The Monkey's Paw
Being in possession of a Black Board Eats code that was set to expire, my dining companion and I made our way to The Monkey’s Paw, a Lincoln Park neighborhood restaurant and bar.
This particular Black Board Eats deal allowed us to have a wine or beer flight and a cheese or charcuterie plate for a flat fee. We were a bit confused, but it ended up the deal allowed each of us a flight, and for us to share a plate. My dining companion chose a beer flight, I chose a wine flight, and we shared a charcuterie plate.
However, we weren’t limited to a singular substandard drink flight because we were taking advantage of a deal. Not at all. I had a choice of several wine flights, ranging from “Sparkling” to “Bolder Reds.” My dining companion had a choice of several beer flights from “All Hopped Up” to “Of Special Interest.” The included libations in the flights change regularly based on seasonality and availability.
The Monkey’s Paw is all about seasonality and availability in drinks – including cask-aged cocktails, beer, wine, and whiskeys. An adventurous soul could spend a lot of time tasting all the alcohols The Monkey’s Paw has on offer.
An adventurous soul could also spend quite a bit of time tasting the food The Monkey’s Pas has to offer. Daily specials augment sophisticated pub fare. Charcuterie and cheeses change often. Between the ever-changing drinks and food, The Monkey’s Paw is a place one could return to again and again without a hint of boredom.
The decor is warm and inviting with an Arts and Crafts element. The space is quite large, with a back room that would work well for parties. There’s also a cozy nook complete with a “fireplace.”
Yes, there are a couple of televisions above the bar because this is Chicago; there must be a city ordinance requiring sports be broadcast at all times in any place that serves alcohol. However, the ambiance is definitely not sports bar. Belying that are drinks specials like $3 off all bombers on Mondays and $2 off all whiskeys on Thursdays. We were there on a Wednesday and it was quite pleasant and mellow.
We shared the charcuterie plate that also included grainy mustard, house-made pickled vegetables, and some quite good house-made crackers. The crackers were a nice touch that elevated the plate from run-of-the-mill. We also shared fish and chips, because any pub that can’t do fish and chips right doesn’t deserve to call itself a pub. The Monkey’s Paw’s fish and chips passed. The Monkey’s Paw is, dare I say, a gastropub.
Leaving after a satisfying meal made me wish I lived closer to The Monkey’s Paw so it could be my corner spot. It’s still walking distance so I’ll be sure to return. Especially interested in giving it a try for brunch.