Hours: Monday-Friday 4 PM-2 AM, Saturday noon-3 AM, Sunday noon-2 AM
Pleasant House Bakery supplies the food at this Randolph Street bar, which has capitalized on the West Loop’s popularity as a dining destination, positioning itself as a place to get pre- or postmeal drinks and snacks. If you're familiar with the meal-size pies that Pleasant House serves at its Bridgeport restaurant, you may be surprised by the shrunk-down version here, a hockey puck less than half the size of the original (though the $8 price tag is the same). Fortunately, the quality is unchanged, the crust light and flaky. We had less luck with the bland vegetarian chili, but Welsh rarebit—thick slices of toasted bread generously topped with beer-cheese sauce and broiled—was satisfyingly savory. For dessert there's exactly one option: two oatmeal lace cookies with dark chocolate sandwiched in the middle. It's buttery and surprisingly light, just the thing to order if you want a little something sweet but don't have room left for a whole dessert.
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Lone Wolf has capitalized on the West Loop’s popularity as a dining destination, positioning itself as a place to get pre- or postmeal drinks and snacks, or to have a drink while waiting for a table at a nearby restaurant. Cocktails, designed by Stephen Cole of the Barrelhouse Flat, are divided into aperitifs—a trio of bubbly drinks with sorbet called sgroppino—and digestifs, which in this case means several amaro-heavy cocktails. The No. 2, a strawberry, hibiscus, and lime sgroppino with tequila sorbet, was light and refreshing, smelling intensely of strawberry (maybe thanks to the garnish on the side of the glass) and tasting less boozy than it really was. In addition to a few wines by the glass and several bottled beers, there are eight taps for beer and cider, half of them devoted to Three Floyds. Pouring Gumballhead and Zombie Dust is respectable enough, but Lone Wolf appears to be the only place in Chicago you can get Immutable Dusk, a black IPA brewed in conjunction with the band Pelican. —Julia Thiel