Chicago: Beer & Mussels at Hopleaf

cider

cider

Following Pops for Champagne, we headed to Hopleaf. We had heard about these great mussels from the bartender at Blackbird.

But when we got there, the dining room was already closed and the bar was very crowded. However, since there were a few of us, we were able to simultaneously order from the bar and scope out seats before last call. We decided to get both the mussels steamed in white wine and steamed in ale. You can get an order for one or two. We got both mussels for two figuring that might be enough for six people. Yowza, there were more than enough mussels and fries!

mussels

mussels for two

See that pot of mussels? I swore it had at least 40 mussels in it plus we had another pot of ’em.

They were indeed very good. Most of the table preferred the white wine based broth but I really enjoyed the white ale broth. I very bravely finished the mussels when everyone else tapped out.

frites

frites

The Belgian-style fries were crispy and came with aioli to dip. I opted to dip the fries in the broths.

Breakfast stout

Breakfast stout

 

I may have been overloaded on cocktails so I was glad to enjoy a small glass of Breakfast stout. It was more bracing than I’m used to for a stout but I liked it.

sausage

sausage plate

 

We also got a few other dishes to share including the sausage plate, Brussels sprouts and scallops.

I had a bite of the sausage which was juicy. I was under the impression it was housemade. We got the beans to go with it instead of German potato salad.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

 

You can’t go wrong with Brussels sprouts and these despite the slightly singed look were good.

 

scallops

scallops

 

After having so many great mussels, I had a higher expectation for the scallops. They were all right with celery root and apple slaw plus pumpkin puree, sage oil and rye crumbles.

I’d recommend the mussels and the funky cider we got. My friend said she liked mushroomy ciders with distinct edges of funk. The French one we got definitely fit the bill.

 

Hopleaf

5148 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640  —  (773) 334-9851

 © The Minty  2013

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