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The Duck Inn - Kevin Hickey

The Duck Inn - Kevin Hickey
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  • The Duck Inn - Kevin Hickey

    Post #1 - December 8th, 2014, 7:39 pm
    Post #1 - December 8th, 2014, 7:39 pm Post #1 - December 8th, 2014, 7:39 pm
    Surprised this one hasn't come up in conversation here, but Kevin Hickey's The Duck Inn opened last Friday or so. I waltzed over with LDC for some snacks in the lounge and a few drinks. Cocktails were good, skewing a bit sweet, though I'm no expert. Food was bar snacks, elevated. I enjoyed everything we had, from drinks on down the line. Service was good for a place open less than 24 hours. Prices were a bit high for the neighborhood, but worth it--nearly everyone in there had walked over, so clearly there's some demand.

    The Duck Inn
    2701 S Eleanor (at Loomis)
    Chicago, Illinois 60608
    (312) 724-8811
    http://theduckinnchicago.com/
  • Post #2 - December 10th, 2014, 10:21 pm
    Post #2 - December 10th, 2014, 10:21 pm Post #2 - December 10th, 2014, 10:21 pm
    mtgl wrote:Surprised this one hasn't come up in conversation here, but Kevin Hickey's The Duck Inn opened last Friday or so. I waltzed over with LDC for some snacks in the lounge and a few drinks. Cocktails were good, skewing a bit sweet, though I'm no expert. Food was bar snacks, elevated. I enjoyed everything we had, from drinks on down the line. Service was good for a place open less than 24 hours. Prices were a bit high for the neighborhood, but worth it--nearly everyone in there had walked over, so clearly there's some demand.

    The Duck Inn
    2701 S Eleanor (at Loomis)
    Chicago, Illinois 60608
    (312) 724-8811
    http://theduckinnchicago.com/

    Thanks for the interesting report. I'd wager most Chicagolanders have never set foot in this northern slice of Bridgeport hidden between I-55 and the River. I'd been hoping something would replace the Gem-Bar, one of Chicago's great obscure taverns that closed a few years ago. I sure didn't expect it would turn into a place slinging $14 duck and foie gras tamales washed down with $14 cocktails (such as the Duck Out: Duck Fat Washed Park VS Cognac, Giffard Crème de Mûre, Lustao Manzanilla Sherry, Chinese 5 Spice Syrup). Gem-Bar, gone but not forgotten.

    Image

    That's actually the tiny annex of Herman's Gem-Bar (what the heck was in there?). The tavern is the brick building on the left.
  • Post #3 - December 11th, 2014, 11:03 am
    Post #3 - December 11th, 2014, 11:03 am Post #3 - December 11th, 2014, 11:03 am
    Full disclosure, Kevin is a relative. That said, we were lucky enough to have dinner there last Saturday. We didn't eat in the bar so I can't comment on any of the bar food but I did ask the guy sitting next to me how his hamburger was..he said it was great and at $12 that seemed like a good deal to me. We ate in the restaurant section which had a very "homey" feel. I had the beef brisket and foie gras. Very tender and flavorful beef, melt in your mouth foie. There will be a huge outdoor area once the weather permits that I would predict will be a wonderful stop, especially for the people who can just walk over for a beer or cocktail. Speaking of cocktails, I'm a martini or Manhattan kind of girl but I did try the "You Serious Clark" and surprisingly, it wasn't overly sweet and I'd order it again.
    P.S. Some of the guys tried the cheese curds and they were fighting for the last one so I guess they liked them!
  • Post #4 - December 15th, 2014, 8:13 am
    Post #4 - December 15th, 2014, 8:13 am Post #4 - December 15th, 2014, 8:13 am
    Enjoyed Duck Inn as a second stop after Lagunitas on Friday - some mighty fine Rittenhouse rye manhattans - $8 a pop very reasonable.

    Tried some cheese curds - well fried, but i didnt enjoy the sauces. Had ideas to try some more food in the bar area but the next stop & a Red Hot Ranch double was calling.

    thanks for the heads up on Duck Inn lth.
  • Post #5 - June 27th, 2015, 9:13 am
    Post #5 - June 27th, 2015, 9:13 am Post #5 - June 27th, 2015, 9:13 am
    Really enjoyed a dinner for four at the Duck Inn last night.
    Appetizers:
    Prawn (really shrimp) risotto was creamy, flavorful and properly al dente. Came with a fried shrimp head, as well!
    Burrata in a pea soup sauce. The burrata was more of an accompaniment that added creaminess to the sauce.
    Smoked wild salmon. A simple dish but very well done. Reminded me of smoked salmon in Alaska.
    Mains:
    Signature duck: the breast and legs are cooked separately so the breast is medium rare as it should be. Comes with some potatoes and a salad all doused in duck fat. There is also a slightly lemony reduction you pour over. Excellent all around dish.
    Short rib: extremely rich and extremely tender. The meat is "on the bone" but falls off, of course.
    Desserts:
    We had two types of ice cream and a chocolate beignet with ice cream. I didn't taste them, but there was nothing left over.
    Drinks: We all had cocktails and the size seemed generous for the price. I just has a normal martini, so I can't comment on the drinks they have created.

