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Old Town Social
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  • Post #61 - September 19th, 2011, 2:13 pm
    Post #61 - September 19th, 2011, 2:13 pm Post #61 - September 19th, 2011, 2:13 pm
    Yeah, I really need to get back there some night during the week. First time going there on a Saturday night a couple months ago was pandemonium. Felt like I was in college again.
  • Post #62 - September 19th, 2011, 2:55 pm
    Post #62 - September 19th, 2011, 2:55 pm Post #62 - September 19th, 2011, 2:55 pm
    And if you want to do a little good with your dinner, they are doing an ongoing promotion to help Trio Animal Foundation (an organization I volunteer for). I think they donate a couple of bucks off each check if you mention TAF (money goes to pay for medical care for homeless animals in open access shelters). Mod's--if it's not ok to mention this on here, feel free to remove and my apologies :P
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #63 - September 19th, 2011, 3:50 pm
    Post #63 - September 19th, 2011, 3:50 pm Post #63 - September 19th, 2011, 3:50 pm
    TCK wrote:Yeah, I really need to get back there some night during the week. First time going there on a Saturday night a couple months ago was pandemonium. Felt like I was in college again.


    I didn't like it much last year when we ate there, but this summer it's been my go-to for al fresco (bonus it's about 2 blocks away from my home) and I'm very, very sad that al fresco will soon end. The food has been fresh and wonderful. The pickled turnips were fantastic.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #64 - September 19th, 2011, 3:55 pm
    Post #64 - September 19th, 2011, 3:55 pm Post #64 - September 19th, 2011, 3:55 pm
    TCK wrote:Yeah, I really need to get back there some night during the week. First time going there on a Saturday night a couple months ago was pandemonium. Felt like I was in college again.

    Agreed. I went there Friday night with a group that was specifically in search of said pandemonium. While I didn't get to sample any charcuterie, we were served generous helpings of Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj.
  • Post #65 - September 20th, 2011, 2:25 pm
    Post #65 - September 20th, 2011, 2:25 pm Post #65 - September 20th, 2011, 2:25 pm
    One of the best things I ate all summer was a fritto misto (shrimp, baby octopus, summer vegetables) back in late July or early August, I believe. I am not too much for the scene there (although agree that the best times to go are on weekdays), but have always thought that the food there is way better than it needs to be (considering that, judging by the clientele and scene on many nights, people are probably not going there first and foremost for the food). They also have/had Black Dog gelato for dessert -- usually as part of a dessert (Klug cherry crumble with Makers Mark gelato last I was there), but also as scoops or a trio sampler (may be off menu, so ask).

    Apparently they are opening a sister location at some point in the old Marche space on Randolph. (On edit: It is called Nellcôte, scheduled to open in November, and is previewed here, as I just saw in one of ronnie_suburban's Chicago Food-Media Digests.)
  • Post #66 - February 26th, 2012, 10:46 pm
    Post #66 - February 26th, 2012, 10:46 pm Post #66 - February 26th, 2012, 10:46 pm
    Stopped by today for some drinks and charcuterie, house pickled veg and crispy chick peas. Had coppa, chorizo, lamb salame, mortadella, and finocchiona. The chorizo wasn't my thing but the others were good to great. The stars for me were the mortadella and finocchiona. The finocchiona was some of the best I've had. Nice fennel aroma with just the right amount of funk and a texture that was a bit coarse and pulled apart nicely. Good stuff.

    Jeff
  • Post #67 - September 10th, 2013, 9:31 pm
    Post #67 - September 10th, 2013, 9:31 pm Post #67 - September 10th, 2013, 9:31 pm
    Went there this weekend and had a salad and a lemonade. The bill came to $9.60. I gave them a $20 and got $10 back. After asking about the remaining .40 I was told they "didn't do change" and if I wanted to, I could take the .40 out of the tip. Weird, huh?
  • Post #68 - September 10th, 2013, 10:17 pm
    Post #68 - September 10th, 2013, 10:17 pm Post #68 - September 10th, 2013, 10:17 pm
    cleanplateclub wrote:Went there this weekend and had a salad and a lemonade. The bill came to $9.60. I gave them a $20 and got $10 back. After asking about the remaining .40 I was told they "didn't do change" and if I wanted to, I could take the .40 out of the tip. Weird, huh?



    "What tip?"
    Last edited by Roger Ramjet on September 11th, 2013, 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    fine words butter no parsnips
  • Post #69 - September 10th, 2013, 10:49 pm
    Post #69 - September 10th, 2013, 10:49 pm Post #69 - September 10th, 2013, 10:49 pm
    cleanplateclub wrote:Went there this weekend and had a salad and a lemonade. The bill came to $9.60. I gave them a $20 and got $10 back. After asking about the remaining .40 I was told they "didn't do change" and if I wanted to, I could take the .40 out of the tip. Weird, huh?

