Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Restaurant That Keeps Me Coming Back By: Jen

Jen Panattoni is a business woman and marketing student from Oak Park. She enjoys dining out so she can get something she doesn't know how to cook and gets inspired to recreate dishes she's had. Also, she finds it relaxing to sit down for a meal she didn't have to prepare. She watches Check, Please! because she secretly wants Alpana Singh's job, not that it's so much of a secret anymore!

If you’ve read my other post, you already know that this girl is a big fan of pork products and finely crafted cocktails. One place that delivers on both of those promises is The Bristol in Bucktown. Owner/Chef Chris Pandel likes to know where his food comes from, and I appreciate that’s he’s done all the legwork in finding the freshest local farms to which he decides his daily menu. Additionally, Chef Pandel uses the “nose-to-tail” sustainable practice of butchering, meaning the entire animal is used. You can feel good about where you food comes from, all while enjoying an unforgettable meal. 

Before you get down to business of course, make sure to order yourself a handcrafted cocktail. I suggest a Manhattan, this comes with a real maraschino cherry, and not the neon red, candy colored ones of your youth either, that stuff’s for soda jerks and babies. Have fun clinking your perfectly squared ice while you peruse the chalkboard for what’s in season. 

It’s nice to bring friends to The Bristol, as the menu is suitable for sharing. There are small, medium and large plate options so you can customize your experience. I love the duck fat French fries and house catsup to start, but scotch olives with pork sausage are also delicious… you know, in case you’re on a diet…. Additionally, we like to order up a charcuterie board, because one can never get enough salted meats and Pâté; this also comes with a variety of house made pickles, which you can also add to the list of things I like. Moving onto medium plates, The Bristol is where I braved my first bone marrow experience. Since losing my marrow card, I actually seek it out as much as possible, but none finer than here, which comes with shallot jam-quite decadent. For the main entrée, my husband and I typically split the roasted half chicken which sits on a bed of spatzle, its simple chicken done to the best of its ability with perfectly seasoned, crunchy skin. 

If you have room for dessert, there is something special on the menu that is sure to make your inner child delight, house made Nutter butter cookies that come with a side of melted dipping chocolate. Prepare for complete silence at the table as you negotiate who gets the last one.

The Bristol
2152 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL. 60647
(773) 862-5555 


  1. The raviolo filled with ricotta and egg yolk is also amazing. For dessert you must try the Basque Cake. Pastry chef Amanda Rockman was on Top Chef:Just Desserts!

    1. Thanks for e tip! We are also trying out Chris Pandel's new restaurant Balena next week!


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