The management team behind the craft beer and whisk(e)y destination Fountainhead, is excited to announce the February opening of The Northman, Chicago's first bar dedicated to cider. Located at 4337 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago (the former location of Jury's), the bistro and pub will offer the most extensive and varied selection of world class ciders in Chicago. Behind the bar, 18 cider drafts will be featured, plus two Spanish “long pours," six taps of craft beer and two firkins built into the back of the bar. In cans and bottles, the bar will offer over 80 ciders and over 20 craft beers. Open for lunch and dinner, The Northman will have a curated wine list and a large selection of calvados, cognac, Armagnac and brandy.
"We are excited to share our love of cider with Chicago," says managing partner Aaron Zacharias. "When we opened The Bar on Buena nearly 13 years ago, it was pretty rare to have even one tap dedicated to cider. We did it, but the pickings were pretty slim. Now we have access to ciders from all over the globe including small producers who never thought 15 years ago that their products would leave their region. There are U.S. hotbeds in the Northeast, Northwest and Upper Midwest, as well as some outstanding local producers with more to come. It’s a wonderful time for cider and we are happy to be part of it."
Chef Cleetus Friedman has created a menu focused on French and English inspired bistro fare. The food will complement the pub's ciders and other beverages with hearty, delicious fare.
"I am very excited to draw upon European inspirations for The Northman’s menu,” says executive chef Cleetus Friedman. “Diving into a whole new cuisine is a refreshing opportunity for me as a chef. I really enjoy pairing food and beverage to bring out the best in each and I am really looking forward to working with so many different ciders and this varied cuisine.”
The lunch menu will feature sandwiches, soups and salads, including House Smoked Ham & Marie Hare Camembert Baguette with fresh fruit preserves; Cider Braised Onion Soup with grand cru gruyere & toasted rosemary crouton; to pay homage to the location's past, diners can enjoy the “Judge Renault,” a play on the famous Jury’s Judge Burger.
Dinner will feature an extensive cheese program anchored with English, French and American cheeses. Dishes at opening will include Escargots Aux Normande with cider butter and a goat milk biscuit; Rabbit & Prosciutto Roulade over corn grits; and Yorkshire Puddings with Braised Short Ribs with rosemary gravy. Sweets will include Grille Aux Pommes with cayenne caramel sauce and Flourless Chocolate Cake with anise ganache and vanilla ice cream. Weekly specials will feature seasonal items based on farmer availability.
"Our cheese program will be amazing," adds Friedman. "We cannot wait for diners to explore our menu and find their spirit cheese!"
Jon Putman will serve as the general manager of The Northman. "Cider Brian" Rutzen will be the cider director. Spirits expert Ambrosia Borowski will head up the cocktail program, creating delicious cider cocktails and more.
The exact opening date will be announced shortly.
About The Northman
From the owners behind Fountainhead, The Northman is Chicago’s first bar dedicated to cider. The new bistro-pub will be located at 4337 N. Lincoln Ave. and will offer well over 100 ciders on draft, cask or in bottles. The Northman will also offer carefully selected beers, wines and spirits but the primary focus of this new format will be cider. The curated cider list is incredible and the menu created by executive chef Cleetus Friedman is designed to highlight the diverse selection of ciders and other libations. The food will focus on seasonality and will be designed to complement the ciders on tap, serving warm, hearty fare.
To follow updates on opening and cider news, visit The Northman’s Facebook page.