Howells & Hood | Gold Coast/Mag Mile/Streeterville | Craft Beer, Gastropub, Patio /Beer Garden, Contemporary/Regional, Small Plates | Bar

Howells & Hood Image

Hours: Lunch, dinner: seven days
Open late: Saturday till 3, Thursday-Friday till 2, Monday-Wednesday till midnight "or later"

Price: $$$

Massive Tribune Tower hangar featuring 114 craft beers on tap and a (theoretically) seasonal menu from Scott Walton (Markethouse).

Restaurant Details

Bottle Management, the group behind this hangar-size beer hall in the Tribune Tower, pays lip service to in-season local food, and went so far as to hire chef Scott Walton, formerly of Markethouse, to oversee a menu that spans shrimp and andouille, French onion soup, wedge salads, burgers, fish tacos, risotto, and tuna tartare. But when things like tomatoes, corn, and blackberries appear in April, it's like spotting the Easter Bunny in August. I was served raw tomatoes in no less than four dishes at Howells & Hood, among them halved cherry orbs bursting with flavorlessness in a towering duck confit salad and wan pink slices stacked on both an underseasoned burger (made from beef ground in New Jersey) and a dry, mealy smoked whitefish sandwich. There are ways to improve upon such produce; for instance, the kitchen smokes tomatoes to deepen the flavor in an eggplant ragout rich with gooey burrata (from Vermont) and briny kalamata olives. And whatever the provenance of the sweet English peas and earthy wild mushrooms that appear in a brilliant green risotto, it's technically perfect and truly speaks of spring. Maybe when the season actually aligns with what's on the menu, the kitchen will live up to its dubious promises of locality and seasonality. Until then, let's not pretend Howells & Hood is anything more than an impressively stocked bar. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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Price: $$$

Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover

Bar Details

Bottleneck Management owns a handful of sportsy, beer-focused establishments around town, including the Boundary, Trace, and Sweetwater, but here the owners have gone to extremes, installing 360 draft handles at three different bars totaling 114 different craft brews on tap. Named for the architects who designed the Tribune Tower, Howells & Hood commands a corner view of one of city's greatest architectural spaces. Its walls, lined with the same travertine stone tiles found in the tower's lobby, are chiseled with pithy and inspirational quotes from writers, athletes, gangsters, and philosophers—which can be disorienting when one attempts to contemplate Camus between a pair of giant flat-screen TVs. An outdoor patio makes the massive, 17,300-square-foot hangar even more tourist friendly. —Mike Sula

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