It's a feast of salt, heat and creaminess, which sums up drunk food just about perfectly. The handsome wood bar takes up nearly half the space, while all the tables are huddled in one corner.
Sure, you get a view of the tiny kitchen, but the energy resides up front by the booze. Even though it sports two patties made with dry-aged beef, my burger came out oddly, um, dry.
On the sweet side, the cocoa taco () is a cute waffle-cone-like crisp shaped into a taco and filled with chocolate ice cream and brownie cubes, among other sweet things, but what wowed me were the three churros (), doughnutlike circles dusted in cinnamon sugar.Given the promise shown by the other dishes, pluma iberica, a roast pork dish for two, presented well but tasted fairly pedestrian.Baby sepia was well grilled and paired nicely with a silky tomato puree and bitter greens, but the accompanying corn and squid-ink polenta lacked flavor.Kinzie St., 312-940-9900, barriochicago.com— Bill Daley Beet hummus at Beatnik kicks off the meal with sparks of citrus zest and dusky notes of clove, offset by the crunch of fried chickpeas and the salty tang of blue cheese.(Annie Grossinger / Chicago Tribune)Beatnik is a study in texture.Lunch is a creative take on Mexican dishes and flavors that pull in American and Japanese additions.Asked for his recommendations, the server immediately pointed to two starters: grilled octopus () and cornbread ().Ashland Ave.), they are a fascinating addition to the scene.They make for a fine snack on their own, but where things really get interesting is when you get the tamales loaded.They’re big — you may want to share — but are wonderfully light and airy.Served alongside are small pots of salty caramel sauce, rich chocolate and a vanilla crema.