The Bristol | chicago foodie girl

9.07.2017

The Bristol

Located on a quiet stretch of Damen Ave. in Bucktown, The Bristol has long occupied one of the few spots on my all-time favorites list. I was introduced to it close to nine years ago during a class at The Chopping Block, in which the chef raved about the savory monkey bread. Her description was so lush, I spent the next month dreaming nonstop of that monkey bread until the moment came in which I was finally able to sink my teeth into those savory little pillows of salty, dill-flecked, buttery deliciousness. *drool* Needless to say, I was instantly hooked.

Earlier this summer, I was invited to check out the new iteration of The Bristol under the guidance of recently instated Executive Chef Todd Stein. I have to admit I was a tiny bit nervous when I learned that one of my longtime favorites was going through such a major change, but after meeting Chef Stein and sampling some of his new dishes, along with his take on the classics, my fears were put to rest. The restaurant retains the charm and deliciousness (including my beloved monkey bread) from the previous years, and also offers diners some fab new vegetable-heavy dishes focused on showcasing seasonal flavors from around the country.

Endive Salad with manchego cheese, toasted pistachio, and a citrus vinaigrette. I have to admit that I usually don't get overly excited about salads (during my vegetarian years living in a meat-heavy area, I often had no other choice but salad - frankly, it became a bit tiresome); however, this bright salad definitely made me take notice. It's the perfect balance of sharpness from the endive, tanginess from the vinaigrette, and nuttiness from the manchego.

Burrata with crispy garlic and salsa verde. Yes, burrata has become a bit of a standard dish on Chicago menus (even a few chain restaurants are offering it), but not all burrata is equal. This freshly made buttery cheese is so creamy and smooth you'll think you went to cheese heaven. I especially enjoyed the addition of the crispy elephant garlic - its mild flavor added a new dimension to the burrata without overpowering it.

Raviolo filled with ricotta, brown butter, and a farm egg. Don't let its unassuming nature fool you; this plate-size handmade raviolo is decadent, amazing, and seriously drool-worthy. This super fresh and flavorful pasta is painstakingly assembled each day (I got to head back into the kitchen to watch the process - so cool!), and the rich brown butter sauce mixed with the runny yolk is irresistible.

Quarter Pounder Burger with cheese, pickled onions, and garlic aioli, served with duck fat fries. As I mentioned on Instagram, although The Bristol has been one of my favorite spots for years, I had never before ordered one of their burgers. OMG. I had no idea what I was missing out on! The burger is so juicy and savory... and there's the salty cheese... and the tart pickles... and the creamy aioli... and... *heavy breathing.* It has officially been added to my list of top burgers in the city!

Amish Half Chicken with mustard dill spƤtzle, crunchy salad, and chicken jus. This is another popular holdover from the old menu and a dish for which they are most known (the former chef, Chris Pandel, once remarked that diners would revolt if he ever took it off the menu). I know chicken is often considered the boring choice, but this dish is anything but! The chicken was so tender and juicy, we didn't even need a knife to cut it.

Basque Cake with seasonal fruit, candied walnuts, and vanilla chantilly. I honestly don't know what to say about this amazing cake - it's absolutely one of the best things I've had all year AND one of my most favorite desserts ever. The golden cake is slightly less dense than the traditional version and so, so perfect. It's definitely a must-order!

From that very first visit up through today, The Bristol always strikes the perfect balance of food, ambiance, and service; despite all of the choices in the city, it keeps me coming back for more above all others. In a city with literally thousands of choices, that definitely says something special about it.

You can try all of this deliciousness and more at The Bristol: 2152 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL.

The Bristol Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal to facilitate this post. Review and all opinions are my own.
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1 comment

  1. That burger looks absolutely AMAZING!!!!

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