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UPTOWN CHICAGO COMMISSION

Uptown in the News  

September 12, 2003
Chicago READER
On Tap at the Hopleaf: A Belgian Style Menu
By Ulysses Smith


The Hopleaf, an Andersonville beer bar, has added a Belgian-style ldiinner menu. Michael Roper, proprietoor and barman is hoping to fill a niche in the higher quality late-night diing market. The kitchen is serving until 12:30 am Fridays and Saturdays and until 11pm the rest of the week.

Hopleaf's dinner service started in July. Roper hired chef Monica Riley to create a seasonally changing menu using fresh regional ingredients. The one constant will be the mussels. Steamed in a French abbey ale with thyme and shallots and served with a cone of pommes frites, they're plump and come in heaping portions (the bowl for one is $10; the bowl for two, which Roper says could feed four, is $19). Among the other standouts on the menu are a delicious open-faced sandwich of house-cured salmon on raisin-filled pumpernickel that comes with a salad of fennel, frisee, and capers; a smoked duck breast sandwich served with tomato-ginger jam; and an entree of braised rabbit with grilled new potatoes that comes with a bread salad with currants. For dessert there is a cheese plate. fried mozzarella sticks. The Sysco Systems truck doesn't pull up here," he says, referring to the foodservice company that provides most Chicago restaurants with their wares. Instead, Roper hired chef Monica Riley to create a seasonally changing menu using fresh regional ingredients. The one constant will be the mussels. Steamed in a French abbey ale with thyme and shallots and service with a cone of pommes frites, they're plump and come in heaping portions (the bowl for one is $10; the bowl for two, which Roper says could feed four, is $19.) Among the other standouts on the menu are a delicious open-faced sandwich of house-cured salmon on raisin-filled pumpernickel that comes with a salad of fennel, frisee, and capers; a smoked duck breast sandwich served with tomato-ginger jam; and an entrée of braised rabbit with grilled new potatoes that comes with a bread salad with currants. For dessert there's a cheese plate.

The Hopleaf is at 5148 N. Clark; 773-334-9851.


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