What happens when a shored-up cruise liner takes residence in an old Turkish bath house in Wicker Park with two former Wiley Dufrense hands on board? As can be imagined, a slew of the quirky and unexpected. With Patrick Sheerin and Michael Sheerin at the helm, Trenchermen recently opened its North Avenue doors to patrons who can expect to be delighted by the seemingly discordant combinations that in reality come together in wonderfully composed plates.
Plates and drinks, mind you. The beverage menu boasts several humorous epithets, but these cocktails were certainly not jokes. The Baby Momma combines burnt lemon and yuzu, resulting in a minty alcoholic delight, most likely credited to the Damiana base (a Mexican herbal liquor to which this reporter had not yet been exposed). If a more unlit cocktail is to your liking, go for the Heart of Darkness II, a combination of rye, yellow chartreuse, amaro, and smoked bitters.
When turning to the dinner menu, a sole recommendation stood out among many: bacon cured sweetbreads. Now, I’m not a sweetbreads person by nature but after many declarations of just how good they were supposed to be, I simply couldn’t resist.
And they didn’t disappoint. I’m all for breakfast and dinner colliding – and the sweetbreads, mixed with their smoky bacon flavor and brown sugar scrumptiousness, filled my quota. They are served alongside shaved “limed” carrots, seaweed, and XO sauce.
As good as they were, the sweetbreads weren’t my most-loved item on the plate. That award goes to the limed carrots mixed with black garlic – a crunchy, citrusy, slightly syrupy delight that definitely inspired me to eat more vegetables.
Trenchermen, 2039 W North Ave. For more information call 773-661-1540 or visit The Trenchermen online.
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Elizabeth Fitzgerald is a freelance writer and social media professional with a degree in English Literature and Political Science. With a love for dining, style and exploring Chicago’s neighborhoods, Elizabeth is dedicated to uncovering some of our city’s best local finds.