    It is weird, and angrifying, but I want to know a little more about whom to be angry at so that I can properly channel my rage. Was the person who said they "didn't do change" the waiter? The manager? The proprietor?
  • Post #70 - September 10th, 2013, 11:15 pm
    Post #70 - September 10th, 2013, 11:15 pm Post #70 - September 10th, 2013, 11:15 pm
    It was Bashar al-Assad.
  • Post #71 - September 11th, 2013, 9:03 am
    Post #71 - September 11th, 2013, 9:03 am Post #71 - September 11th, 2013, 9:03 am
    It was my waitress; it was kind of quiet and she rang up the bill. No manager or hostess involved.
  • Post #72 - September 11th, 2013, 1:46 pm
    Post #72 - September 11th, 2013, 1:46 pm Post #72 - September 11th, 2013, 1:46 pm
    If they don't do change, then they should only have menu items with prices--including tax--that are in $1 increments.
  • Post #73 - September 11th, 2013, 2:42 pm
    Post #73 - September 11th, 2013, 2:42 pm Post #73 - September 11th, 2013, 2:42 pm
    Maybe they're following the lead of the guys in Office Space...
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #74 - April 4th, 2014, 9:01 am
    Post #74 - April 4th, 2014, 9:01 am Post #74 - April 4th, 2014, 9:01 am
    Any recent experiences at Old Town Social?
    -Mary
  • Post #75 - April 4th, 2014, 9:52 am
    Post #75 - April 4th, 2014, 9:52 am Post #75 - April 4th, 2014, 9:52 am
    I was there in late December. We went early in the evening as we usually do to avoid the obnoxious crowds. I pretty much always order charcuterie and some salads at OTS. Both were as excellent as always. Their pate is still my favorite in the city. Service was lovely. We paid by credit card so I can't speak to anything involving the change issue. I also ordered charcuterie from them for my birthday party in late December. It was stellar and nicely arranged and quickly devoured by my guests.
  • Post #76 - April 4th, 2014, 10:03 am
    Post #76 - April 4th, 2014, 10:03 am Post #76 - April 4th, 2014, 10:03 am
    Thanks! That's exactly what I needed. We're an early to arrive, early to leave group.
    -Mary
  • Post #77 - April 8th, 2014, 11:46 am
    Post #77 - April 8th, 2014, 11:46 am Post #77 - April 8th, 2014, 11:46 am
    I really enjoy the food at Old Town Social, but have had mediocre to terrible service the last several visits. We took my in-laws a few months ago and the service was so poor, we joked that we must be on a hidden camera television show.
  • Post #78 - April 8th, 2014, 2:41 pm
    Post #78 - April 8th, 2014, 2:41 pm Post #78 - April 8th, 2014, 2:41 pm
    Had brunch there a few weeks ago. The burgers were decent (mine was overcooked), but the bloody marys were outstanding. The skewer goodies on top were almost a small appetizer unto themselves.
  • Post #79 - April 8th, 2014, 3:07 pm
    Post #79 - April 8th, 2014, 3:07 pm Post #79 - April 8th, 2014, 3:07 pm
    We made it there last Friday. No problem getting a table for four upon our arrival at 5:45. We were advised that they were fully booked later so we would need to finish with our table by 8:00. That ended up not being an issue as we stayed until 9 with no problem. We shared an assortment of cheese and charcuterie that was all outstanding. (I didn't do the ordering so I don't remember any details.) We also shared the fried cheese curd appetizer from the specials menu. Those were some of the best fried curds I've had. I had the Writer's Vice cocktail (hendricks, st. germain, cucumber-mint-basil syrup & lavender), which was good enough to have two. We had no problems with service.
    -Mary
  • Post #80 - February 19th, 2018, 10:42 am
    Post #80 - February 19th, 2018, 10:42 am Post #80 - February 19th, 2018, 10:42 am
    Sorry if I'm completely out of the loop on this, but did Jared Van Camp leave Old Town Social?

    We went there last night after a movie at Arclight, on the idea of getting a couple of drinks and some charcuterie. The menu was basic bar food with no sight of charcuterie. So we ordered a couple of appetizers instead, including "flatbread". What came out qualified as school cafeteria food (from the '70s and '80s); simply embarrassing for any kitchen to put out. In general, bar food is pretty good these days in Chicago, but this was far below the average.

    I couldn't find any online mention of JVC leaving afterwards; but at the same time, I couldn't find any articles on Old Town Social that weren't at least 4-5 years old, (like this thread).
  • Post #81 - February 19th, 2018, 12:36 pm
    Post #81 - February 19th, 2018, 12:36 pm Post #81 - February 19th, 2018, 12:36 pm
    Looking at the menu online, I don't see charcuterie on the brunch, dinner nor late night menus anymore.
  • Post #82 - February 19th, 2018, 12:43 pm
    Post #82 - February 19th, 2018, 12:43 pm Post #82 - February 19th, 2018, 12:43 pm
    Chicago Hokie wrote:Sorry if I'm completely out of the loop on this, but did Jared Van Camp leave Old Town Social?

    We went there last night after a movie at Arclight, on the idea of getting a couple of drinks and some charcuterie. The menu was basic bar food with no sight of charcuterie. So we ordered a couple of appetizers instead, including "flatbread". What came out qualified as school cafeteria food (from the '70s and '80s); simply embarrassing for any kitchen to put out. In general, bar food is pretty good these days in Chicago, but this was far below the average.

    I couldn't find any online mention of JVC leaving afterwards; but at the same time, I couldn't find any articles on Old Town Social that weren't at least 4-5 years old, (like this thread).


    I believe Van Camp is the executive chef/owner of the parent company (Element Collective), but I think his time is spent more on developing/launching new restaurants than it is on the day to day operations of their established ones. We used to go there pretty regularly but haven't been in a while, I looked up their menu a few weeks ago and was surprised to see no charcuterie being offered since that was their big draw back in the early days.
    Cookingblahg.blogspot.com
  • Post #83 - February 19th, 2018, 1:14 pm
    Post #83 - February 19th, 2018, 1:14 pm Post #83 - February 19th, 2018, 1:14 pm
    The only redeeming part of the visit (besides making fun of the place afterwards) was sitting next to the fire on the old-school couch with no one else in the room.

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