The annual Cider Summit is this weekend at Navy Pier, and the festivities kicked off early last night at the Fountainhead with the Power of the Press, a preview of the bar's sister spot, forthcoming cider bar The Northman. The bar is set to open shortly on Lincoln Avenue (date is still TBD), but if last night's preview is any indication, cider fans are in for a treat—there was an impressive selection of more than four dozen ciders from France, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. on draft and in bottles.
One of the standouts on draft was the Seattle Cider Company’s Gin Botanical offering, a dry and citrusy cider with light floral notes of juniper and fresh herbs. Cider cocktails were also available and included a hot bourbon cider. Chef Cleetus Friedman, who handles the Fountainhead and will also run the kitchen at the Northman, previewed two dishes from the upcoming menu, which is focused on hearty French country fare—there was a rabbit roulade with polenta, chestnuts and shaved Brussels sprouts, and escargot served with cider-laced butter and a biscuit made with creamy goat’s milk. With another brutal Chicago winter far from over, we’re ready to cozy up with a hot cider and some stick-to-your-ribs food, so the Northman opening can’t come soon enough.