On January 20, Rachel Dennis’ Tavern Collective will introduce Madison Tavern to downtown Chicago. The 250-seat restaurant and tavern will offer an elevated dining and bar option to commuters at Ogilvie Transportation Center, local professionals, and more. Madison Tavern is Tavern Collective’s second concept to open within the transportation center since November 2015.
Madison Tavern’s menu is perfect for business lunches, happy hour or dinner before heading home after a long day at the office. An array of options includes starters, burgers, sandwiches, tacos, salads, pastas, entrées, and more.
Patrons looking for a quick snack or an appetizer to start lunch or dinner will have several options including the Spicy Pot Stickers with pulled pork dumpling, kimchi and chili-lime sauce ($8); Smoked Trout Dip with toasted rye ($10); and Korean Wings with an orange-sesame glaze ($9).
The burgers and sandwich options are paired with the tavern’s delicious hand-cut French fries and include the Fried Chicken with aged cheddar, charred onion, and smoky-sweet barbeque ($10); the Black & Blue, a beef burger with peppercorn, blue cheese and charred onion ($14); and the New England Lobster Roll with cabbage slaw, tarragon aioli, garlic butter ,and a New England bun ($22).
Entrees and pasta dishes offer an elevated lunch and dinner experience with dishes such as the Whitefish Meuniere, Great Lakes whitefish with brown butter, capers, charred Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower puree ($19); the Korean Short Rib, a ginger-chili braised short rib with mashed potato and roasted baby carrot ($20); and Cacio E Pepe with bucatini pasta, pecorino, and cracked pepper ($12).
Additional standout menu items include the Long Life Quinoa salad, with fennel, dried cherry, lentil, cilantro, almond, feta cheese, and citrus vinaigrette ($7/12); Kale & Pepperoni Flatbread with caramelized onion, garlic, and mozzarella ($11); and Crispy Shrimp Tacoswith fried shrimp, avocado, napa slaw, cilantro, and crema ($16).
The bar features 12 rotating craft beers from local and regional breweries, along with 19 additional brews by the can and bottle. Signature cocktails, each $11, include The Madison, comprised of Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, Carpano Antica Vermouth, Cherry Heering, and chocolate bitters and the 10 Ride, made with Champagne, St. George Pear Brandy, lemon, and a sugar cube. A carefully selected list of wines by the glass and bottle are also available.
The large rectangular bar serves as the focal point of the restaurant and an interesting mix of industrial lightbulbs and fixtures are prevalent throughout the space. Two-top and community tables surround the bar with the restaurant’s 14 big-screen TVs visible from every seat. Wood tones, exposed brick and an eclectic mix of artwork round out the space.