Go Straight to the SideDoor, No Need to Knock


Whenever Lawry’s Prime Rib (100 East Ontario) is mentioned, I know exactly what comes to mind. You start thinking about a fine dining establishment that you may go to on a very special occasion like a wedding anniversary or winning the lottery. But what if I told you that hey are reaching out to a new demographic? It’s time to look at Lawry’s in a whole new way, no more images of your rich uncle and his fancy wife eating steaks the size of their heads. Well let me back up and clarify a little, because Lawry’s Prime Rib is going to be unchanged, it’s still going to be the place where you go after receiving that big promotion. What’s changed is the space right next to Lawry’s, they have decided to use this space to create an American-Style gastropub, SideDoor (corner of Rush and Ontario).

Now before I tell you about their grand opening (they are actually doing a soft opening right now), I want to let you know something important, very important. SideDoor is absolutely amazing. I got a chance to attend the media preview of the menu and I went expecting a lot of meat, almost like a mini-Lawry’s, I couldn’t have been more wrong. They may be from the same parents with the same but it’s definitely a different child altogether. It’s a much more relaxed environment and the food offered is just….it’s just awesome. From the salads to the dessert, I enjoyed everything I got a chance to taste with the pastrami sandwich being my absolute favorite (although the seafood salad was close). Everyone there had his or her personal favorites of course, but it was a consensus that the entire menu was phenomenal (full list of what we ate and small sample of what they offer below). Now that SideDoor is officially opening for business, you have the opportunity to go in and find your favorite.

SideDoor invites the public to join the festivities as it celebrates its Grand Opening on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 in River North. Guests can enter on the Rush Street side of the historic McCormick Mansion to find a one-of-a-kind gathering spot – a casual neighborhood retreat with a personality all its own.

While guests enjoy live music by jazz trio The SideDoors from Lolabard Productions, SideDoor will serve complimentary hors d’oeuvres from 5pm–7pm, including chilled Salmon Gravlax Rillettes (cured with gin and citrus, on toast points with sour cream, dill and Dijon); Lamb Cigars (braised Colorado lamb, root vegetables and goat cheese wrapped in phyllo dough) and Mini House-smoked Pastrami Sandwiches (on pretzel rolls topped with rarebit and giardiniera). The full gastropub menu will also be available for purchase throughout the evening.

In addition to the distinctive menu of craft beers, cocktails and wine, SideDoor will feature a specially priced, off-the-menu cocktail, The Chicago Sazerac (FEW Rye, Peychaud’s Bitters, North Shore Absinthe rinse, grilled lemongrass and ginger candy syrup).

Representatives from three of SideDoor’s beverage purveyors will be on-hand with complimentary tastings for opening night guests. Rob Salitore of Firestone Walker Brewing Co. will provide samples of Union Jack IPA, Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA and Sucaba barleywine. Paul Hletko, Founder and Distiller of FEW Spirits, will feature their bourbon, rye, barrel aged gin, and FewSide Fernet, an exclusive SideDoor/FEW Spirits collaboration. Christine Galliani of Fine Vines will showcase their 2012 Seguinot-Bordet Chablis and 2012 Cristia Cotes du Rhone.

As a special treat for diners, Uber is teaming up with SideDoor to provide a discount for new clients to or from the restaurant on Tuesday, February 18. New users can receive their first ride complimentary (up to $20) by simply downloading the Uber app or visiting Uber.com/go/SIDEDOOR14 and entering the code SIDEDOOR14. This is for new users only and excludes the “TAXI” option.

Valet parking will be available on both Rush and Ontario Streets.


  • Crisp Kale Caesar: Russian, red and white kales, creamy garlic dressing, white anchovy, shaved Parmigianino
  • House Cured Salmon Gravlax: Warm sourdough toast, salmon rillete, crispy capers, horseradish cream
  • Seared Seafood Salad: Rock shrimp, bay scallops, calamari, avocado, crisp cabbage, green goddess dressing
  • Colorado Lamb Shank Pie: Braised lamb, root veggies, flaky pastry crust, herb salad
  • Spaghetti Squash Gratin: Garlic cream, chives
  • SideDoor Cheeseburger: 7 oz Angus beef, Wisconsin cheddar, Vic sauce, iceberg lettuce, pickled red onion, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt brioche bun (add ~ avocado, bacon jam, roasted jalapeno for $1)
  • House Smoked Pastrami: Cured and smoked natural brisket, giardiniera, hoppy cheddar rarebit, pretzel roll
  • Roasted Meat Board: Lawry’s Roasted Prime Rib, Slow Roasted & Glazed Short Rib
    • Toppings Included: caramelized onions, cheddar rarebit, giardiniera or bacon jam
  • Pan Fried Crab Cake: Avocado- cucumber salad, chili oil
  • Cheese & Charcuterie Platter: Tête de Moine, Switzerland fruity, nutty, aromatic (shaved from a griolle),  Prosciutto di Parma, Italy sweet & smooth, Dante, Bresaola, and raspberry jalapeno jam

Pretzel Roll Bread Pudding: Brioche, pretzel, whiskey soaked apricot, pistachios, and cinnamon with cream topping