Monday, August 17, 2015

Rate-A-Restaurant #351: Ampersand Wine Bar (Chicago)

Ampersand wine bar

Restaurant: Ampersand Wine Bar

Location: 4845 N. Damen Ave. (Chicago)

Ampersand wine bar

Type of restaurant: Wine bar/small plates

Ampersand wine bar

We stipulated: Date night in Chicago! While my sisters looked after the boys, Maria and I looked for a nearby place to eat.

Ampersand wine bar

They stipulated: "Back in Chicago, just miles from where his command of the kitchen began, Darren McGraw is taking on a new adventure - Ampersand Wine Bar. Ampersand’s intimate environment will offer refined service of accessible wines, delicious small plates and the desserts he has developed over decades and in many kitchens."

Ampersand wine bar

Ampersand wine bar

What we ordered: Polenta with marscapone and maitake ($6), Short rib with cauliflower and chile ($15), scallop with sweet peas and picked allium ($16), charred summer succotash ($6), crab

Ampersand wine bar

Ampersand wine bar

High point:  The polenta with marscapone and maitake was so amazing, we ordered it twice!

Low point:  It was a hot night, and I'm afraid the wine was too warm. Not good for a wine bar.

Ampersand wine bar

Overall impression: Small space, which means you might be waiting for a table for a while, but you can wait with a glass of wine. Cozy spot, tasty small plates.

Ampersand wine bar

Will we return: If we lived in Chicago, we might visit again.

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