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Review Thu Jan 29 2015

The Promontory Proves That it's On Point

Promontory Restaurant - Bar.jpgIt's both a good and bad thing that The Promontory is in Hyde Park -- good because the latest project from the folks behind Longman & Eagle is helping contribute to the University of Chicago's growing Harper Court project, bad because a majority of Chicagoans will likely not make the trek out there to experience it.

Located weirdly behind an Akira, The Promontory takes a cue from its sister venue Dusek's with a live music hall, continuing what I hope is a growing trend of blending dining with entertainment. The space is visually appealing with floor to ceiling windows and a greenhouse touch, and it's attracting the same in the people visiting it. Don't go there in your Sunday casual, unless your Sunday casual is J. Crew.

The menu, a collaboration of Executive Chef Jared Wentworth and Chef de Cuisine Matt Sliwinski, is driven around the kitchen's open hearth -- think elevated campfire preparation and a kitchen that is not afraid to cook like our ancestors did, straight over an open fire with flames licking at their forearms.

Thumbnail image for pot roast Meat_Spoon_In_Bone_Carrots.jpgIt didn't launch with rave reviews this past summer, with many critics shouting misfire, but it looks like it may have found a rhythm. Dishes like the pork shank fell beautifully off the bone, with a fondue raviolo that pleased in its simplicity, and the fried clam and pork po-boy with a BBQ remoulade is robust enough to compete with what can usually be a bread-heavy sandwich. The shank could've edged more towards a bolder flavor, and the artichoke fritters look and sound better than they are needing more BĂ©arnaise and addition of the rest of the ingredients, but everything coming off the line looked great. Vegetarians need not be afraid of the fire, with options like the Roasted Farm Vegetables and Vegetarian Sandwich. (Pictured: Wagyu Beef Pot Roast)

The drink program is large enough to provide options yet simple enough not to intimidate. It is cleverly separated into "Shaken," "Stirred" and "CO2," making it easy to guide you through a cocktail selection. Pro tip: get the Whiskey and Kola if you want to get your money's worth, then get mad at every other bar on the other side of town that wants to charge you $13 for a five-ounce cocktail. There's portion-to-price happiness happening in Chicago and it's in Hyde Park.

Snag a seat at the chef's table for comfortable dining and kitchen conversation if they are not too busy, and make sure to head upstairs on the second floor for a show that includes a roster of jazz, blues, hip hop and "After Dark" spinning DJs. Another pro tip: go early to grab a seat at the bar if you're not going to pay seated prices.

The Promontory offers satisfying food, good drinks and a great selection of entertainment. Hyde Park is a stretch and a public transportation nightmare, but if you can make the trek, you should just to experience what's going on in up-and-coming Hyde Park. If anything, The Promontory, along with newcomers A10 and Yusho, is a reminder that Chicago's culinary scene doesn't stop at Roosevelt.

The Promontory
5311 S. Lake Park Avenue West

Photo credit: The Promontory

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Alexis / January 30, 2015 3:53 PM

I love Promontory! I disagree with you that it's a bad thing that other Chicagoans won't make the drive down. Their loss! The restaurant is much loved by the South Side. Always packed when I go, including weekday nights.

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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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