Friday, July 25, 2014

California Dreamin'

The only thing missing at Summer House is the sand

Full_summer_house

You’ve heard of Christmas in July. Now allow us to introduce you to Fourth of July in November.
 
Summer is back with a sunny Santa Monica import now open in Lincoln Park that goes by the name of Summer House.

It's what you'd expect from a wormhole into sunny California: laid-back vibes, crispy tacos, beautiful women, and a healthy dose of west coast bias.

Because the celebrities who live in Santa Monica define superficial, this seaside-esque escape looks as good as you'd expect. Which means not only whitewashed walls and earth-toned tiles but also a real glass ceiling. You know, so you can look up at Chicago's snowed-out skyline this winter and just wink at it. Cause you've won.

The menu's hearty enough to keep us warm, from braised pork ravioli made in-house and served in pork jus to Japanese BBQ-glazed skate wings to a wood-grilled burger with a side of triple-cooked, hand-cut fries.

And because this spot honors the Pacific, they've got grilled vegetable tacos, too.
 
Since every good beach party gets going with booze, the cocktail menu is packed with refreshers like the Sonoma Coast (pisco, pineapple, lemon, and allspice) and the Monte Cali (bourbon, Benedictine and Angostura bitters). That wall of wine is not just for decoration: California whites and reds are available by the bottle or glass.
 
And the best part of all? No Lakers fans.

Summer House summerhousesm.com
1954 N. Halsted St. (at W. Armitage Ave.), Lincoln Park
(773) 634-4100
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Price: 3 (out of 4)
Noise: 3 (out of 4)
Subway: Brown Line to Armitage
Scene: The easy, breezy ambiance translates to the clientele looking for a laid-back dinner.
Best bets: Hamachi tartare and green apple; prime flat iron steak frites; gemelli with slow-cooked tomatoes
Nearby: Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba; Butcher & the Burger; Rustic House

Photo courtesy Nick Murway

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