Range: Honest food and drink in Chicago

March 10, 2014

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I knew we had stumbled upon a gem when my daughter Sarah and I entered Range last night, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.  A bar with unknown microbrews on tap is a good sign. The ambience is old farmhouse meets cozy romance. A large fireplace graces one end of the space and warm light bulbs hang from the rafters. But the clean, white walls are a modern contrast to dark wooden floors and funky chandeliers made of cattle ear tags.

We started with the Quinoa soup, a delicious combination of spinach, mushrooms, quinoa and parmesan croutons. Sarah had the chicken sandwich glazed with orange pepper, vanilla bean aioli and white cheddar on a warm ciabatta roll and served with herb fries. She devoured it before I could take a bite.

cattle ear tags encircle the light fixtures

cattle ear tags encircle the light fixtures

imageI was tempted to try the hanger steak because I love to see how different chefs prepare this under-appreciated cut, but couldn’t resist comparing the range burger to our own so I went with that.  I’ve read about Tall Grass grassfed and wanted to see if it lived up to its reputation. I was happy to see it did. Cooked rare, the only way to eat grassfed, it was moist and tasted amazing. It didn’t hurt that they serve it on a warm spring wheat bun and slathered it with onion-bacon marmalade. I’m already planning to imitate the recipe for my next Morris Grassfed burger.

Range serves seasonal foods, constantly rotating locally-grown produce, beers and cheeses. Our waiter was friendly and looked like he had just stepped out of an ad for Mr. Porter in his skinny jeans and scuffed brown loafers (I know, that has nothing to do with the food.)  I love that they celebrate real food and offer items like “bacon fat fries” and garlic creme fraiche, served as a side with my burger. It’s hard not to like a place where the people are friendly, the setting is comfortable and attractive, and the food is prepared with care and high quality ingredients. All around, a winner if you’re near Lincoln Park.  Range:  11119 W. Webster Ave., Chicago, IL  60618 (773) 549-5747  www.rangechicago.com

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