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Yard House now open in the NewCity complex
One of Chicago’s most recent developments has been the creation of the impressive NewCity complex at Clybourn and North Avenues. Among the many exciting offerings in this large complex of condos, shopping, and restaurants is Yard House NewCity.
The original Yard House opened in 1996 in Long Beach, California, and quickly revolutionized the restaurant industry by creating a 250-tap draft beer system. Nearly 20 years and 61 restaurants later, Yard House had evolved also into an award-winning dining destination known for its menu of American favorites. This most recent addition to the Yard House family has been created to showcase a distinctly “Chicago” style. With a nod to the Chicago craft beer scene, Yard House NewCity boasts 110 tap handles with 23 regional craft offerings by 16 local brewers.
“Chicago has a long standing history of great beer and a strong culture of innovative breweries and styles.” said Gregory Howard, beverage manager for Yard House. “We are very fortunate to have so many craft beer options available in our own backyard. Our guests are very pleased with the menu we’ve put together.”
Among the local brewers are Ale Syndicate, Begyle, BuckleDown, Goose Island, Half Acre, Local Option, Metropolitan, Moody Tongue, Crown Valley, Off Color, Penrose, Revolution, Solemn Oath, Temperance, Two Brothers, Three Floyds and Jolly Pumpkin.
Check out the impressive beer menu! There’s beer for every taste including a special Rogue Anniversary Ale which is exclusive to Yard House. This Spruce Tip IPA from Rogue is only available as long as it lasts, and quantities are very limited. It’s a delightful IPA with a hint of festive spruce tip flavor – intriguing and refreshing for the holiday. Of course, there are 110 other beers and ciders along with an extensive cocktail menu, so if the Spruce Tip is gone there are still abundant choices.
The food at Yard House is also worth special note. The menu of American favorites includes a selection of globally-inspired flavors, from salads and grilled burgers to seafood, steak and ribs. They also an array of gluten-sensitive options as well as vegetarian dishes made with gardein, a blend of garden vegetables and protein that have the look, taste and texture of chicken. There is also a wonderful holiday menu for the remainder of December.
I was recently invited to bring a guest to sample the menu at Yard House NewCity, including their extensive Holiday Menu. We were both overwhelmed by the choices, both in beer and food.
We decided to try at least one of the gardein appetizers, so we opted for the Jerk Chicken Wings. The gardein is surprisingly tasty with the consistency, flavor, and even the look of chicken! The rum BBQ sauce was good, although not particularly memorable. If you go for the “wings” I would suggest the Buffalo or Hot versions. Vegetarians will surely be happy with the gardein options at Yard House, and there are many from which to choose.
We also sampled several other items from the extensive menu.
- Moo Shu Eggrolls (chicken, chili cream cheese, carrots, green onions, cilantro, spinach) – I love Moo Shu. I love eggrolls. So how could I resist this one? This appetizer comes in a very large portion, two extremely large eggrolls cut in half, so it’s easily shareable for four people or two hungry ones.
- Crispy Duck Wings (herb salad, maple soy glaze, sesame seeds, red onions, serrano chiles) – Wow! So often, duck and particularly duck wings can be dry and overdone. These were juicy and delicious. The outside is lightly crunchy and the salty-sweet glaze adds a perfect accompaniment to the richness of the duck. Order these!
- Blue Crab Cakes (fresh mango & papaya, passion fruit beurre blanc, tomato oil) – My friend is not a fan of seafood, but I convinced her to try these. She was won over! The two large crab cakes have a light crunchy exterior. The interior has enough meat to impart the special flavor of blue crab. The winner here, though, is the mango-papaya-passion fruit combination. None of those fruits are overly sweet, so they add just a hint of tropical sweetness in a wonderful balance with the slightly spicy crab filling.
- Salted Caramel Butterscotch Pudding (whipped cream, chocolate cookie crumble, maldon sea salt) – There is nothing better for dessert (in my opinion) than a combination of sweet and salty. This was a perfect portion for sharing at the end of a meal and is a simple yet excellent dessert.
Yard House is located in the NewCity development at 1500 N. Clybourn and North Avenues in Chicago and is open daily for lunch, dinner and late-night dining. For more information, call 312.951.7317 or visit their website. Like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
All photos courtesy of Kurman Communications, Inc.