Despite what the calendar suggests, ‘summer' continues at West Town's Beatnik

Bonhomme Hospitality: Beatnik Bonhomme Hospitality: Beatnik | October 23, 2020

Bonhomme Hospitality’s Beatnik West Town has always offered guests an exotic escape with progressive, globetrotting food and cocktails in an interior informed by the colorful opulence of Moorish architecture and the tropical lushness of Bali. Adding to that getaway experience, music plays an integral role in the experience Beatnik wishes to create with DJs from different backgrounds and continents playing beats during all hours of service to take guests on a musical journey that visits every corner of the globe.

2020_02_20_Porto_pt2_5658.jpgThe Morocco-meets-Bali vibe of Beatnik West Town’s expansive indoor garden and courtyard is further heightened with a retractable roof and fully opening floor-to-ceiling façade.

But just because summer has ended (sigh) that doesn’t mean the feel-good sunshine vibes have to go away too. Or at least that’s the case inside Beatnik’s courtyard oasis. Here, an endless, sunny summer is possible no matter the temperature outside thanks to the pioneering combination of Chicago's largest restaurant botanical garden paired with a massive retractable roof and fully opening floor-to-ceiling façade.

2020_02_20_Porto_pt2_5975.jpgSautéed Galician octopus is paired with hummus, fennel fronds, pickled carrots and Vadouvan curry, a blend of fried shallots, turmeric, cumin, cardamom and ginger.

To complement the alluring ambiance, Executive Chef Marcos Campos does away with borders and instead plays with flavors and ingredients from all over the world, including Asia, the Middle East, South America, and beyond for Beatnik's dinner and brunch menus. This nomadic mindset parallels the personal journey of Campos, who began his culinary career at his father’s butcher shop in Valencia, Spain, before moving on to work at Michelin-starred Las Rejas in Cuenca. In 2013, he moved to the United States to work at Bonhomme Hospitality’s Black Bull, now Mama Delia, and later developed and led the group’s kitchens at Porto, Beatnik, and Beatnik On the River.

Beatnik_El_Guapo.pngThe beautiful pink-hued El Guapa is a tequila-based cocktail that includes a fresno pepper- and mint-infused agave, guava, lime, grapefruit bitters and tajin.

The seasonally changing menu of small plates and large-format dishes are designed to be mixed and matched, creating an international dinner party in the process. From the Spreads section, Octopus & Hummus incorporates vadouvan, an aromatic French curry, into the hummus mix with fennel and pickled carrots. Moroccan Pastilla, a beautiful savory pastry filled with guinea fowl, confit dates, roasted Persian pistachios, and notes of cinnamon and saffron, deliciously travels to the Middle East. And from The Feast section, Lebanese-style Roasted Lamb features an array of sides, including hummus, pickled seasonal vegetables, aromatic herb salad, pistachio tzatziki, Persian cucumber salad and naan. For desserts, Executive Pastry Chef Shannah Primiano channels intriguing ingredient pairings while adopting contemporary techniques. “I always hint back to nostalgia in my desserts to create something people can relate to,” says Primiano. “Then I like to throw in something people wouldn’t expect, so they can view a classic dessert or flavor with a whole new vision.”

Handmade pork dumplings paired with an umami-rich housemade XO sauce, date hoisin and Tonkotsu broth.

Like the food, cocktails change seasonally and tap into the exotic with flavors ranging from mole bitters and sambal olek to turmeric syrup. Led by Beverage Director Jesse Filkins, drinks at Beatnik are inventive and colorful, often finding inspiration in ingredients from the kitchen, creating a harmonious relationship between what’s being served on the plates and in the glasses. Exotic garnishes follow a no-waste sensibility utilizing ingredients found in the cocktails they adorn. At brunch, the party vibe is heightened with large-format cocktails. Beatnik also offers more than 100 wines from “of the moment” regions, winemakers and varietals, in addition to beers from Illinois and imports from Belgium, Spain, Italy and Mexico. A curated selection of ingredient-focused no-proof drinks are also available.

Winter? Bring it on.

Beatnik West Town
, 1604 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, 312.929.4945

Photography by: Bonhomme Hospitality: Beatnik