While the Polar Vortex technically arrived early in the week, that won’t be the case every time. Drag yourself and a group of hungry friends to Table, Donkey and Stick for their “neighborhood night.”
The special Monday menu features $5 kitchen specials along with 50 cent PBRs and $3 whiskey shots. Bonus, the kitchen is open late on Mondays, too, so you don’t have to get there too early to take advantage of these tasty nibbles.
I had an excellent Gorgonzola and mushroom slider that was large enough to share. It was the tastiest dish I tried all evening, in fact, though the smoked sturgeon croquettes were a close second. These little gems had the smokiness of the fish balanced by arugula and dollops of horseradish. Quite good. However, the ice cream sandwich on the menu was certainly for heartier diners.Step 2: Ask for the warmest seat in the house
Table, Donkey and Stick is a tiny restaurant with a handful of tables as you walk in, right next to the door. While the front seemed charming and cozy, I was leery of people arriving and leaving throughout the meal and asked for the warmest spot in the restaurant. You should, too.
Trust me, it’s easier to snag a great table when you eat in the little-old-lady time slot, like I do. Arrive a little early.
The staff led our party to the back and turned on the gas fireplace, just for us. It soon put out enough BTU’s to stave off the chill. There are two long communal tables in the back. You’ll either get cuddled up with your dining party or seated by the fire. The tables are a better bet as the little tables by the glass wall overlooking the courtyard soak up the chill.
If all else fails, 50 cent PBRs and $3 whiskey shots. It bears repeating.Step 3: Order stick-to-the-bones food for the table
This last step is really easy because the menu is currently loaded with wonderful, filling dishes designed to comfort you against the Winter chill.
The charcuterie takes up half the dinner menu, and it’s a great place to start. Order at least three items in order to get an accompaniment of honey and candied walnuts. If it’s still on the menu when you get there, I especially recommend the soft Lille cheese. I’ll be back for the pickled duck egg and smoked whitefish.
The menu changes monthly, so I’m not going to tease you with the Swabian Pretzel, Roasted Beet Salad, or the Schweinekopf Sandwich that lured us in. Just expect simple, perfectly executed seasonal fare that will fill you up and give you the courage to dine out in any Chicago weather.
Table, Donkey and Stick
2728 West Armitage Avenue