Why People Dine Here
Awarded Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation in 2013 and Best Chef of the Midwest in 2004, Kahan has received international acclaim for Blackbird, avec, The Publican, Big Star, Publican Quality Meats and Nico Osteria. Plus, Anthony Bourdain told the Chicago Tribune that “any place run by Paul Kahan” is his favorite for food in Chicago.
Spicy pork rinds, anyone?
Craft beers & cocktails
The extensive international beer list developed by partners Donnie Madia, Eduard Seitan and Terry Alexander, features 100 ales, lagers, stouts and ciders
Love it or hate it, communal tables are a large part of the Publican experience.
Listed as one of “America’s Best Brunches” by Travel + Leisure
Though the season is short, Publican’s patio, set back from the hustle and bustle of both Randolph and Halsted, is an excellent way to enjoy a beautiful Chicago day.
Right off Randolph Row, Fulton Market has long been home to some of Chicago's best restaurants and is rapidly gaining popularity in anticipation of the Google office opening in the (hopefully) near future.
What We Ate
smokin' mary [Few White Whiskey (Evanston, IL), chipotle house mix, stout]
If you don't like whiskey, stick to the traditional bloody mary. The bartender steered me down the more adventurous route, which I appreciate, but they whiskey flavor was overpowering and I'm not a big whiskey drinker.
brioche french toast [pecan granola, mascarpone, cranberry syrup & maple]
Delicious french toast that was the perfect density and just the right amount of sweetness.
lobster scramble [creme fraiche, espelette, pickled shallot & toast]
Easily some of the best eggs I've ever had. The scrambled eggs were cooked to perfection, fluffy and decadent, and the lobster was the icing on the cake. I'm more of a savory person and this dish was my favorite.
Why It's Great
After six years in business, many restaurants will open and close, shift focus or fizzle out of the spotlight. The Publican, however, has remained a staple in the Chicago dining scene since it opened in 2008. Having a chef like Paul Kahan is a start, but even an amazing chef can lose it's luster when consumers are presented with new, exciting options on a weekly basis. I think it's the simple, but incredibly well executed combination of a great chef, a seasonal, local menu, a strong and interesting beverage program and a great atmosphere.
It's nice dining at the same restaurant, where you've come to expect high quality in a familiar atmosphere, but where you can also enjoy different culinary experiences from an ever evolving menu.