Classic Tables: West Town Tavern

The epitome of a great neighborhood restaurant

You won't find trendy offal or avant-garde culinary techniques on the corner of Chicago Avenue and Throop Street.

What you will find are legions of diners swearing allegiance to West Town Tavern's enduring combination of a warmly lit room, an eclectic and affordable wine list, and a menu of simple, seasonal comfort food.

Since West Town opened in 2002 and for the decade before that at the shuttered Zinfandel, Susan and Drew Goss have been consistent supporters of local farms and creators of smart American cuisine.

Drew spearheads the wine list, ripe with affordable, eclectic gems. Susan helms the kitchen, and a recent visit found her toasting barley for a pilaf topped with crisp-skinned whitefish and garlicky roast broccoli.

Pear-apple sauce and a crisp cake of shredded parsnips and potatoes accompanied duck confit ($21), a menu staple. Fried slivers of Meyer lemon brightened a change-of-season salad of frisée, avocado and Marcona almonds.

The two recently published a cookbook documenting the restaurant's representative dishes, including the popular Monday-night special of fried chicken, greens and mushroom gravy. Each plate comes with airy, skillet-baked buttermilk biscuits, a recipe from Susan's great-grandmother–and now, for you (click here to download the recipe).

West Town Tavern, 1329 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-666-6175 or westtowntavern.com