The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

One Great Dish: Red Lion Pub's Herb Roasted Chicken

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Sep 22, 2014 3:55PM

Photo credit: Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist

Red Lion Pub was resurrected this summer after a six-year absence, and rose from the ashes transformed from the old English pub many Chicagoans knew and loved into a university-style drinking hall. The new Red Lion is a bright, airy affair lined with many important books (only a few of them bound in leather), an impressive array of whiskeys and English beers and a d├ęcor that has many customers comparing the updated pub to something out of Hogwarts.

But the most surprising aspect of the new Red Lion is the food menu—a small, simple but effective list of English staples such as Shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash and English peas. I eschewed most of those during a visit there last weekend in favor of the herbed roast chicken, a succulent serving of thigh and breast served with root vegetables and a chicken curry demi-glace.

The chicken’s skin was crispy and redolent with herbs that perfectly enveloped the tender meat inside, while the vegetables (a mix of carrots, fingerling potatoes and Brussels sprouts) provided just the right amount of resistance against the fork to my liking. The star of the dish was the demi-glace, a thick, sweet gravy that wonderfully complemented the rest of the dish’s components.

If there is a complaint about Red Lion’s food menu, it’s that it’s too small compared to the beer, spirits and wine lists. A quality English pub should have some sort of savory pie on the menu, whether it be a Yorkshire-style pie the likes of which have brought Pleasant House Bakery a dedicated following, or the Cornish hand pies expertly crafted by Bridgeport Bakery. But what Red Lion does have on their menu is a fitting foundation on which to build.

Red Lion Pub is located at 2446 N. Lincoln.