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Review Sun Oct 18 2015

Global Inspired Eats at Quaint Lincoln Park Eatery

KCT Interioir.jpgKing's County Tap hugs the Purple and Brown Line, sits near Apollo Theater, and has that Lincoln Park vibe--the 9-inch shorts, doggies-abound, al-fresco dining sort of feel. King's County Tap (KCT) is an industrial-designed space with open walls, all sorts of cocktails and beers on tap, and a menu rivaling its Loop counterparts. A quick glance at the menu, and you can tell the chef likes his Asian and Mediterranean flavors: charred octopus with merguez and white bean ragout, labneh with curried apricot compote and spiced peanuts, and seared scallops with braised lentils and lemongrass. The appetizers, or "small" plates, lean heavily towards seafood and vegetables, the highlight (surprisingly) being the KCT Green Salad, laced with a perfumed cumin vinaigrette that melded perfectly with the crunchy greens and pistachios. Appetizer options also include a pick-and-choose charcuterie plate, with options such as gamey elk salumi and soft spunky cheeses. The large-plate entrees are all fairly standard and reflect the season--risotto with butternut squash and pepitas, pork chop with spaetzle and apple mostarda, and salmon with fresh cheese gnocchi. The dishes are diverse, all tasty, and well-portioned for sauntering through Lincoln Park.

rsz_dsc_1536.jpgrsz_dsc_1530.jpgrsz_dsc_1535.jpgI was also able to share a quick conversation with Chef Chris Bromley (Nico Osteria, Avec, Green Zebra, Spring) about his menu at KCT:

Q: How did you come up with the menu? I noticed many Mediterranean influences (labneh, pita, cumin, octopus, naan) as well as Asian influences (thai chili in the steamed mussels).
A: I really just cook what I like to eat. I've always tended to gravitate towards Asian flavor profiles, but my experiences at Avec and Nico certainly exposed me to more Mediterranean influences.

Q: What is your favorite autumn dish?
A: That's hard to say. I think once the cold weather starts kicking in, you can't beat a really awesome pot roast.

Q: How have your past cooking experiences shaped your cooking?
Along with flavors, my experiences at Avec and Nico (and Little Goat, actually) taught me how to cook for a LOT of people. When I come up with a dish, I also have to look at the logistics of producing it for a large number of eaters. KCT is a big restaurant with a small kitchen, so the ability to pick up dishes quickly is key.

Q: What is your favorite dish on the menu?
A: That's like picking your favorite kid! I really enjoy the steak set. I suppose if I had to order one thing off the menu, it would be the mussels, though. I'm a sucker for anything I can dip bread in.

Q: Is there a brunch menu something we can look forward to down the line?
A: Brunch is definitely on the horizon. We just rolled out a late-night menu not long ago, and we're still tweaking it and working out the kinks. Once I'm comfortable with that, brunch will be the next monster to take on. This neighborhood needs a good brunch spot.

King's County Tap
2576 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 697-7661

 
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Lee King / November 16, 2015 2:57 PM

Back in the day Lincoln Park used to be one of our favorite stomping grounds. We used to drive down from MSU every chance we got. Nice to see that it's still kicking.

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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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Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
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