    Service was very friendly. While the menu is limited, I'd would have ordered anything on it. There is a tasting menu that looks very good except it doesn't include the duck, so I'd be hard pressed to go that route.

    My only criticism is that the place was too noisy for me. It's one of those joints where you have to talk in a loud voice for a party of four to carry on a conversation. I will just never understand this modern trend.
  • Post #6 - June 27th, 2015, 12:31 pm
    Post #6 - June 27th, 2015, 12:31 pm Post #6 - June 27th, 2015, 12:31 pm
    mtgl wrote:2701 S Eleanor (at Loomis)


    I wondered how one north-south-designated street (Eleanor) could possibly intersect with another north-south-designated street (Loomis), but a look at Maps reveals that indeed they do!
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #7 - June 27th, 2015, 2:41 pm
    Post #7 - June 27th, 2015, 2:41 pm Post #7 - June 27th, 2015, 2:41 pm
    riddlemay wrote:
    mtgl wrote:2701 S Eleanor (at Loomis)


    I wondered how one north-south-designated street (Eleanor) could possibly intersect with another north-south-designated street (Loomis), but a look at Maps reveals that indeed they do!


    Even more curious is how, a couple of blocks from there, it appears Throop intersects with Throop.
  • Post #8 - June 27th, 2015, 2:44 pm
    Post #8 - June 27th, 2015, 2:44 pm Post #8 - June 27th, 2015, 2:44 pm
    8)
    Jonah wrote: There is a tasting menu that looks very good except it doesn't include the duck, so I'd be hard pressed to go that route.

    "Pressed" and "duck" in the same sentence; I see what you did there! 8)
  • Post #9 - June 27th, 2015, 4:18 pm
    Post #9 - June 27th, 2015, 4:18 pm Post #9 - June 27th, 2015, 4:18 pm
    Thanks for noting my unintentional cleverness!
  • Post #10 - July 11th, 2015, 9:53 am
    Post #10 - July 11th, 2015, 9:53 am Post #10 - July 11th, 2015, 9:53 am
    The Duck Inn is my favorite Supper Club. Located in Delavan Wis. the club has been in business since it was a speakeasy during prohibition. Not sure how Kevin is able to use the name, perhaps he obtained permission.

    Wondering because it is my understanding that Duckfat in Forest Park had to change their name to Fat Duck because the name was owned by a place out east.

    http://www.duckinndelavan.com/index2.php
    Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
    Woody Allen
  • Post #11 - July 15th, 2015, 1:55 pm
    Post #11 - July 15th, 2015, 1:55 pm Post #11 - July 15th, 2015, 1:55 pm
    Jasubar wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:
    mtgl wrote:2701 S Eleanor (at Loomis)


    I wondered how one north-south-designated street (Eleanor) could possibly intersect with another north-south-designated street (Loomis), but a look at Maps reveals that indeed they do!


    Even more curious is how, a couple of blocks from there, it appears Throop intersects with Throop.

    Adding to the minor address intrigue, the footer in their emails shows an address of 2701 N. Eleanor, Chicago IL, 60608

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #12 - July 15th, 2015, 3:02 pm
    Post #12 - July 15th, 2015, 3:02 pm Post #12 - July 15th, 2015, 3:02 pm
    Marshall K wrote:The Duck Inn is my favorite Supper Club. Located in Delavan Wis. the club has been in business since it was a speakeasy during prohibition. Not sure how Kevin is able to use the name, perhaps he obtained permission.

    Wondering because it is my understanding that Duckfat in Forest Park had to change their name to Fat Duck because the name was owned by a place out east.

    http://www.duckinndelavan.com/index2.php



    There are Duck Inns in Lake Palestine, Whitefish, and Prairie du Chien, to name but a few. So most likely not a problem.



    (I am not a lawyer. The above comment should not be relied upon as legal advice.)
    fine words butter no parsnips
  • Post #13 - February 3rd, 2016, 8:43 pm
    Post #13 - February 3rd, 2016, 8:43 pm Post #13 - February 3rd, 2016, 8:43 pm
    I went to Duck Inn this past Friday and came away very impressed with the food. They advise you to order the duck for 2 the day before (or as late as early afternoon the day of your reservation). And that's just what we did. The duck was terrific, particularly the legs with crispy skin. The breast meat was beautifully cooked too, but I really loved the crispy skin on the legs. The accompanying potatoes and salad were very nice, but this was all about the duck for me.

    Also fantastic was the spot prawns with 7-year aged risotto, uni butter, eucalyptus and sea beans. The prawns and risotto were so perfectly cooked, and the flavors fantastic.

    I also managed to score a couple of tastes of the roasted mushrooms with toasted farro, porcini popcorn and mushroom chicharron and loved this dish too. The flavors were rich and terrific, and there was some nice textural contrast to the dish.

    Fried cheese curds were terrific too. For dessert, I was more impressed by the chocolate beignets with banana anglaise and peanut butter ice cream than I was by the more recommended sticky toffee pudding (which I still enjoyed).

