So excited to report back on my recent visit to White Oak Tavern, a chef-driven eatery located in the heart of Lincoln Park. If you’re looking for comfort foods served up in creative, sustainable ways, then head over to this restaurant. Led by Executive Chef Tom Van Lente (of the Big Star fame) who is back at his culinary genius, which we got to experience first hand at the menu tasting last week.
Lots of favorites for me! In the starters category, the Vegetable Tart took my breath away. Caramelized eggplant, homemade ricotta, roasted mushrooms, mizuna (Japanese mustard) and truffle was simply irresistible. The tart crust was buttery but held together and the ricotta was a wonderful touch! The Smoked White Fish dip was also delicious in its own right; a ‘lemony’ flavored creamy blend with chives and radish was served with herbed crackers.
For entrees, I really enjoyed the Scallops, which was scallop-white fish sausage discs placed in a lemon puree and puffed white rice. The unique sponginess of the scallop worked well with the crunch of the rice. The Roasted Salmon dish was fish cooked medium rare served with a crispy rice cake, daikon-leek salad, Togarashi and miso broth. The best bites were of the rice cakes mildly soaked in the broth, keeping the crispy-soggy texture in perfect harmony.
And speaking of comfort foods, dessert included four freshly baked chocolate chip cookies with a small cup of milk jam. An old but classic, and yet deliciously satisfying!
The cocktail menu is solid too, and I would definitely recommend the St. Sebastian (on repeat), because Letherbee gin, ginger beer, lime and lots of cardamom can only be resisted for so long before it will become an addiction. You can’t say I didn’t warn you!
So impressed by White Oak Tavern! Great food, warm ambiance and all the decorative elements of a relaxing spa; this restaurant wins points all around.
White Oak Tavern & Inn
Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
Address: 1200 W Webster Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: (773) 248-0200
Hours: Mon – Closed, Tues-Thurs 5-10pm, Friday: 5-11pm, Sat: 10am-2pm, 5-11pm, Sun: 10am-2pm
Price: $6 - $25