Restaurants

City Winery has personality in West Loop

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wine is certainly the main attraction at City Winery, which gobbles up an impressive 33-thousand square feet in the West Loop. But like its New York City sibling, the space is multi-faceted.

"City Winery is an urban winery-meets-restaurant-meets-music venue, although we don't just do music," said owner Michael Dorf.

The adjacent performance space will also feature comedy acts, but every Sunday, they'll host a live klezmer band, which makes for a lively brunch.

"I keep referring to Chicago as our 2.0, because we learned a lot in New York, but it really built a better facility here in Chicago," Dorf said.

The facility can play host to private winemaker dinners in their special event space.. or just serve as a wine bar-slash-restaurant, albeit one with hundreds of bottles from around the globe, plus a lot of wine they've produced themselves, based on grapes purchased from the West Coast.

"We can grow and buy a terrific pinot noir from Oregon or a syrah from Paso Robles, but we cannot recreate a sangiovese from the middle of Italy," he said.

Another change from the New York City original is their kitchen size; the new facility can churn out snack-worthy flatbreads or more substantial offerings like a potato and ricotta cheese gnocchi, embedded with roasted cauliflower and olive tapenade.. or seared diver scallops with a smooth potato puree and poached leeks. The recurring theme here is that the wine drives the decision-making, rather than the usual approach.

"We wanted to complement your wine choice, which is sort of the inverse of most restaurants, which is: what kind of food do you want, and then a sommelier will come by and pair some wine with your food choice. We try and invert that," said Dorf.

So let's see, live performances - like comedy and music, including that Klezmer brunch on Sundays; plus a full restaurant. Special classes, special dinners, wine by the bottle, wine by the glass; if you can't find something you like here at City Winery, you're not looking hard enough.

CITY WINERY ALSO OFFERS MORE THAN TWO DOZEN WINES BY THE GLASS.. MOST AVERAGING $12, INCLUDING A COUPLE OF KOSHER OPTIONS.

City Winery
1200 W. Randolph St.
(312) 733-9463
http://www.citywinery.com/chicago/

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