Photo of Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar in Chicago, IL, US
Photo of Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar in Chicago, IL, US
Photo of Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar in Chicago, IL, US
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Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar


Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar14.5
fried almonds • wicker park

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Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar has 20 Tips

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  • Photo of Dana Ovsak
    4 years ago
  • Photo of Manuelglez
    4 months ago
    Fui a este restaurante porque me lo recomendó una amiga. El local es pequeño así que si vais grupos grandes no es lo ideal pero para un par de parejas es perfecto, la decoración y la decoración crean un ambiente agradable y cálido. La carta de comida no es muy amplia pero muy variada, los platos bien presentados y generosos. La carta de vinos al igual que la de la cerveza es magnífica y muy extensa. A priori puede puede resultar algo caro pero merece la pena y yo lo pague encantado
  • Photo of Colleen T
    5 months ago
    Visiting and staying with friends at an Airbnb and this spot was recommended by the owner of the Airbnb. The atmosphere was warm and inviting, the staff were top knothole. The food was amazing!!! Prices were exceptional for the quality. Highly highly recommend this place.
  • Photo of OspreyLisaM
    8 months ago
    We met our son who lives in Chicago for lunch. The service was excellent and our food was delicious. The hamburger was fresh with a great croissant tasting bun. Fries were very good. The spinach & mushroom omelet made the old fashioned way! Our wine from Spain was very much like a Sancerre.
  • Photo of Grimsbybud
    8 months ago
    Having the good fortune to visit Chicago put all the best thoughts of Architecture, Culture, Music and Food into our heads weeks before we began the adventure. My wife, and I headed out from Niagara, Canada and my son joining us from the Minneapolis area. 4 days of “doing it all” was the plan. And we did our best!!! Arriving in the late afternoon, and having not had a good meal since breakfast (airline snacks only!) the plan was to get settled in to the BnB, and walk over to a local eatery to relax, catch up, and have bit of wine and food. My wife is the consummate researcher and planner, and has been for 35 years. So, when we had a location for our “digs” sorted, she went to work on the destination for our arrival evening’s meal. As we were staying in the West Augusta Blvd and Rockwell St. area, we were close to “ROOTSTOCK Wine and Beer Bar" at W. Augusta and N. California Ave.. The menu was NOT your average “Local Pub” fare. Not at all. There was no way we were going to miss out on the opportunity to go! To see what I mean, google “rootstock bar” and you'll understand why this review is so positive!! Once we turned the corner, and saw the front of the building, we had second thoughts but should not have! First, one enters from a side door right into a small, but friendly restaurant and bar. Everyone in the place was having great conversations and sharing food. A good sign. We were greeted by a cheery young lady and shown to our table ( my son called ahead earlier to see if we could get a table). The person he spoke to was the same as greeted us, and she had put a reserved sign on the table; #23 (I assume this is not a regular occurrence but my son did say we were visiting from away). The table gave us a good view of all that was going on in the restaurant and at the bar. Friends visiting with friends….Nice The nice young woman turned out to be our hostel/server and guide through the mere options, which was a great assist as the choices are, all, so appealing I wanted one of each!. It turns out that the kind lady was, in fact, The Host, Tonya, is the lady in charge! After Tonya patiently went through our food options, we ordered wines (and and a local Ommegang Wheat Ale for me- $7, an Abbruzzo White for may wife and son- $11 ea.). We started with some of the best Oysters we have had since our Time on Prince Edward Island (Malpec among other oysters). Big flavour and clean! $3 ea. Part Two was a sharing of the Roasted Beets and little gem lettuce with avocado, cara cara oranges and a subtle sherry vinaigrette. What a treat. The flavours were all there, and balanced. $8 Part 3 was the Roasted Oyster Mushrooms with miso butter, nori and parsley. We all agreed we should have had our own order. Fantastic textures and flavours. $10 Part 4 was the Steak Tartar with caper leaves hard cooked egg , pooled garlic and excellent aloe.The steak was coarse ground and had a great mouth feel, along with the wonderful flavours of the items on the plate. “ We want more” was the sentiment from everyone -$14. Lastly, we ordered Parmesan Crusted Lake Superior Whitefish. It came with Smoked Steelhead roe , wonderful crispy potato pancakes, caper and a lemon confit that was not overpowering. Whitefish tends to be a bit soft if from the southern Great Lakes but the COLD waters of Lake Superior make the meat firm and flavourful. Perfect. $16 We shared these plates and had more than enough to fill three hungry bellies. With the drinks, and all this food, our bill was ONLY $89.50! Seriously great food and ambiance, and a warm welcome with wonderful service. We should not have been surprised by the very high quality, and creativity, of the dishes we were served. When we were effusive in our compliments about the for to Tonya, she was very happy, but also not surprised by this as she told us the story of the Chef who devised, and prepared, everything (We didn’t get the name).Tonya said they had poached this person from Alinea, one of only two "Michelin 3 Star" Chicago restaurants. This Chef chose to move over to RootStock, and away from the pressures of a 3 Star, and to be able to create. Create is THE word! Note, if you will, the pricing of what we ordered, and the wine and the prices on the web site menu. Prices are stunningly reasonable for the quality of everything, the extensive wine list for a small place, and the level of service; thanks to Tonya! In all, we spent a good two hours+ at RootStock and enjoyed every minute. Tonya made us feel, not just at home, but as valued friends and neighbours. I cannot say more. When we had settled the bill, and were ready to make our way back to the “digs” I took the bill, clipboard and pen back to Tonya at the bar saying that I didn’t want her to think I was “pinching” the pen. I had no worry as she gave he pen to me saying they had them prepared to be business cards. Bonus..A souvenir! Had it not been for our "excellent researcher", we would never have had such a terrific, and friendly, experience. Nor would we have eaten such wonderful, creative, fare. Meeting Tonya was a bonus. This may sound a bit over the top but I assure you that the RootStock Wine and Beer Bar is the real deal. But, don’t just go for the libations! With the drinks, and all this food, our bill was ONLY $89.50! Seriously great food and ambiance, and a warm welcome with wonderful service. A fabulous find. I cannot recommend this place highly enough. Thank you, Tonya!
