Hours: Dinner: seven days
Open Late: Saturday till 2, other nights till 1
Music at 10 PM.
Late-night comfort food from Mas owners Hubie Greenwald and John Manion.
Hubie Greenwald and John Manion, the team behind Wicker Park's Mas, tackle American comfort food at this clubby spot in the old Montgomery Ward catalog building. The chic industrial space, with high vaulted ceilings, exposed ductwork, and circular red vinyl booths, is designed for mingling: there are no TVs, and the music is kept at a conversation-friendly volume. An extensive list of classic cocktails -- manhattans, Tom Collinses, Rob Roys -- dominates the five-page room-service-themed menu, but the simply prepared food makes for great late-night snacking. Burgers and steak sandwiches come with house-made fries and truffle aioli, the beer-battered chicken tenders are accompanied by mayonnaise spiked with spicy Dijon and Chinese mustards, and the grilled artisanal cheese sandwich is cut into three crustless circles and paired with a bowl of fresh tomato soup. A Caesar salad is prepared with mild Spanish white anchovies and manchego cheese rather than Parmesan. Though the ambience is only mildly retro, the Motel Bar is a bit of a throwback to a time when sophisticated cocktailing was the thing to do, and a roomier, more casual alternative to its neighbor, the loud and impossibly crowded bar at Japonais.
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