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North Side Review: Silver Cloud

By Laura Oppenheimer in Food on Jan 25, 2007 8:00PM


It is really cold in Chicago. Really, really cold. The kind of cold that makes you not want to leave your apartment, not want to go to work, not even want to go out drinking. So when it came time to go out to eat this week, all of our usual favorites just seemed too wimpy to stand up to Chicago's January weather. Sushi was too cold, tapas too small... let's not even get started on the idea of sitting through a tasting menu.

When it gets like this outside, Chicagoist turns to comfort food. We've walked past Silver Cloud numerous times, but had never gone in until last night. What sold us was the traditional comfort food featured on the menu; items like grilled cheese with tomato soup, Shepard's pie and burgers of all types. Chicagoist has discussed its love of cheese before, so we were especially intrigued by the "Anti-Resolution Killer Carb Special," which includes a grilled cheese sandwich, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese for $9.95.

Because it is still January, we decided to play nice with our arteries, so we skipped the special to focus on the permanent menu items. Chicagoist went with the Chicken Pot Pie ($9.95 with soup or salad) which is a feat to behold. As pictured above, it is covered with a puff pastry topping, making the entire dish the size of a small child. As we broke through the topping, curls of steam escaped, and we eagerly scooped up some of the filling. While delicious, we would have liked a little less cream in the filling and a little more veggies. Though there were petite green peas and a few lonely carrots, a heartier serving of vegetables would have made the thick creamy sauce a little less overwhelming. Still, when is is snowing outside and spring ain't coming for two more months, could anything else really be better?

We also tried the blackened tuna sandwich ($7.95) and the traditional turkey dinner ($12.45). The thick tuna steak was seasoned with Cajun spices, served on a squishy potato bun and covered with a slaw. The flavors blended nicely together with the slaw helping to added a little crush and a little moisture to the rest of the sandwich. At $7.95, we felt it was a great value for the amount of food served. The traditional turkey dinner was just that — served with warm gravy, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, it too was perfect comfort food for such a snowy night.

Our server was spot on, letting us know which of the specials were good (the puff pastry-wrapped asparagus) and which weren't (the soup of the day), helping us navigate the extensive menu, and doing just the right amount of joking around. It didn't hurt that he reminded Chicagoist of A.C. Slater either. The ambiance is low key, with people eating at the bar or in booths; we could see this being an excellent place to grab a dessert as well.

Silver Cloud is located at 1700 N. Damen; Open Monday - Friday, 11:30 a.m. - 2 a.m; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 12 a.m.; 773.489.6212 for reservations.

Thanks to Olivia for the photos.