We swung by Dove’s Luncheonette recently.
Set to the sounds of 1960s and 1970s Chicago soul and blues, Dove’s Luncheonette offers counter service morning, noon and night in the heart of Chicago’s trendy Wicker Park neighborhood.
From the black-and-white vintage snapshots on the walls, the retro stools and the regulars who pack them, the place looks like it has been around for 40 years. There is even a jukebox at the establishment. So Retro! But Dove’s, in Chicago’s trendy Wicker Park neighborhood, from only recently opened.
Partners including chef Paul Kahan, who gained national attention and a James Beard award for haute date-night dinners at his acclaimed Blackbird restaurant and Chef de Cuisine Dennis Bernard has an inviting menu delivers Southern-inspired Mexican cuisine, alongside a tequila and mezcal-focused bar program, with the spirit of genuine hospitality. The 41-stool luncheonette takes its name from Nelson Algren’s A Walk on the Wild Side, and draws inspiration from bygone diners and watering holes to create a place where people from all walks of life can converge over a cup of coffee, cocktail, and a great meal.
Kahan aims to marry the chef approach to everyday service, offering short-order dishes using seasonal, locally grown ingredients at the bargain end of the dining scale. A trip through the border region of Texas inspired Dove’s menu, which blends Southern and Mexican fare in dishes like buttermilk chicken fried with green chorizo gravy, smoked brisket tacos and a corn tamal with braised collard greens and scrambled eggs. Instead of weak coffee, the drinks menu touts tequila and mescal, with its signature Cantarito cocktail of tequila, fresh fruit juices and Squirt, served in a terra cotta ceramic mug. “Sometimes you want cerebral, beautiful food,” Kahan says, “and sometimes you want to hang out in your neighborhood diner.”
The Menu had a good mix of appetizers, main entrees, comfort foods and beverages that were reasonably priced.
With that being said, My foodie partners in crime ordered the Chile Rellenos and the Red Enchiladas with a fried egg on top. You can get a fried egg to top any dish on the menu, for just an extra buck more. As you can see, the portions for each entree was more than generous!
I ordered the Chicken Fried Chicken. A dish that smothers buttermilk soaked fried chicken in a green chile chorizo gravy garnished with sweet peas and white pearl onions. It lived up to the invitation, so naturally, I am going to just have to try my hand at recreating the fried chicken dish at home. I can’t wait to present the recipe to you!
It’s good to get out of the house to see what the rest of the world is eating, once in awhile.
If you are ever in Chicago, make sure to the take the time to stop by Dove’s Luncheonette. We were so glad we did!
Address: 1545 N. Damen Avenue Chicago, IL 60622
Hours: Open today · 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
See the Menu at: www.doveschicago.com
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