  • Photo of njhassinger
    10 months ago
    We had no idea about this little dimly light gem. It's just a cool place with one of the largest alcohol menu I've ever seen. The food was stellar too! Yum!
  • Photo of Wolfsha
    a year ago
    A great place to meet up with friends or family to share a glass of wine and some tantalizing food. Their wine list (book) has an impressive selection. While the menu is somewhat limited, everything we tried was tasty and presented nicely. The fried almonds are great to munch on while sipping wine. The hamburger was juicy and flavorful - highly recommend. Rootstock is a hidden gem in a residential area, and even though we were visiting from out of town, I'm sure our family will be back again.
  • Photo of PeckishPeter
    a year ago
    Don't be fooled by Rootstock's modesty in labelling itself a 'wine and beer bar'. It's a neighbourhood gem, even if the neighbourhood falls distinctly beyond the boundaries of the bars and restaurants in buzzy Wicker Park. Like many Chicago bars, it has a good selection of craft beers. Unlike similar bars, especially on the north west side, it also has an excellent wine list. (Chicago licensing laws allow you to open a bottle, drink a couple of glasses, and take the rest home with you - how civilised). But you should go to Rootstock for the food. A really imaginative menu, great local produce and each plate presented fresh from the kitchen by a chef (a habit of other good Chicago eateries). All this in the genuinely relaxed and friendly atmosphere of a neighbourhood hangout. Although there are tables inside and out, eating at the bar is the best place to get to know some of the locals. If I didn't live so far away I'd be back on a regular basis.
  • Photo of 68beatriceh
    2 years ago
    warm and friendly welcome excellent high-quality food wide range of tasty wines courteous service correct pricing
  • Photo of 275GTS
    2 years ago
    This is the only restaurant I have ever eaten in 3 times in one trip. It just grew on me - great folks and food. Inspired: the vibe of the owners Service: relaxed yet excellent Food: loved the food - esp the duck and the arctic char Drink: creative and interesting wine list Atmosphere: urban Return: Absolutely!! Parking: on street Discovered: via my Airbnb
  • Photo of John K
    2 years ago
    Rootstock Wine & Beer Bar is a charmer of a spot serving excellent wines and beers, with small plates, in a cozy could-be-considered romantic room. We began with the boquerones and a couple glasses of cava - a brilliant start! This we followed with the steak tartare - the seasoning impressed - and glasses of red wine - well-suggested by our server. The Salad Lyonnaise that followed was spot-on - thumbs up and big kisses for the juicy lardons and perfect egg. Next we tackled the burger, paired with a couple of beers, and an order of hand cut fries. No disappointments here - hearty, rich, and filling on all counts. For dessert we ordered the one dessert available - and it was indeed the one - a satisfying chocolate ganache served with a tart berry. This we paired with a lovely port. Scrumptious! Service was friendly, informal, and attentive. Highly Recommended!
  • Photo of Leslie_Venetz
    3 years ago
    Rootstock has a great wine list for bottles and by the glass selections. I found the wine list as well as the staff very approachable when trying to find an item in my price point and to my liking. The ambiance was really adorable. I would definitely go there on a romantic but casual date night. It was also great to just catch up with a friend. We ordered olives, almonds, clams, salpicon, and the anchovies. The entire menu read like it would be excellent, but the flavor a and preparation were lack luster across the board. The anchovies should have been splendid but instead of serving them fried to give some texture and flavor they seemed be served straight out of a van with oil....the salpicon just didn't mesh. The almonds sounded great when described as fried with sea salt but then it was just a bowl almonds....the chefs vision was spot on by the execution fell flat. The clams were very tasty but I wouldn't go back for them. I would definitely recommend Rootstock but for a drink or two and maybe one snack rather than a full meal.
