For Valentine's Day, the Lovely Lady and I headed over to the wonderful British/Scottish gastropub Owen & Engine. We immediately knew our experience was going to be a great one when we noticed Felissia's jacket matched the decor.
We arrived late in the evening to avoid the Valentine's Day crowds and were seated at a cozy table without waiting. The atmosphere pulled us in - the restaurant was simple without being minimal, sophisticated, yet charming - and the music played was at a demurred volume one doesn't encounter much these days without actually finding oneself bereft of music. As we settled into our surroundings the server came by and set us up with drinks. In keeping with the British theme, Felissia ordered a Victorian, a Pimm's drink with rosewater and lemonade.
As wonderful as the wine and cocktail selection is at Owen & Engine, they are a pub at heart. Sporting a quality array of draft and bottled beers, O&E will typically have at least three cask-conditioned ales as well. In fact, for those of you who are really smart, you'll want to head down to Owen & Engine right now - they just announced today that they currently have 3 Floyd's Zombie Dust on cask. One of the best beers around right now, you won't want to miss it on cask!
The food at Owen & Engine was as superb as their drinks. In fact, try viewing their menu online and instead they provide a list of the farms and co-ops they're buying from. Starting with our favorite appetizer, Felissia and I ordered the Scotch Egg which had a nice thick breaded coating. For our entrees, we went with the Fish & Chips and an their Salted Beef Sandwich (basically a Rueben). On the side we had Bubbles and Squeak, a traditional English dish of mashed potatoes fried with a vegetable mix. Owen & Engine's consisted of some wonderful green cabbage, onions, and radishes. Our fantastic waitress rightly recommended it for breakfast when we asked to take our leftovers home. Rightly so, because the dish originates as a breakfast side of the previous night's roast's vegetables.
We did not leave until we had some of their very wonderful chocolate cake and procrastinated our eventual departure. Owen & Engine is one of those nice combinations of high caliber food without the pretention. From the matching wallpaper and menu print to the well thought out dishes offered within, Owen & Engine is simply a markedly well executed pub while still maintaining a neighborhood pub feel. So, if you're in Chicago and have a thing for beer or food, seek out Owen & Engine, and have a drink for me.