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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Friday, March 1

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Openings Sat Jul 14 2012

Trenchermen Brings Chicago A New Word For Foodie

TRENCHERMAN: a person who enjoys food; a hearty eater and drinker

It was on the weekend of Chicago's 2012 heat wave and subsequent late night power outage (conveniently on a Friday) -- having just been booted from Revolution Brewery and The Whistler in Logan Square as a result, and finding that almost every other bar in Wicker Park was also out of power -- that I found myself walking into Trenchermen, the newest kid to the Wicker Park growing culinary scene.

Trenchermen (2039 W. North Ave), now taking up residence in the former Spring space, is the project of Michael and Patrick Sheerin, two brothers with a long resume of culinary achievements (Blackbird, Everest, and Signature Room to name a few) as well as hospitality heavyweights Kevin Heisner and Matt Eisler (Bar DeVille, Nightwood Restaurant, Bangers & Lace, and The Anthem). The design concept is part old industrial meets chemistry lab meets a Vermont cabin if I may - bartenders, dressed in the style of Paul Bunyan if Paul Bunyan were an old village carpenter mix drinks in beakers, while moss grows on the wall. The rectangle bar seems like a great new place to do Wicker Park people watching - you know, to compare if the Wicker Park hipsters rival the Logan Square ones and is a welcomed arrival to the "interesting collection" of bars in the Milwaukee, North and Damen six corners. The seasonally driven menu, purposefully limited, boosts items such as Scotched Quail Eggs, Beet Burrata and Smoked Sturgeon. It's been labeled as progressive American Contemporary . . . does that translate to affordable fine dining?

The kitchen was closed so we went in for drinks, I, The Bridge and Tunnel, an interesting mix of carbonated lemon-peel vodka, white zin and celery bitters, my friend the Sunner Kolsch, a German summer ale. My drink was surprisingly good, albeit risky. Judging what beverage director Tona Palomino is doing with things such as The Green Hornet (a spin on the classic gin and tonic), the Baby Mama (which includes damiana, a Mexican liquor, and yuzu, an Asian citrus fruit) and the Desperate Vesper, which includes--wait for it--Marlot, there might just be a Violet Hour throw down coming up in the future. (Lesson: Marlot always wins). Trenchermen just officially opened earlier this week. We'll have to see if the successful chemistry experiment applies to the food as well.

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alan lake / July 16, 2012 8:58 AM

I've had the good fortune to eat both of the brother's food @ their perspective restaurants and @ events such as the Green City Mkt BBQ just last wk. These guy's can cook. Looking fwd to seeing what they do here.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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