Thank you and Goodbye

This photo is licensed under a Creative Commons license ( with credit to Rob Larsen

Thank you for your patronage over the last three and a half years. It has been an extraordinary experience for us as we have worked to provide you great food and drinks while advancing the mission of locally sourced and sustainably produced food.

Today, TripAdvisor places us in the top 8% as 546th of 7,504 restaurants in Chicago as well as 40th of 290 bars with a four star rating and Certificate of Excellence. 175 of 273 Yelp reviewers have given us a four or five star rating. It’s been a great business in a great neighborhood of Chicago with many challenges.

Nevertheless, we have been faced with two years of construction traffic and street repair as well as the difficulties of remaining profitable in a high-rent district. Therefore, with deep regret, we have decided to close our doors as of Saturday, March 11. We remain totally committed to the importance of changing the food delivery channel and promoting locally sourced and sustainably produced food and we hope you will continue to patronize establishments with these same values.

Thank you again for three and a half years of appreciating our food, our mission and our talented staff. It has been a pleasure to serve you.

Instagram Contest – Second Opportunity to Win Big

Chicago Restaurant Week Instagram Contest Week Two

Week Two of the Chicago Restaurant Week Instagram Contest.

Just take photos of your meal and/or dining experience at Local Root and other participating Chicago Restaurant Week restaurants . In the caption, include the restaurant name #LocalRootChi, the dish, and any comments you’d like to share about your experience along with hashtag – #CRWContest. And follow @ChooseChicago

Just 4 more amazing prizes to win! Week 2: January 9-15.  Week 2 Prize: TWO tickets to #FirstBites16 Bash, $100 to @piccolosognorestaurant, 2 tickets to @GooseIsland’s 312 Urban Block Party, and 1 $25 Gift card.

Winner will be announced January 15 at 10am CST.

Read full rules and prize information at

Good luck!

Win Big in the Chicago Restaurant Week Instagram Contest

Chicago Restaurant Week Instagram Contest
Just take a picture, follow @ChooseChicago and use #CRW16

Prizes each week before and during Chicago Restaurant Week. Just take pictures, use #CRWContest and follow @ChooseChicago.

Do This
1. Follow @ChooseChicago (The organizer of Chicago Restaurant Week)

2. Take photos of your meal and/or dining experience at participating Chicago Restaurant Week restaurants. In the caption, include the restaurant name, the dish, and any comments you’d like to share about your experience along with hashtag – #CRWContest. (Optionally, #LocalRootChi)

Win This (January 6 – 8)
•    Two (2) pairs of tickets to the 2016 Goose Island 312 Urban Block Party
•    Two (2) $25 gift cards
•    One (1) $100 gift card to Bohemian House
•    One (1) $100 gift card to Michael Jordan Steakhouse
(for a complete list of prizes visit Choose Chicago Instagram Contest.

The Details

  • Photos must be taken during the week of each contest
  • Must be 21 years of age or older.
  • Read full rules and prize information at
  • #CRWContest will be 3 weeks leading up to Chicago Restaurant Week 2016 and 2 weeks during the event.

    Good luck!

Enjoy a Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout 2015

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand StoutWe’re always looking for exciting locally sourced spirits and craft beers to share with you. One of those that we’ve had our eyes on for, well, way too long is the Goose Island Rare Bourbon County Brand Stout. And right now we have a limited stock of this uncommon treat.

For those not familiar with the folk lore surrounding Bourbon County Brand Stout, here’s the short version. It starts with the barrels. They come from Heaven Hills Distilleries in Bardstown, Kentucky, where Bourbon was allowed to age in American white oak barrels for 30 years. While the Bourbon aged, the barrels themselves developed a distinct and complex character. Into the now empty barrels the brewmasters at Goose Island’s Fulton Street brewery poured the Bourbon County Brand Stout. The newly filled barrels were then stored at Goose Island’s Chicago Barrel House to age for two more years. The beer, a blend of imperial stouts, was then packaged in 16.9 ounce custom brown bottles.

We’ve secured a small quantity of this beer. If you like stout, this is a rare experience you must have. Enjoy it alone at our bar or with small plate appetizers like the housemade pretzels and beer cheese sauce or mussels  & Frites. Or go big with one of our main courses like the grass-fed tenderloin or horseradish crusted salmon.

Don’t miss this rare experience. You’ve been warned.

Our One-Off Prix Fixe Scotch Pairing Dinner

One of the fun things about operating an independent neighborhood restaurant is the option to deviate entirely from the menu and create a fun one-off meal. It’s our version of just cooking for friends. And when friends get together there’s usually a lot of eating and drinking.

So we put together a menu and paired it with one of our favorite brands of Scotch, Benromach. The cynical will say, “they’re paying you to push their Scotch.” But that’s not true. Our motives are purely culinary. And we’re looking forward to sharing our meal with you on Friday, December 11 at 7PM.

