Dominated by an armada of walnut tables joined to form a single communal one, the Blackbird/avec team's take on boisterous Euro brasseries and beer halls slings 150+ global bottles and 12 taps, from Norway's Nägne ä God Jul Winter Ale to Munster, Indiana's Munsterfest. The menu's anchored by heirloom pork & seafood, including house-made charcuterie (crispy-skinned pork belly, country terrine, Morteau sausage), tripe & blood sausage gratin, wood-roasted black sea bass, and oysters from exotically dismal locales like Strangers Bay and Desolation Sound -- or, what escapes your mouth just before saying, "ä God, I'm in Munster, Indiana".
1. The Publican
837 W Fulton Market St, Chicago, IL 60607
Paul Kahan's West Loop restaurant feels like the Midwest -- big and welcoming with communal tables, it's a farmhouse and a beer hall at the same time. The menu focuses on three great things: beer, pork, and oysters, and you can expect lots of vegetables, fish, and aged ham. The beer selection features brews from all over, with a fair share from Belgium and Chicago.