As plans for the new and improved Riverwalk continue to develop, it's exciting to see all the changes on the stretch of the Chicago River from Lake Michigan all the way over to Wolf Point. It's always been a great place to walk around with friends visiting the city, or to just take a break and get a moment of clarity during a long work day.
Now there's another fine reason to wander over to the north side of the River as the folks at Smith & Wollenksy have added Wollensky's Grill to the lower level of their signature steakhouse. The restaurant has been open for just a few months and you'll want to check out their gastro-pub themed shareable plates and cocktails.
The setting is quite fine, and they have brought in lovely black and white marble mosaic flooring, antique lighting fixtures and a general atmosphere that's quite comfortable for groups or couples just looking to check out the boats and other vessels moving along the river.
Their beverage menu is elaborate and well-thought out and my nod goes to the "South Side," which features Plymouth Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and a mint spring. The beer list is extensive as well, and you can partake of local favorites such as Anti-Hero and Outlawger.
The menu is a bit different than the Smith & Wollensky upstairs, but never fear: there's plenty of decadent meat, served any and all ways. Of course you can have a chopped steak or a pork chop, but why not try out their "sociables"? These items are meant to be shared with a couple of friends, and they include the blistered shishito peppers and the BBQ beef spring rolls (below), which are both worth trying.
And one last note: if you're looking to book a holiday party, a family gathering, or other confab, Wollensky's has you covered with eight different venues, including a kitchen table that can be accommodate twelve guests and the rather unique clock room, which is decorated, with yes, you guessed it: clocks.
Photos Courtesy of Wollensky's