Nightwood (Restaurant, Pilsen)
I’ve never heard a negative thing about this bustling Pilsen restaurant. Visiting on a busy Sunday morning proved that I wouldn’t be disappointed. Menus are created and hand-written daily, as the restaurant receives food from local farmers and develops dishes based on what is fresh and in season. This trendy spot’s building has an urban feel and fits in well with the eclectic East Pilsen arts district, centered around Halsted and 19th. Exposed brick and lots of windows give the building a welcome loft-like feel, even if it can get slightly drafty by the windows. They also boast an open kitchen where you can see your meals prepared in front of you, a downstairs “wine room,” and an outdoor patio I am dying to get back to this summer.
Nightwood is one of the only places in the city that takes reservations for brunch — a quality that serious brunch go-ers truly appreciate. And trust us when we say brunch is worth it at Nightwood. A small, yet innovative menu will make your decision a tough one. House tater tots are not your average bar tot. Same goes for the chicken and waffles: the chicken is crispy and golden brown served with sweet chocolate sauce contrasted with salty peanuts. We also enjoyed an inventive trout bagel sandwich as well as a perfectly cooked quiche. And don’t skip the bacon butterscotch doughnut, we promise it’s worth the calories.
Nightwood’s approach to cocktailing is the same as their approach to cooking. Cocktails boast housemade and seasonal ingredients, allowing your drink to taste as fresh and vibrant as the food. They also offer a lengthy and comprehensive wine list that will surely satisfy any wino.
Service is quick and attentive, but in a not overly friendly way. Our waters never went empty, everything happened efficiently and we were never neglected, yet I barely remember what our waitress looked like. That’s the way I like it.
I’m already planning a summer evening of strolling the Pilsen Arts District Second Fridays event and then grabbing dinner at Nightwood. If you steal any ideas from me, take this one. I’ll see you there.