For many diehard sports fans in Chicago (cheering on the Bears, the Bulls, the Cubs, or most likely all the above), Lakeview – with its friendly residents and sports bars by the block full – is one of the best neighbourhoods to catch the game. Having earlier this year welcomed its first local brewery DryHop, the quota of solid drinking establishments has well and truly been filled, leaving more to be desired in the way of quality food to match. Doing just that is the newly opened Hutch restaurant, precisely aiming to fill this gap with familiar surrounds and a rich comfort menu.
Chef and owner Marc Wuenschel takes over the former Socca space and outfits it with honeyed wood tables and floors, exposed lightbulbs and brick walls, from which the requisite flatscreen TVs hang, broadcasting the most popular matches du jour. You’ll have to tear your eyes from the screens to scan the menu, which focuses heavily on the comfort American classics. Skillet shrimp with creole butter and dunking bread, and hearty tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons are tops for starters, while entrées feature crowd pleasers like NY Strip steak n’ fries, babyback ribs, double-cut grilled pork chop, and beer can chicken. Add in a round of draft beers – all produced in local breweries – and you’ve got one seriously true-to-Chicago night out.