off balance, enough cheap whiskey (dozens are available for three bucks) can cut through just about anything. 2657 N Kedzie Ave (773-276-7110). El: Blue to Logan Square. Bus: 56, 76. Brunch (Sat, Sun), dinner. Average main course: $18.
Stanley’s Kitchen & Tap Even though this Southern-style comfort food isn’t the best in town, it still has enough cream, grease and sugar to taste pretty good—especially if you’re hanging out at a comfy bar with a beer and a basket full of corn bread, hush puppies and apple butter. You could also take a seat in the kitschy dining room and clog your arteries with the big, fat, drive-in burger or the creamy chicken shortcake. And don’t leave your liver out—there’s a list of more than 70 domestic whiskeys. 1970 N Lincoln Ave (312-642-0007). Bus: 11, 22, 36, 72, 73. Brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch, dinner. Average main course: $8.
Twisted Spoke When you begin brunch by showing your ID at the door, you know you’re in the right place for a Bloody Mary. But the Spoke isn’t just a brunch place, nor is it just about brunch cocktails. In fact, if there’s anything this joint excels at, it’s whiskey—it claims to stock 500 different varieties, all of which are half-off every Wednesday night. Don’t let that distract you from the food, however. Corned-beef hash is packed with onions—add a little salt and the flavors jump off the fork. And the Spoke’s signature “fatboy” burgers are thick, juicy and perfectly tender. Take it down with a pile of those fantastic fries and you’ll be living proof that you are what you eat. 501 N Ogden Ave (312-666-1500). El: Blue to Grand. Bus: 8, 9, 65. Brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch, dinner. Average main course: $9.