Gallery Bar

Hours: Dinner: seven days
Open late: Saturday till 3, other nights till 2:30

Price: $$

Street-food-inspired rolls, tacos, and wontons, plus craft cocktails and local art.

Restaurant Details

An art gallery-slash-street food concept, River North's Gallery Bar specializes in Mexi-Asian-Caribbean-Polynesian fusion wraps called "bonzai" and also serves a large selection of beer cocktails. That sentence was probably rough for anyone with a low tolerance for unabashed trendiness, but if chef Patrick Glatz is doing something moderately annoying, at least he's doing it well. The bonzai, described on the menu as "Boutique Street Rolls" (another eye roll), are basically deconstructed wraps that get further deconstructed if you're sharing. Wonton Ahi Nachos, for example, are a heap of crispy, deep-fried wonton chips topped with gleaming pink cubes of raw tuna, a sweet-spicy tamari sauce, creme-fraiche-and-wasabi sauce, and frazzled strips of seaweed. On the side are three different slaws, so to speak: warm sauteed cabbage, a Day-Glo-green seaweed salad, and a sweet and nutty one made from jicama matchsticks. The tuna was fresh and pleasant in taste and texture, and each bite is different depending on what slaw you pile atop the chip. Sure, the dish looks like a bomb exploded, but nachos don't have to be pretty (even when they're trying to be). The duck tacos on the daily specials menu—wonton taco shells loaded with juicy, gamy shredded duck meat with sweet-and-sour cherries on top—were equally good. The drinks were somewhat less impressive. A beer cocktail made with peach lambic and St-Germain lacked the fizz that beer is supposed to impart; a lemony gin-and-champagne drink from the craft-cocktail menu had a mildly unpleasant, dry, puckery mouthfeel. The Factory Girl, made with Woodford Reserve and pear liqueur, is a serviceable bourbon cocktail, though. And, yes. There's plenty of art.

Gwynedd Stuart

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Price: $$

Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover

Bar Details

An art gallery-slash-street food concept, River North's Gallery Bar specializes in Mexi-Asian-Caribbean-Polynesian fusion wraps called "bonzai" and also serves a large selection of beer cocktails. That sentence was probably rough for anyone with a low tolerance for unabashed trendiness, but if chef Patrick Glatz is doing something moderately annoying, at least he's doing it well. The drinks were somewhat less impressive. A beer cocktail made with peach lambic and St-Germain lacked the fizz that beer is supposed to impart; a lemony gin-and-champagne drink from the craft-cocktail menu had a mildly unpleasant, dry, puckery mouthfeel. The Factory Girl, made with Woodford Reserve and pear liqueur, is a serviceable bourbon cocktail, though. And, yes. There's plenty of art. —Gwynedd Stuart

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