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First Bites: Goose Island Clybourn

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Apr 6, 2009 4:20PM

Since Goose Island renewed the lease on its Clybourn brewpub in December, there's been a sense of excitement around the premises. While the emphasis on the brewing has changed from hoppy to sour, the food menu at Goose Island is undergoing an even more radical transformation under the guidance of new Executive Chef John Manion (ex-Mas and Old Oak Tap). Manion is slowly updating the menu to bring it on a par with the Bristol, the Gage and Duchamp.

Manion's been buying whole pigs from Swan Creek farms (which is also one of two proud recipients of the brewpub's spent brewers grain for pig feed). Manion's also been bringing in a lot of duck, which is a major ingredient in the brewpub's new charcuterie plate. the duck prosciutto is a bit too salty for our liking, but Manion strikes the right note with the duck pancetta (first photo). The pork sliders, served with pickled cabbage and sriracha aioli, were another winner. The new menu's centerpiece is a $16 monster burger made from grass-fed Tallgrass beef, topped with duck "ham", pork rillettes and a fried egg which rivals any sick creation Kuma's has recently conceived. The lackluster rillettes really hold this burger back from its full potential.

The new menu is still a work in progress. Expect more changes in the upcoming months.