This story is about one of Downtown Chicago’s best kept secrets. Located in the historic McCormick Mansion, a block from the Magnificent Mile is Lawrys Prime Rib. It’s hard to miss this building, it’s a mansion! The space was once home to the Kungsholm Miniature Grand Opera Theatre, a troupe world renown for its opulent puppet operas in the 1930s.
Fast-forward to Summer 2014 and the Lawrys team decided to debut an adventurous new gastropub concept at the west entrance of this timeless space. SideDoor Chicago is both alluring and refined. It could be described best as casual excellence. Our friends at Wagstaff were in attendance for a Tuesday night visit to SideDoor hosted by Beverage Director, Jeff Van Der Tuuk. Jeff shared his travels and paired 5 beers with dishes from Chef Brian Kwak.
The team reflects the ethos of the venue. Jeff is super-nerdy and serious about his craft yet approachable enough to be engaging to visitors. A Certified Cicerone, he places emphasis on the context of these beers as standalone beverages, as well as why they made great partners for each course.
If you’re anything like us, you’re probably in constant pursuit of what’s next. I encourage you to checkout SideDoor Chicago this holiday season. Their bottle program is available for takeout.
Be sure to ask for Jeff. Find out what large format treats are available but not on the menu. Tell him Chicago Beer Geeks sent you.
SideDoor is located at 100 E.Ontario.
Jeff and Brian’s Suggested Pairings During Our Visit
Pear Salad, Arugula, Red Pears, Candied Pecans, Midnight Moon
Rodenbach Caractere Rouge, Belgium, 7%, Cranberry, Raspberry, Cherry, Oak
Stuffed Mushrooms, Crimini, Spicy Italian Sausage, Goat Cheese
Oude Gueuze Tilquin à l’ancienne, Belgium, 6.4%, Tart Citrus, Dry Finish
Smoked Chicken Wings, Applewood Smoked & Grilled, Lemon Seasoning
Boulevard Saison-Brett, Missouri, 8.5%, Lemongrass, Earthy, Dry Finish
Sticky Toffee Pudding, Crème Anglaise
Revolution Very Mad Cow, Chicago, 9.5%, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Milk Stout
Small Town Brewery Not Your Father’s Root Beer Wacounda, IL
Finnriver Habanero Cider. 6.9%, Finnriver, Washington apples and habanero chilies.
SideDoor Chicago’s Large Format List
Boon Gueze Mariage Parfait, Belgium, 750 ml
Oude Gueze Tilquin á l’ancienne, Belgium, 750 ml
Boulevard Saison-Brett, Kansas City, MO, 75 ml
The Bruery Sour in the Rye, Orange County, CA, 750 ml
Rodenbach Caractere Rouge, Belgium, 750 ml
Goose Island Madame Rose, Chicago, 765 ml
Boulevard Love Child No.4 Kansas City, MO 750ml
The Bruery Tart of Darkness, Orange County, CA, 750 ml
Boulevard Rye on Rye, Kansas City, MO, 750 ml
Deschutes Mirror Mirror Barleywine, Bend, OR, 750 ml
Deschutes Black Butte Imperial Porter, Bend, OR, 750 ml
Revolution Very Mad Cow Milk Stout, Chicago 750 ml
Ale Syndicate Omega Midnight Imperial Stout, 750 ml