The Run Down
This night is about good eats and good drinks. You'll start things off with a dining extravaganza brought to you by a Michelin starred chef on a quiet residential corner far away from the normal trendy neighborhoods you'd expect this place to be. Afterwards, you'll scope out the brewery scene in Pilsen.
1. The Duck Inn
As you make your way here, you’ll notice there’s not much else going on in the area. Across the street is an auto body shop, behind the restaurant is a quiet residential neighborhood, and sitting by itself on the corner under a street light is the Duck Inn.
You’ve got three sections to the restaurant and each accommodate a different experience. As you walk through the front door, your first steps will be in their bar, which skews more towards local neighborhood tavern than fine dining establishment.
If you’re looking for a more chill experience, then there’s no need to go further. Pull up a seat at the bar, grab a few drinks, and partake in their bar food menu which includes fancier versions of the classic Chicago hot dog and dipped beef sandwich.
If fine dining is in the cards, keep walking towards the back and you’ll enter this formal dining area.
And behind their dining room is their patio. Here are a few pointers if you’re looking for the full dining experience.
– Reservations are highly recommended for their formal dining experience (either indoor or outdoor). You can book a reservation on their website.
– They do a special whole rotisserie duck meal. They only serve the ducks made that day so if you want to assure you’re getting one, you can pre-order in advance after you make your reservation. You’ll need to give them a call at (312) 724-8811.
Let’s talk about that rotisserie duck meal a bit more. First off it’s $68, but it can be easily shared between 2-3 people. It’s whole duck that’s slow roasted for three hours and it’s carved up and served to you on a big wooden carving board with duck fat potatoes on the side. To top it all off, is a duck jus reduction that get’s poured over everything. This dish basically tastes like Thanksgiving if your Thanksgiving was prepared by Michelin starred chef, Kevin Hickey.
2. Lo Rez Brewing
After dinner, we’re continuing the night at Lo Rez Brewing in Pilsen. Lo Rez is located in an old loft warehouse space right on the corner of 21st and Carpenter. It’s surrounded by other industrial and commercial buildings, so after the sun goes down and the workers go home, the area gets pretty quiet. The only exception, however, are the muffled sounds of laughter and conversation echoing from Lo Rez’s taproom. Make your way up the wooden stair on the side of the building and join the party.
The tap room is one long 2,500 sqft room with a bunch of picnic tables spread out across. It’s a big space, which is nice when they host events, because it seems like the whole neighborhood swings by for a drink. In the past they’ve held Mexican pozole cooking competitions, vegan food festivals, and vintage art markets.
Grab a drink and if you’re so inclined, head to the back of the bar and pick out a board game. I’ve realized if you put the word “drunk” in front of any game, it makes things much more fun: drunk-Monopoly, drunk-Jenga, drunk-Battleship — the possibilities are endless.
The only drawback that I can think of is that Lo Rez closes at 10pm on most nights (see their hours here). We’re not ready to go home. That’s okay though because we have another brewery to visit.
3. Alulu Brewpub
Our last stop of the night is Alulu Brewpub, which is a few short blocks away.
Alulu has a much different vibe than Lo Rez. Where Lo Rez has a big warehouse space with high ceilings, no kitchen, and only does beer, Alulu looks like it could have been built out from a converted two story walk-up town home, has a full service kitchen, and has a full menu of cocktails and boozy sodas on tap.
If you’re here early on a weekend night, then you might have trouble finding a place to post up. There’s a bar with a few stools right when you walk in that is first-come, first-served. Otherwise you’ll need to talk to the host to sit you at one of the tables on the first or second floor.
This is their first floor.
Here’s their second floor space.
If you’re here for long, then the smell of food coming from the kitchen might begin to entice you. They’ve got a trendy menu of fusion European and global inspired dishes. Think pierogis from Europe, lumpias from the Phillipines, and chicken tikka from India all on one menu.
One other difference between Alulu and Lo Rez is that Alulu serves flights of beer whereas Lo Rez only does full pours. It’s especially helpful here, because Alulu has such a wide variety of styles with sours, saisons, stouts, and lagers on tap. Why try one when you can try them all.