Farmhouse-style food pairs well with farmhouse-style brews at Lakeview's Corridor Brewery & Provisions

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A tasting flight at Corridor Brewery & Provisions - JULIA THIEL
  • Julia Thiel
  • A tasting flight at Corridor Brewery & Provisions

Just before 2 PM on a Sunday is either the best or worst time to arrive at Corridor Brewery & Provisions—a homey, rustic-looking brewpub on Southport—depending on how your luck is running. There was hardly any wait for a table, but that could've been because regulars knew what we didn't (and the hostess didn't mention): that the kitchen is closed between 2 and 2:30 PM. Still, if you get seated in time you can order from the brunch menu, then switch to the lunch menu when the kitchen reopens (brunch and lunch are different meals, after all, so this is a totally reasonable approach). We missed the cut-off by three minutes, but our kind waitress took pity on us and convinced the cooks to make two more brunches.

Crab salad benedict with smashed potatoes - JULIA THIEL
  • Julia Thiel
  • Crab salad benedict with smashed potatoes

There's plenty of variety on both menus, as long as you're not vegetarian (even the salads come with meat or fish). For brunch, several omelettes are joined by a trio of brioche waffles, an egg-topped breakfast pizza, and a traditional ploughman's breakfast. Perfectly poached eggs and rich hollandaise top a generous serving of lump blue crab in the crab salad benedict, but it was the ultracrunchy side of smashed and fried potatoes that really stood out. Croque madame brioche waffles, a take on the classic sandwich, feels like a successful experiment from the Will It Waffle? blog. (Upon investigation it turns out that the blog did, in fact, publish a recipe for waffled croque madame, courtesy of Floriole's Sandra Holl.) In Corridor's version, crisp brioche waffles are topped with Gruyere, mornay sauce (a bechamel made with Gruyere), bits of ham and bacon, and a fried egg.
 
Leek, mushroom, goat cheese, and arugula pizza - JULIA THIEL
  • Julia Thiel
  • Leek, mushroom, goat cheese, and arugula pizza

In the end, we only managed a single item from the lunch menu—a pizza with meltingly tender leeks, goat cheese, and mushrooms, topped with peppery fresh arugula—but it turned out to be an excellent choice. And, like the other food, it pairs well with the rotating half-dozen farmhouse-style beers. Head brewer Brant Dubovick works in traditional French and Belgian styles, a shift from Corridor's hop-focused sister brewpub, DryHop. Which isn't to say he ignores the hoppier side of things; an earthy, piney double IPA called American Love shared menu space with the lone year-round offering: Wizard Fight, a bright, citrusy IPA brewed with lactose, which tones down the bitterness of the hops and gives the beer a slightly creamy quality.

The rest of the beer menu runs the gamut from the light, floral Riots of Color saison to the dark, chocolatey Season of Darkness porter, stopping along the way at Loneliness, Lust, & Laundry, a red ale rich with notes of pine and brown bread, and Tasty Drowsiness, a heavy 9.5 percent ABV imperial farmhouse ale that's yeasty, funky, and a touch spicy, with a sweetness that stops just short of cloying. I didn't see a dessert menu, but the beer did us just fine.

Corridor Brewery & Provisions, 3446 N. Southport, 773-270-4272, corridorchicago.com


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