  • Photo of Kathy S
    3 years ago
    My daughter took me to Rootstock for my birthday. I always like to try new foods when I go to Chicago! I had chicken liver pate and escargot. They were absolutely delicious!!! The food was fresh and the service was attentive and friendly and fast. It is casual and friendly. Definitely a place to go for drinks and a light meal.
  • Photo of Mary M
    4 years ago
    We visited this wine bar based on Trip Advisor reviews and found it spot on. The wine list is impressive and the atmosphere is very casual, inviting, and laid back. The food is interesting, in a good way. Ask about ingredients before ordering because many of the menu items are unfamiliar. My friend,who eats only vegetarian, was surprised by the sausage in the cavatelli. The salad with the duck egg was unusual, but tasty. The food is from local farms and mostly organic. Our suggestion would be to translate some of the menu items to English, as they do in Europe. This is not a typical wine bar, so plan to visit.
  • Photo of Ron J
    4 years ago
    Certainly not somewhere I would have popped in without having read the great reviews first. Tiny space located in the Humboldt Park area. Super cool yet unpretentious vibe upon entering and throughout the meal. Started at the bar where I enjoyed a couple of wonderful wines by the glass along with some fried almonds. Eventually seated our party of 4 in the cozy dining area. I ordered the ribeye. Fantastic. The pasta was well received and I was lucky enough to take a bite of the burger... OUTRAGEOUS!!! Extremely reasonable pricing on both the food and wine. I have found my new regular place. Only 15 backroad minutes from Oak Park where there is NOTHING even close to this.
  • Photo of Quito8
    5 years ago
    We came in for the Big Ten Tourn, and wanted something besides the Usual or corporate chain. Rootstock was PERFECT. Small, family run with great food and wine. We didn't know the menu or what we wanted. So we told Tonya (owner) what types of food we liked and left the rest to her. She provided an excellent healthy appetizers, dinner along with the complementary wines. We left content but not stuffed. We can not wait to come back!! OH one more item. Since we could not hail a cab quickly an employee rushed us back to the United Center in time for the game. Thanks again Todd
  • Photo of lovestoroam78
    5 years ago
    Off the beaten path but not out of the loop when it comes to cool. Unpretentious setting but an ambitious menu filled with food, wine and beer surprises. Parking is not an issue, outdoor seating is available but the street scene is really not that interesting. The attraction is perusing the multipage wine and beer list for something you want to try. 3 partners started this place a few years ago and it seems to have found its niche, south of the cluster of Wicker Park and hard by the ethnic area of Humboldt Park. This is a neighborhood bar even if you don't live in the neighborhood - and pretty close to the Western Metra station if you need to escape north on a schedule.
  • Photo of katewh
    6 years ago
    Drawn by the possibility of ample parking, I made the unfortunate mistake of coming here with several less-than-adventurous suburbanites. The space is very tiny--I’m guessing there is enough space for 50-60 diners. After sipping wine at the bar for half an hour, maybe more, we were relocated to a ledge, where we could order snacks while we waited for a table. I ordered the charcuterie 3 and 3--chicken liver pate, country ham, and pork shoulder and several cheeses--and the butter poached shrimp with chanterelles. The shrimp and chanterelles were great. I also enjoyed the charcuterie, which came with different pickled vegetables and jams. Sadly, because I hate wasting food and nobody else was really touching anything besides the Country Ham (similar to prosciutto in texture and flavor), I ended up filling up on pate for my dinner. By the time we got to our table (another half hour later), I was stuffed. I had the smoked egg crostini, which reminded me of the pintxos in Barcelona’s Euskal Etxea, scoops of mayo-based salads on crusty bread. The smoked egg was good, but I didn’t like the shaved raw onions on it, which I felt clouded the smoky egg flavor. Because Humboldt Park is a harder for me to get to, and there are so many excellent restaurants in Chicago, I probably won’t come back, especially with a larger group of people. With that said, if you happen to be in the area, the food is worth a stop.
  • Photo of KauaiLover
    6 years ago
    My husband loves wine bars and has been wanting to check this one out. Great neighborhood spot...even if you don't live in the neigborhood! The wine list was excellent and very affordable, cozy atmosphere, and the food we tried was very good. Very friendly service. We will definitely be back.
  • Photo of Tohru O
    8 years ago
    Great casual vibe. Amazing wine and beer list. Food is high quality, delicious and inexpensive. Loved it.

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