The best time to hit Lokal is on Monday nights when they create a five course menu with wine pairings for $40 a person. The meal is made with fresh, in-season ingredients and served with European flair.
We knew about the prix fixe menu when making the reservations, but it wasn’t clear that this was the only meal served on Mondays. As someone with dietary restrictions, I prefer to know upfront what I’m dealing with. However, substitutions were handled with minimum fuss and my meal was as excellent the others served that evening.
Pan roasted snapper with parsnip puree, pork tenderloin over gnocchi and duck pierogi courses each vied for top billing at the table. The dessert was also notable — I can’t recall a shortcake that tasted as good as this. And the berries and freshly whipped cream? To die for. Everything we ate was well prepared, presented and enjoyed.
The only real complaint was wine service. The meal did not begin with a wine pairing and the first thought was that our drinks were forgotten. Not to quibble, but eating is thirsty work and we should have had something to start. The wines, by the way, are from Eastern Europe and showcased the highs and lows of that region. Prepare yourself for adventure on that score.
As far as atmosphere, I’m not sure the black and white Sherlock Holmes movies that played above the bar added anything to the ambiance even though Basil Rathbone was something to look at back in the day. Exposed brick, flat white surfaces, trays of succulents and pastel abstract paintings round out a modish look. It’s a comfortable place to linger over a meal.
Next time you’re in Wicker Park on a Monday, make a point of stopping by for dinner. It’s a great value and a good time. Want to see the entire meal? Check out our Facebook photo album.