Upscale and casual have two vastly different meanings. Upscale and casual are usually two very different extremes when it comes to dining. One you may think of as a place where you absolutely have to wear a jacket, or at the very least a tie, and the other is the type of restaurant where you meet your friends for burgers and watch the game. Then a place like Municipal Bar and Dining Co. (216 West Ohio St.) opens up and ruins these preconceptions. This is an upscale sports bar, the unicorn of the culinary world.
I may be a bit dramatic in my introduction of Municipal Bar and Dining Co., and you may have heard of an upscale casual restaurant, but I am certain you have not been to one that’s also referred to as a gastro-pub. Working at restaurants in New York City and having a classical French background, Chef Jeff Arasi (might I add, he has also worked at The Savoy in London) is making his mark on Chicago with this River North instant hot spot.
The food is a mixture of everything you could want in a restaurant, using the best of local ingredients to create amazing dishes. You can get everything from a New York Strip or Lamb Shank to a Gourmet Grilled Cheese or a mouth-watering Reuben. To top it all off they have signature drinks named after Chicago neighborhoods, like the Gold Coast “which features Absolut, yellow charteuse, peach ginger green tea, simple syrup, lemon juice and peach bitters.” The restaurant has only been open a couple weeks and has already attracted the likes of Chicago sports legends Michael Jordan, Brian Urlacher and a ton of other sport stars. The only way to know if it’s worth all the fuss is to head on over and try it out for yourself.
Source: Municipal Bar and Dining Co.