“Third time’s a charm” has truth behind it for Cobblestone Restaurant located at 4337 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago’s North Center near Lincoln Square. After selling his Bohemian House restaurant in River North, Cobblestone Restaurant Owner Dr. Markus Chwajol first opened the 86-seat restaurant and cider bar in March 2020 before COVID forced its closure not once, but twice.
This May after building the namesake cobblestone doorstep and sidewalk café, and adding an interior courtyard with additional outdoor seating, Cobblestone Restaurant opened the doors with Executive Chef Michael McCloud at the kitchen’s helm.
“We worked hard to create a welcoming, community-friendly restaurant where guests can meet new and old friends, enjoy a wonderful meal and find a new cider or craft drink to toast their visit,” says Chwajol, a neurosurgeon with a passion for hospitality.
THE VIBE – Inside And Outdoor Dining
Nooks and booths hug a wooden bar with 10 padded leather stools in the main dining room. The airy room with 11-foot ceilings and vintage ceiling fans offers both large and small parties a place. Outdoors, a 43-seat streetside patio is capped by a canopy offering a shady retreat, complete with string lights that add a soft glow in the evening. A new hidden courtyard adds another 38 outdoor seats and features decorative brick flooring surrounded by hand-painted floral murals by local artist Taylor Dlesk.
THE MENU – Elevated European Bistro Fare With An American Twist
The culinary operation led by Executive Chef Michael McCloud offers an array of European dishes with an American twist. Most recently chef de cuisine at the Tortoise Supper Club, McCloud took a sabbatical from the kitchens and sought an opportunity where “everything felt right.” At Cobblestone Restaurant he’s jumped right in, creating a menu which offers a variety of appetizers and shareable plates.
McCloud credits training under chefs such as Aaron Browning, Wolfgang Puck, Tommy Nevill and Wiley Bates III to help him hone the skills he showcases with a twist to classic European bistro fare.
Already, items on the seasonal menu include the 50/50 lamb and beef burger with pepper jelly, Drunken Goat cheese and arugula on a toasted brioche bun with house-cut Kennebec French fries; the Steak Tartare with house made violet mustard, pumpernickel toast and egg yolk; and the savory Banana Nut Loaf with Graisse de Canard, toasted walnut and whipped bourbon butter. With the bistro’s wide-ranging cider selections, McCloud enhances the menu with recipes such as the Cider Battered Fish & Frites and Cider Braised Pork Belly with crisped skin, smoked pink lady apple sauce and rye maple glaze.
There are also plenty of lighter and vegetarian options including Farro-Arugula Salad with fig vinaigrette and goat cheese croutons and a Grilled Romaine topped with anchovy-preserved lemon vinaigrette and shaved American grana.
THE BAR – Hard Ciders And Craft Brews/Cocktails Keep Pace
Adding to its collection of 35 hard ciders, Cobblestone’s beverage team led by Andy Knuth, general manager and co-creator of the bistro’s concept, has added 20 craft beers and unveils a new What’s Stirring cocktail each Friday. Ciders are featured in an array of cocktails such as Papa’s Brew (bourbon, maple syrup, house made lemon juice, topped with seasonal cider) and Cider Boy (bourbon, cider, house made lemon juice, maple syrup and egg whites).
LIVE VARIETY SHOW -- “And…We Back!” Featured Monthly
A live variety show is on stage at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month by producer Sebastian “Sabi” Thomas, a musician and lover of all ventures artistic. Admission is free to “And...We Back!” which provides an energetic and imaginative atmosphere throughout the night of life and libation. Performances range from acting to dancing, musicians and vocalists, to theatrical magic and more. “And...We Back!” is an opportunity for artists to present their craft to a live audience.
Cobblestone Chicago is open for dinner Tuesday to Friday 5 p.m. – Midnight; Saturday and Sunday 3 p.m. – Midnight.