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The service is slow. The food is overpriced, sometimes ridiculously so: for $9 you get just five mac 'n' cheese bites, a customer favorite (at least according to the menu). The shrimp tacos were clearly the work of a gringo—Kevin Church, formerly of Owen & Engine—and had a strange, grainy texture besides. The steak, which came smothered in caramelized onions, was tasty, if a little chewy. The meal left a lingering aftertaste that needed to be washed out with lots of water.
None of this bothered the crowd that showed up last Friday night to watch the hockey game. (Need I say which hockey game?) There were plenty of big TVs with clear sightlines. However, they were all tuned to NBCSN, which did not switch over to the Blackhawks-Wild game after the Rangers and Penguins went into overtime.
Through the windows, the Commonwealth clientele could see that the Riverview Tavern across the street had found the Hawks. If the beer list hadn't been so extensive, there might have been a revolt. As it was, there has never been a crowd in Chicago that cheered so loudly for a New York Rangers victory.
Commonwealth Tavern, 2000 W. Roscoe, 773-697-7965, commonwealthchicago.com