Friday, January 30, 2015

Fat Back

Bottlefork is your place for winter pigging out


You know what polar vortexes are good for? Holing up in your favorite bar and drinking fat.
Such an activity is now possible at Bottlefork, the new Americana style restaurant from the Rockit guys.
Here’s the deal with that fat shot. It’s called the Smoke of the Day and is created when the bartender takes smoke drippings (that’s a delicate way of saying the fat run-off from the meat smoker) and mixes it with whiskey alongside his additive of choice.

It’s not for everyone, but that’s why there’s also an extensive cocktail list and beer selection including Root Cellar rye amber ale brewed just for the restaurant by Begyle Brewing Company.
Other delicious things coming out of that smoker include smoked lamb ribs served with tamarind BBQ sauce. In the non-smoked category, dig into a massive menu with everything from chorizo-stuffed squid to buttermilk fried rabbit.

There’s also something called the rich man’s po’ boy, which includes enough foie gras and fried oysters layered onto a lobster roll to keep you satisfied until spring.
This is all enjoyed in the cozy setting of the restaurant that used to be Dragon Ranch (a short-lived BBQ spot that closed after a fire). This one fills the long space with cozy booths, walls of whiskey, and a mural of the Mad Hatter surrounded by hanging meats.

Though if you want to see the real Mad Hatters, bypass the mural for the view of chefs in the open kitchen.

If stuffing chorizo into squid isn't some kind of sorcery, we're not sure what is.

441 N. Clark St. (at W. Illinois St.), River North
(312) 955-1900

Price: 3 (out of 4)
Noise: 3 (out of 4)
Scene: Hungry River Northers willing to throw down a few extra dollar for casual food in a trendy setting
Subway: Red Line to Grand
Best bets: Smoked salmon-layered parfait; braised beef cheek poutine; wood-grilled ground bacon burger
Nearby: Bub City; Three Dots and a Dash; Sable Kitchen + Bar

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