A group of Hogsalt vets brings solid drinks and food to Humboldt Park
I can’t recall the last time a salad was the most memorable thing from a night at a bar, but Bar Marta isn’t your standard bar. Piled high with anchovy dressing–slicked lettuce, shaved Parmesan and a shower of bonito flakes, it’s one of the best Caesars I’ve had, an umami-laden dish that was on every table in the restaurant. And it shouldn’t be a surprise, given the pedigree at Bar Marta. Owner Austin Baker, an alum of Brendan Sodikoff’s Hogsalt empire, assembled a crack team of former Hogsalt employees—chefs Jeff Pikus (Hogsalt), Ben Ruiz (High Five Ramen) and Scottie Harrel (Maude's Liquor Bar), plus Christina Carrera (Au Cheval) running the bar program.
Echoes of Sodikoff restaurants appear in the dark, cozy space and small plates, but Bar Marta is more relaxed, a good thing in restaurants these days, and has its own point of view. The drink list is accomplished, but Carrera makes it approachable for a bar in a neighborhood—the menu of $10 cocktails includes the bright, Scotch-fortified Absinthe Minded, while the Japanese cocktail, an elegant cognac-orgeat concoction, is a classic too rarely seen. The list features hard-to-find orange wines (basically white wines made like reds), but also two wines for $5 a glass.
The food menu is mostly small plates and a few entrees, like a dish of spicy pickles and olives to nibble alongside a drink; a beautifully roasted chicken with slices of fried bread; pillowy cheese gnocchi and a tropical caramel-topped banana-rum cake. Some missteps appear: cacio e pepe is richly flavored, but the sauce is gloppy; the cobbler is a one-note glass of sherry, and disinterested service keeps the evening moving slowly. But I'm confident the talented team will pull all the pieces together soon—and in the meantime, there's already a lot to like about Bar Marta.
Atmosphere: Dark and snug, Bar Marta feels like the ideal place to ride out the cold winter.
What to eat: Caesar salad, roasted chicken, banana-rum cake.
What to drink: Absinthe Minded, Japanese cocktail.
Where to sit: The long bar is best for when you’re just drinking, so if you’re planning to eat, sit at one of the two- or four-top tables.
|Venue name:||Bar Marta [Closed]||Contact:|
2700 W Chicago Ave
|Opening hours:||Tue-Wed 5:30-11:30pm, Thu-Sat 5:30pm-12:30am|
|Transport:||Bus: 52, 65, 66.|
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Average User Rating
4.8 / 5
- 5 star:11
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:0
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Location is perfect. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is warm an inviting. I would recommend all to visit.
I've been here more than a handful of times and keep returning for the staff and food. Christina is the best there! I have weekly cravings for their chicken liver, cacio e pepe, and anything on the wine list. I'm a fan for life.
All my favorites on one menu so I can visit several times a week. Porkchop and salmon are on point and always order the Chinese broccoli on the side. Cacio pepe if I'm feeling indulgent and plenty of vegetable options when I'm trying to keep it lean.
We had a fabulous dinner at Bar Marta. We had the bread, chinese broccoli, steak frites, and cacio de pepe. All were delicious. The steak was perfectly cooked and the frites were excellent. They were fried in duck fat. The pasta was al dente - and in this amazing creamy cheesy sauce that was phenomenal. The bread came with a very tasty fennel butter. The drinks were also excellent. I would recommend the Toronto. Yum! We ate in the lower level which was cozy and elegant; you would think you were transported to Paris. We were seated right away when we arrived. All in all an excellent dining experience.
Bar Marta is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood, replacing the forgettable Hunter & Tails. Dinner is elegant, with small plates that are perfect to share, to more substantial entrees. They've recently started serving brunch, which lasts until 5 pm on Sundays(!), and features pozole and chorizo breakfast tacos. Feels very Hogsalt in a good way, and will have patio tables open soon.
Bar Marta is a surprisingly elegant restaurant and bar that's a bit off the beaten path. Great wine selection and a good stop in Humboldt Park. We sat at the bar for quicker service (the space is fairly small, so you should make a reservation if you want a table).
Love this place! Really great food and a lovely ambience. When here for dinner with a friend and enjoyed everything. I got the Cacio Pepe & my friend got Porkchop. Both dishes were delicious! The drinks were solid and the service was wonderful.