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Webster's Wine Bar

Webster's Wine Bar

Julia Thiel

After leaving its 20-year home in Lincoln Park, the wine bar now occupies the former Telegraph space and is offering food by former Telegraph sous chef Aaron Mooney and more than 500 wines, with about two dozen by the glass.

Our Review

Webster's Wine Bar, which for nearly 20 years occupied a two-story space on Webster near the Chicago River, moved this summer into the former Telegraph Wine Bar space in Logan Square. In the transition, Telegraph sous chef Aaron Mooney rose to executive chef. This isn't Telegraph with a different name, though: while the bar's two rooms look much the same as they did before, Mooney's tapas-focused menu bears little resemblance to either Telegraph's food or the fare at the original Webster's. Though brief (about 20 dishes in total), the menu covers the essentials: fried food, seafood, meat, cheese, and vegetables. Some dishes, like crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside salt cod croquettes blanketed in lemony roasted tomato aioli, are classically Spanish. Others, like arancini filled with smoked caciocavallo cheese that's beautifully complemented by a slightly sweet tomato jam, stray to other parts of Europe. Seafood is treated with care here, and both Nantucket Bay scallops and Spanish octopus were perfectly tender. The silky scallops arrived atop a small puddle of roasted butternut squash puree, the baconlike "crispy ham" that accompanied them offsetting their natural sweetness, while the octopus was served with white beans, chorizo, and almond soubise. The one thing I wouldn't order again was the pork rinds: gloriously airy and crunchy at first bite, they quickly dissolved into a fatty pork paste. It's worth saving room for dessert. Dulce de leche ebelskiver—fluffy Danish pancake spheres filled with a warm caramel-like confection—turned out to be a perfect cultural mashup.

Julia Thiel

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Price: $$
Payment Type: American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

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