Bread & Wine

Restaurants, Contemporary American Irving Park
  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)
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 (Photograph: Marina Makropoulos)
1/10
Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

Bread & Wine

 (Photograph: Marina Makropoulos)
2/10
Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

House fettuccine with pumpkin, oyster mushrooms, pumpkin seeds and fresh goat cheese at Bread & Wine

 (Photograph: Marina Makropoulos)
3/10
Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

The West Walker cocktail made with ginger liqueur, Death's Door Vodka, Aranciata, muddled fresh orange and house woodland bitters on the rocks at Bread & Wine

 (Photograph: Marina Makropoulos)
4/10
Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

Pumpkin seed-crusted tofu, refried lentils and pickled oyster mushroom salad served at Bread & Wine

 (Photograph: Marina Makropoulos)
5/10
Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

Herb fries, garlic, thyme and malt aioli at Bread & Wine

 (Photograph: Marina Makropoulos)
6/10
Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

Three duck confit pierogis, pickled red onion and herb creme fraiche at Bread & Wine

 (Photograph: Marina Makropoulos)
7/10
Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

Black Earth lamb and mustard-seed meat loaf, yogurt-braised greens, white beans and harissa at Bread & Wine

 (Photograph: Marina Makropoulos)
8/10
Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

The West Walker cocktail made with ginger liqueur, Death's Door Vodka, Aranciata, muddled fresh orange and house woodland bitters on the rocks at Bread & Wine

 (Photograph: Marina Makropoulos)
9/10
Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

Rosemary olive oil cake, lemon curd and whipped creme fraiche at Bread & Wine

 (Photograph: Marina Makropoulos)
10/10
Photograph: Marina Makropoulos

Bread & Wine

You walk into Bread & Wine, and instantly it’s déjà vu: You’ve seen this space before. It was one of those new condos in the South Loop. Or that friend who has these same white chairs, the same white globelike light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. Or it’s that you’ve seen rooms like this in catalogs: West Elm, CB2. You’ve flipped through the pages and seen the way the people who live in these spaces supposedly entertain. Bowls of nuts, platters of pita chips. Something you can spread on a cracker while you talk about real estate and Glee.

And there it is on Bread & Wine’s menu: pâté, goat cheese, a very good, and very thickly sliced, housemade mortadella.

From there, the finger foods get more robust. A trio of duck confit pierogi is pan-fried until the edges are crisped, and the savory duck meat plays well off the pickled red onion on the plate. A smoked trout spread on overly toasted toast skimps on the trout, leaving a forgettable plate of bread and crème fraîche. Tiny chorizo tacos provide a quick and potent shot of flavor, but this, too, you’ll quickly forget. A small chunk of chorizo, a splash of salsa—there’s nothing very original to really remember.

Better to get your chorizo fix via B&W’s burger, which packs in four satisfying layers of umami: the beef, the chorizo, a slice of cheddar and a spoonful of onion jam. The pleasant lamb meatloaf offers even more umami, the slices peppered with traces of mustard. But there are problems on the plate: The kale that sits underneath the meatloaf is rubbery. The beans on the side are underseasoned.

If you were at a dinner party in the pages of those catalogs, these missteps would be no big deal. In fact, it’d be a pretty good party—the wine is good, the cocktails are even better (especially the gin-based Plank Road), and there’s something vaguely, suburbanly sexy happening in the room. Of course, this is no party. This is a paid meal at a restaurant. So when the housemade fettuccine arrives not quite right—it’s a little stiff, and the decision to pair it with mushrooms and goat cheese threatens to put you to sleep—there are no excuses. Turns out you really have been here before. It wasn’t via the glossy magazine pages, but rather countless average meals.

By David Tamarkin

Posted:

Venue name: Bread & Wine
Contact:
Address: 3732 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago
60618
Cross street: at Ridgeway Ave
Opening hours: Brunch (Sun), dinner
Transport: El stop: Blue to Irving Park. Bus: 53, 80, 82.
Price: Average main course: $17
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5 / 5

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We are in and out of town a lot. Bread and Wine is literaly what keeps us coming back. Every visit is like coming home.