Monday, April 29, 2013

Behind The Scenes: Rosco Bandana at Bangers & Lace

When Jeff Sciortino isn't busy taking pics of Britney Spears and Lebron James, he likes to shoot up-and-coming bands in cool locations. On Friday, he photographed Mississippi band Rosco Bandana at the Bangers & Lace bar. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cheers, Ronnie!

With today’s launch of the new Bangers & Lace spring cocktail menu, we thought this would be a pretty good time to introduce you to the man behind the curtain. South Side Chicago native Ronnie Higgins has been on board at Bangers & Lace since day one. When he wasn’t assisting with concept development, he was busy creating a spirit + cocktail program that quickly earned him a laundry list of accolades, including one of Red Eye’s Best Bartenders, Zagat’s 30 Under 30 and Refinery29’s 30 Under 30.

Is Ronnie’s face ringing a different bell for you? He also spends time behind the stick at Bar Deville, where he’s spent the past four years apprenticing under head dude Brad Bolt. But no matter the bar you’re sitting at, there aren’t many barmen’s hands we’d trust ourselves in moreso than Ronnie’s.

If that’s the case with you, too, then when it comes to suds, look to Line #14 on our beer menu, where Ronnie’s current selection can be found. You can usually count on finding a funkier beer with minimal hops (like a saison) on his line, but he’s also partial to Japanese craft beer.

Steer the conversation toward the stirred and shaken, and getting Ronnie to choose a favorite from his cocktail menu at Bangers & Lace is a little like pulling teethbut we got him to admit that he’s partial to Time + Date (Death’s Door Gin, Solerno, ginger-cardamom syrup, lemon, absinthe rinse) and How The Midwest Was Won (Very Old Barton, apple spice liqueur, maple syrup, lemon, Angostura Bitters). However, we think he might be even more partial to his take on The Martinez, which is the first barrel-aged cocktail to appear on the menu. (St. George Terroir Gin, Luxardo Maraschino, Carpano Antica, Dolin Rouge; aged in St. George barrels.)

When it comes to keeping things classic (read: simple), Ronnie’s favorites are the Bangers & Lace Chicago Dog and a pour of W.L. Weller 90 proof Kentucky Bourbon.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Perennial Artisan Ales Beer Dinner

You depend on Bangers & Lace to keep you hydrated with the finest brews available, and that’s why we’re constantly drinking as much beer as possible in order to find those that are sure to be the most impressive. We’ve been digging Perennial Artisan Ales for quite some time, and searching for a way to present you with a bunch of their beers en masse. Obviously, the best way to do this is to create a slew of pairings, which is something we do really well. So on Monday, May 20th, at 7pm, our own Chef Adam Wendt will present five killer courses concocted specifically to pair with cicerone Ria Neri’s five fave Perennial Artisan Ales. (We because live by the mantra ‘the more beer, the merrier’, we added welcome and nightcap beers to the list.)

But wait a second. You’re not familiar with this St. Louis brewery? It’s okay, we’ve got your primer right here: 
Perennial Artisan Ales has a Chicago pedigree in a major way. Owner Phil Wymore worked with Goose Island in the mid-aughts and helped shift Goose Island’s focus toward Belgian-style ales and barrel-aged beers. Wymore continued flexing his Chicago brewing resume at Half Acre before returning back to St. Louis to open Perennial Artisan Ales in 2011.

Perennial Artisan Ales does more than just dose their brews with hops. In fact, the desire to craft beer beyond the IPA had a major impact on what Wymore wanted for his own brewery. He knew that hoppy beers were everywhere, but Wymore wanted to brew beer that was closer to his own personal taste, and knew that he would be able to connect with other beer lovers with similar palates. Wymore drew on his experience at Goose Island to carefully construct balanced ales, in the same vein as Goose Island’s Matilda, Sofie, and Juliet, all of which he assisted on. Now you are fully equipt to enjoy a Perennial Artisan Ales beer dinner.

Check out the amazing menu below, and then grab your tickets ($75.00 per person and available on Brown Paper Tickets.

Welcome Beer: Aria (Belgian ale 7.3%) 

First Course: Savant Beersel (Sour/wild ale 8.3%); Bresaola, baby artichoke, black garlic 
Second Course: Saison De Lis (Saison 5%); Rabbit sausage, fava bean, muntanyola, yogurt 
Third Course: Hommel Bier (Belgian ale 5.9%); Seafood Crepinette, foie gras, pickled ramp, grapefruit gastrique 
Fourth Course: Black Walnut Dunkel (Dunkelweizen 6.6%); Quail sausage stuffed chicken wing, Brussels sprouts, bacon, quail jus 
Fifth Course: Barrel-aged Abraxas (Imperial stout 11%); Graham cracker shortbread, marshmallow gelato, ganache crumble 
Nightcap: 17 (Mint Chocolate Imperial stout 10%)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Cerveja Colorado Launch Event!

Did you know that the world’s 2nd largest Oktoberfest is celebrated in Blumenau? (Also, did you know that Blumenau is a city located in southern Brazil?) Well, now that you do, we’d say it stands to reason that Brazil is hot to trot for craft beers. So much so, that they’ve got a killer craft brewery we’ve been dying to showcase. 

All our wishes came true when we finally joined forces with Cervejaria Colorado Brewery. Though they were founded in 1995, they’re just breaking into our fair city’s market with some killer brews we can’t wait for you to try out:
  • Bertho - Brown Ale brewed with Brazilian Nuts
  • Vixnu - Double IPA brewed with light Brazilian Rapadura Sugar
  • Guanabara - Imperial Stout brewed with dark Brazilian Rapadura Sugar
So stop by on Wednesday, April 10, at 7pm, as we celebrate the Chicago launch of Brazil's Cervejaria Colorado Brewery with three featured beers. Brewer Marcelo Carneiro Da Rocha will even be on site to answer your most burning beer questions and clink a celebratory glass with you!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Hey, Theo!

Imaginary drumroll

Theo K. is your friendly neighborhood barback, assisting the Bangers & Lace crew for the past few months. He’s the newest kid on the block, so we'll be gentle with this get-to-know-you, okay?

You might recognize Theo from some of your other favorite neighborhood haunts (perhaps you have a hazy memory of him delivering a pitcher of margaritas to your table at Big Star), but he’s more than just a vision in double-vision, he’s also been a fixture on the Chicago music scene since 1999.

In fact, Theo was lured to the service industry by the flexible hours (you know, so he could play cool shows with his band Joan of Arc), but it’s an industry he’s happy to stay in. And it’s an industry he’s obviously good at, too. Heck, he worked at Lula Cafe in the early days and was part of the team that grew ‘er into the Logan Square staple she is today.

At Bangers & Lace, Theo will advise you to order a Chili Cheese Dog with Fried Cheese Curds, because it manages to be both totally decadent and supremely comfortingbut his recommendations might change the longer he sticks around.

If it’s cocktails he’s after, you’ll usually find Theo drinking a Four Roses Old Fashioned, but when he’s in the mood for suds, he’ll be eyeing Kris’s recommendations for Porters and Stouts on line #17 of our big beer menu.