What revives you? Is it coffee? Is it cocktails and conversation or is it simply hearty food that nourishes both body and soul? This is the question that will be put to you as you dine at Revival Social Club ( 1133 W. Granville Avenue; www.revivalsocialclub.com ), and the answers are all right there.
Owner Alan Stoll considered this question last year when he and his partner ( in work and life ) set out to add to the refurbishing of Granville Ave. in Edgewater, a neighborhood famously anchored in the local gay psyche by The Anvil, but which has seen much flux over the past 10 years in dining choices. Revival's farm-fresh casualness and crafted seasonal cocktails signal an upswing in this era of growth on Granville. According to Stoll, Ald. Harry Osterman's eyes "lit up" at the prospect of this new dining option.
Stoll takes comforting influences from his childhood in southern Illinois and brings them to this sleek, modern spot. These influences carry through from the decor ( including his grandfather's old lantern and a few of his mom's blue-green canning jars ) to the ultimate iron skillet monkey bread dessert currently on the menu. But we'll discuss more about that sweet treat after the meal.
For starters, dive head first into the coconut shrimp. These succulent sauteed morsels sparkle with a coconut glaze, while the pineapple pepper relish provides just enough of a kick before the sweetness of the pineapple brings you back down to Earth.
The roasted Brussels sproutsa dish which is highly on-trend and, consequently, subject to much scrutinypasses all the tests and shoots for extra credit. They come prepared with dates, bacon, kale and blue cheese, which is ambitious in its combination. This gambit pays off big. Let the flavors dance around a while and you'll forget you've only made it to the appetizers.
The Argentine skirt steak entree was a juicy surprise. True skill is required to handle this cut, and the father-and-son team of chefs, Nazareth and Luis Garcia, exhibit fantastic flair. The steak is marinated with chimichurri salsa and paired with roasted potatoes, onion, corn and asparagus. It's the stick-to-your-ribs, meat-and-potatoes dish you'll be seeking as winter starts to creep in. This dish is one of Stoll's own favorites.
The duck pasillaa blackened, boneless duck breast with mashed potatoes and a pasilla-chile portabella sauceachieves earthiness without gaminess. Another of Stoll favorites is the adobo pork tenderloin, in adobo and coffee-rubbed marinade and served with apple and sweet potato hash.
I believe there was talk of cocktails? The Autumnal Equinox evokes a mildly fizzy cool breeze, powered by Ketel One vodka and spiced pear liqueur. The Three-Mile Limitwhose name refers to the legality of drinking liquor three miles off shore during Prohibitioncelebrates the roaring '20s with Guyanese rum, cognac, lemon, pomegranate and rhubarb bitters. The North Meets South is a proper cocktail with mezcal, Wooden Shoes coffee liqueur, China-China French Amer, egg white and Creole bitters.
And since you've waited patiently, it's time for dessert. The iron skillet monkey bread is Revival's signature dessert and features cinnamon and sugar dough served in a cast-iron skillet with caramel drizzle and vanilla ice cream. It is truly the most comfortable of all comfort foods. You'll want to lay your head on its sticky, pillowy softness and begin your hibernation. It will sustain you all winter.
Revival Social Club is open for dinner every day from 5-10 pm ( 11 pm on Friday and Saturday ). Brunch is served weekends 8 am until 3 pm; 11 am lunch weekdays; and Happy Hour takes place Monday through Friday, 4-6 pm.