Dillman's | River North | Kosher/Jewish/Deli, Craft Beer, Swanky Bar | Restaurant
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Brendan Sodikoff's take on a Jewish deli also draws on his loungey previous spots (Maude's, Bavette's, Au Cheval), serving craft cocktails alongside house-made bagels.

Our Review

Initially billed as a deli, this "deli-style American brasserie" from Brendan Sodikoff (Doughnut Vault, Gilt Bar, Maude's, Au Cheval) is pure id. Here are cured meat, schmaltz, creme fraiche, cheese, bone marrow, and a menu of "strong drinks." And here are sandwiches like the Montreal—bologna, pastrami, corned beef, and, for good measure, foie gras. Starters include a Kubrickian matzo ball, rising forbiddingly over the lip of a bowl holding a rich chicken broth improved further by little charred onions; plump pickled herring on rye; and the best chicken liver I've had, chopped rough and served with a ramekin of schmaltz and generously greasy toast. Caesar salad has a dressing so intensely flavorful—so lemony, so fishy, so garlicky—that it needn't be poured on; another wonderful "salad" consists of a mound of smoked whitefish in half an avocado with some lettuce on the side. Cocktails, mostly classic whiskey-bitters combinations, are great too: you could accompany your Montreal, for instance, with a Toronto, that blessed marriage of rye and Fernet. It's decadent, yes. It's also fabulous. Read the full review >>

Sam Worley

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Bar Details

Brendan Sodikoff's "deli-style American brasserie" is split in two. One side is indeed deli style, if your neighborhood bagel-and-lox place happens to be lit by two massive chandeliers. The other is like an old, really comfortable library, but one where you can eat and drink, both of which activities I recommend. The cocktails, mostly classic whiskey-bitters combinations, are great—they do a killer version of a Toronto, that blessed marriage of rye and Fernet, for example. The Brown Derby, said on the menu to contain bourbon, grapefruit, and honey, beguiles with the depth of its flavor, the whiskey and the citrus bringing out each other's best bitter elements. A deli-esque Cel-Ray soda is enlivened with gin. And then there's the pickle backs, for $6 a pop. We partook one night. As they say: When in Rome, YOLO. —Sam Worley


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