The White Oak Tavern & Inn is located on the corner of Racine and Webster in Chicago’s Lincoln Park / DePaul neighborhood. There is ample street parking on both Racine and Webster.
Do not let the name mislead you… this is not a typical Chicago corner tavern. This is a great neighborhood restaurant with a very well stocked bar. The vibe is very chic and upscale, and the restoration décor has been well done. The restaurant has a terrific bar and restaurant tables in the front and additional tables in the rear of the building where they’ve expanded. This is not a large restaurant, but it does feel comfortable and welcoming. Everything flows together nicely.
The menu is relatively small compared to other restaurants but it is unique and innovative. For example, the pickled vegetables and crispy pork appetizers are definitely unique and worth sampling.
The Chef embraces the farm-to-table concept with locally sourced and sustainable ingredients… and executes it extremely well.
The cocktails were exceptional. I tried two house cocktail recommendations by our waiter and both were very good: ‘Sloe Margarita’ made with Calle 23 reposado tequila, sloe gin, and lime; and the ‘Old Fashioned’ made with ransom whippersnapper whiskey, cherry, and orange peel. I am definitely ordering these the next time I return.
We started our meal with the Spinach Salad and the Smoked White Fish Dip. The chef makes the salad with 7 different ingredients that all complement each other perfectly. The salad was light and flavorful. The white fish dip is prepared with lemon, chives, radish, and served with herb crackers. This dip is addictive and the serving is large enough to share.
For the main meal our table sampled and shared the House Made Fettucine, Scallops, Roasted Salmon, and Crispy Half Chicken. All four dishes were absolutely delicious. It was hard for me to pick a favorite.
Make sure to leave room for dessert… their crème brulee and their cheesecake are the perfect ending to a great meal.
Our waiter was friendly, knowledgeable, always available, but not intrusive.
I would happily return for the menu, the service, and their house cocktails. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
1200 W. Webster Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
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