We’re pairing 4 types of Benromach Scotch with a prix fixe 3-course meal plus small bite appetizers for $35. We guarantee plenty of food and plenty of booze. Drink responsibly, always. But do not plan to drive when you leave this meal.

To Begin: The Small Bites

We begin with 3 small bites that include Braised Pork Belly with Mahogany Glaze, a Scotch Egg with Violet Mustard and Merquez Sausage with Pomegranate Molasses. Have we got your attention?


Your salad will be Baby Spinach with warm Garlic Vinaigrette dressing. We know you’re filling up now but leave room for the main event.


Your main course is a Braised Veal Cheek, meltingly tender with a rich, deep flavor.


We’ll wind things up with a house made Pecan Pie with Butterscotch Sauce.

Reservations Required

While you are welcome to enjoy the regular menu and order Scotch or your choice of beverage at posted prices on a space available basis, reservations for the prix fixe Scotch Pairing Dinner are required. We look forward to seeing you Friday night, December 11 at 7PM.

What About Those Windows in the Vestibule?

Vestibule & WindowsWe recently remodeled our vestibule. But the one thing that didn’t change was the uncelebrated windows that permit the miserly amount of natural daylight on McClurg Court to filter into the restaurant. They may look like some ratty old windows whose frame we forgot to paint. Here’s their story.

When you come to Local Root, our philosophy and story is all around you. When we built the restaurant, our first try at this sort of thing, we emphasized reuse, recover and recycle. Yet it is so low key that few take notice. That’s OK because we know it really is about serving you tasty locally sourced organic food and providing great service. But we thought you might like to get the deeper story.

In 1810 a farmhouse was built in nearby Elkhorn, Wisconsin, about 91 miles from here. As close as many of our restaurant food sources. The windows in our vestibule, now over 200 years old, are the originals from that house. Our understanding is that the windows were moved from the farm and became pantry windows. Chef Isaac’s grandparents-in-law, who are antique dealers, acquired the windows. And then we bought them.

Next time you come by, be sure to check out these windows and their original glass panes. And know that our commitment to authenticity, natural and organic food is as genuine as the windows in our vestibule.

Notice anything else unusual at Local Root? Send us an email and we’ll answer it in our blog.

An Ode to Moms

Well, Mother’s Day is nearly upon us and apart from the fact that you better get going with that card and/or flower order and/or thoughtful gift, I thought it would be a good time to connect what we do here at Local Root with what mom has taught us over the years.

One of the great things we have on display on our chalkboard behind the barista station says, and I paraphrase, “We believe a tomato from Mom’s garden tastes better”. Now, this is true, but if you think beyond the fact that anything planted and tended by hand is bound to be better, you get into something deeper. You get into the care aspect of things.

I don’t know a lot about gardening, but what I do know comes from my mom. Some of my fondest memories growing up are from helping mom in the garden. I remember clumsily pushing a roto-tiller probably when I was around the age of 11, trying desperately to till an even row, most likely failing miserably. And pulling carrots in the fall from the ground was such a satisfying feeling. You’d have ever so much resistance, but once you got it, there was a feeling of accomplishment. And that was before tasting them!

Truth be told, I was just happy to be helping my mom. She always has and still does put a lot of care into her gardening and works a level of magic that I can’t fully comprehend. Maybe it’s patience. Maybe it’s experience. Maybe it’s just the type of nurturing only moms know how to provide.

And that’s just gardening. I could write a whole series of essays on my mom’s baked goods! And a whole other essay about how she helped me figure out math. And a whole other one on how she worked multiple jobs to get me through college.

My point is this: Much of my love for food and my love for garden fresh vegetables comes from my mom, but though that’s very representative of why I think she’s amazing, it’s only the tip of the iceberg, or stem of the carrot, if you will. I’m lucky to have a fantastic mother who is a wonderful inspiration to me and has given me so much goodness in life: gardening-related and otherwise.

One day isn’t sufficient to express my love and appreciation, but it’s a good reminder. I’ll be at Local Root this Sunday serving our fantastic brunch menu to many fantastic moms. And I’ll be doing so with my own mom in mind. And in doing so, I’ll be thinking about those tomatoes that are so sweet they’re like candy. And I’ll be thinking about her patience. And I’ll be thinking about the care she puts into making that garden special. And I’ll be thinking about the care she’s put into my own life, for which I’ll be eternally grateful.

We hope you and your mom will join us this Sunday! We’re proud to provide you the quality of Mom’s garden in all of our thoughtfully prepared dishes. There’s a difference in food that has been cared for every step of the way: from seedling to table and all steps in between. So say thank you to mom for all of her care and support with a meal that is steeped in the very qualities that make her wonderful too!