Chicago: Trenchermen


Trenchermen bar
Black & White cocktail: Partida Blanco, Mandarine, Egg White, Fernet-Vallet


You guys, I love Chicago. I know that’s probably not a news flash since I’ve said it a million times before, but I just wanted to say it again.

Through the years I’ve had some amazing meals there (just see this, this, this, this, and this), and last weekend I added another spot to my ever-growing list of Windy City favorites: Trenchermen.

Located in Wicker Park, the restaurant lies below street level in what used to be a Turkish bathhouse. My friend tells me the tiles on the walls are the original that were there in the 1920’s…unearthed when tearing off drywall during the build out of the restaurant. Pretty cool, huh? I don’t usually focus too much on the design of spaces when I dine, but there was something about this one that drew me in. So much so that I wanted to learn more about it. If you’re into that kind of thing, check out this article that I found explaining the “Steampunk” look.

Of course, as much as I was fascinated by the space itself, that’s not what has me writing about Trenchermen today. You know it’s all about the food around here!



Pickle Tots, Chicken Breast Bresaola, Red Onion Yogurt, Scallions

I’m all about trying new things. I like to be tickled and surprised when I dine out. Maybe even a little perplexed by what I’m eating. Perhaps that’s what I loved so much about this place.

It all started with the pickle tots. I can’t even really explain exactly what they are, but I can tell you they were amazing. There are these thin slices of chicken piled on top of these dill tots with a red onion-beet-yogurt sauce. I know, it sounds weird. But I swear, they were awesome.


Potato Gnocchi, Huitlacoche, Mushrooms, Brown Butter Soy

Actually, pretty much every single thing we ate was awesome-  gnocchi, beets with burrata, tuna tartare on brioche with brown butter crème fraîche…even the simple side dish of eggplant! In fact, that eggplant was probably the best eggplant I’ve ever eaten.

I made sure I took note of the ingredients: Eggplant, Bacon, Sweet Chili, Garlic, and Sesame. Yep. I will be trying my damnedest to recreate that dish at home.

And those things I just listed were only the small plates – the main dishes were still to come!


Aged Duck Breast, Duck Mole, Fried Tamal, Hakuri Turnips, Sweet Potato

Berkshire Pork Shoulder, Bulgher, Onions, Broccoli, Umeboshi, Black Bean

Scallops, Cauliflower Cous Cous, Orange, Vaudovan Spice, Bee Pollen

And since we were on a roll and so freakin’ happy with every single morsel we put in our mouths, you know we couldn’t stop. Dessert. Must. Be. Had.


Chicory Apple Fritters, Candied Apricot, Cider Glaze, Chai Ice Cream

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Napoleon, Maple Bacon, Frozen Custard

Trenchermen ‘Smores, Dark Chocolate, Popcorn Ice Cream, House Graham, Smoked Mallow


 Seriously. Heading to Chicago? Put this on your list.



2039 W N Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 661-1540
Neighborhood: Wicker Park