Weekday lunchtime in Chicago's Loop is a boon for the area's many eateries. However, many of them suffer from a relative lack of business during the evenings and especially the weekendswhen the many office denizens can't be found ( although some places benefit from theatergoers ).
Such is the case with Roanoke Restaurant and Club ( 135 W. Madison St.; TheRoanokeRestaurant.com ), a contemporary American spot that deserves to be crowded every minute that it's open. The decor is sleekly comfortable, the service is ( mostly ) attentiveand the food and drink will have you returning.
Housed in the Roanoke Building & Tower ( hence the restaurant's name ), the spot sports a menu that's varied and not too challenging. Snacks/starters at dinner range from braised oxtail taquitos to slightly kicky Miller High Life mussels ( not Belgian Ale ones, as the menu states ) to Southern fried chicken ( with cheddar biscuits ) that ranks pretty high on my personal scale of one to Table Fifty-two.
The tasty fare expanded to the entrees, which consisted of rotisserie porchetta and the most tender Scottish salmon I've had in quite some time. Even the Brussels sprouts were nice, dotted with heavenly bits of pork belly. ( The server forgot the mac 'n' cheesebut my dining companion and I didn't mind that much, as we were pretty full from what was served. ) Vegetarians are hardly excluded here, thanks to dishes such as the hearth-baked butternut-squash rotolo.
By the way, make some room for a drink or two. I'm in love with the Old Colony 75 ( a take on the French 75 ), and the refreshing Clarity isn't far behind.
Upcoming wine walk
Andersonville Wine Walk will once again invite guests to walk, sip and shop their way through the district on Sunday, May 21, 3-6 p.m.
The Wine Walk will feature 26 of Andersonville's businesses, including Candyality, Kru Strength + Fitness, Jerry's, Martha Mae Art Supplies & Beautiful Things, Andersonville Galleria, Notice, Orange Shoe Personal Fitness, TrueNorth Cafe, and Revive Massage Therapy and Spa.
Tickets to Andersonville Wine Walk include admission, wine tastings and a one-of-a-kind commemorative wine glass. Check-in for the walk will begin at 1 p.m. at the Swedish American Museum, 5211 N. Clark St., on May 21. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit Andersonville.org .
Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.