    My lone complaints relate to service issues. First, we were seated at the worst possible table. It's next to the back patio door which features quite the draft (not great on a cold night). We looked around, and with a packed dining room, we know we stood zero chance of getting a new table. But one person in our party was cold and wore a coat throughout dinner and that sucked with your spending good money dining out on the town on a Friday. The table is also next to the server station but that really was not much of a nuisance; the cold draft was. I would recommend to anyone visiting on a cold night to specifically tell them you don't want the table by the back door. You'll be happier.

    Otherwise, service was friendly but not particularly attentive or good. We only got water when we requested, which we had to do a few times. And when we were slowing down on eating, there were a couple of pieces of duck breast on our platter and a server hastily removed the platter without asking if we were done. It was one of those moments where you see it happening, but it happens so quickly and by the time you're able to get words out of your mouth, the server is gone. Frustrating.

    I always get frustrated when a restaurant has a kitchen staff cranking out really high level food, and the service staff doesn't seem to be operating anywhere near the level of the kitchen staff. But no, I won't let us get started on tipping and the disparate wages of servers and chefs. Instead, I'll recommend that you visit Duck Inn and enjoy the terrific food, but beware of the issues I mention that could negatively impact your enjoyment.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #14 - February 4th, 2016, 10:02 am
    Post #14 - February 4th, 2016, 10:02 am Post #14 - February 4th, 2016, 10:02 am
    We were intrigued by The Duck Inn and Restaurant Week was a great way to give it a try. We managed to get a reservation Saturday night at 8:15 even though Opentable was only showing 5:00 or 9:30. It definitely pays to call.

    We tried a variety of cocktails: The Don, a Kingdom of Koryŏ and a Sloe(r) Gin(ier) Fizz. All were very tasty. A starter of the shrimp and duck lumpia was a perfect way to take the edge off our hunger. For our meal, three of us went with the Restaurant Week menu, which included a celeriac soup, a winter greens/citrus salad, choice of crispy chicken thigh or braised pork belly, and a duck egg crème brulee. My friend didn't love the pork belly, but everything else was a hit. Mr. X went with the roasted mushrooms (described above by BR) and the pasta carbonara. The pasta was cooked perfectly but the dish was overwhelmed by the smokiness of the bacon. He was very pleased with the chocolate beignet to finish. (It didn't seem as light as a beignet, but it was tasty from what I could tell with the little bite I was offered.)

    As a contrast to BR's experience, we had great service. Our server was very high energy and we never lacked for water. There was a misunderstanding on our order that was remedied quickly.

    A couple of quibbles: it was really loud in there. We were in the front room, but it didn't seem like it mattered where you were, the music was too loud. We also learned that the wines by the glass come in stemless glasses, not the beautiful stemmed glasses we saw all around us. (We all wanted different wines so opted for the by the glass.) Minor issue, but it was a surprise to us to get the stemless glasses.

    Overall, we really enjoyed our meal. I would definitely like to return and enjoy the patio.
    -Mary
  • Post #15 - February 4th, 2016, 10:17 am
    Post #15 - February 4th, 2016, 10:17 am Post #15 - February 4th, 2016, 10:17 am
    The GP wrote: We also learned that the wines by the glass come in stemless glasses, not the beautiful stemmed glasses we saw all around us. (We all wanted different wines so opted for the by the glass.) Minor issue, but it was a surprise to us to get the stemless glasses.

    Interestingly, we couldn't agree on what to drink so all four of us had wines by the glass . . . all served in stemmed glasses, and differernt ones depending upon the wine.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #16 - February 4th, 2016, 10:33 am
    Post #16 - February 4th, 2016, 10:33 am Post #16 - February 4th, 2016, 10:33 am
    BR wrote:Interestingly, we couldn't agree on what to drink so all four of us had wines by the glass . . . all served in stemmed glasses, and differernt ones depending upon the wine.

    That is interesting! I suspect then that they didn't have enough of the stemmed glasses. They were packed.
    -Mary
  • Post #17 - February 4th, 2016, 10:41 am
    Post #17 - February 4th, 2016, 10:41 am Post #17 - February 4th, 2016, 10:41 am
    The GP wrote:
    BR wrote:Interestingly, we couldn't agree on what to drink so all four of us had wines by the glass . . . all served in stemmed glasses, and differernt ones depending upon the wine.

    That is interesting! I suspect then that they didn't have enough of the stemmed glasses. They were packed.

    100% full on my visit too, including an overflow of people at the bar, but yes -- either too few stemmed glasses or they're now washing them quickly enough.
    I find the pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats. (Seinfeld)

    Twitter: brbinchicago
  • Post #18 - February 4th, 2016, 10:13 pm
    Post #18 - February 4th, 2016, 10:13 pm Post #18 - February 4th, 2016, 10:13 pm
    I had brunch at The Duck Inn on Sunday. I don't think brunch is a good way to evaluate a place for dinner, but FWIW, I thought the duck hash was just okay, but really liked the funnel cake. Service was fine. And then there's this...

    The GP wrote:A couple of quibbles: it was really loud in there. We were in the front room, but it didn't seem like it mattered where you were, the music was too loud.

    During brunch, the room was also very loud - not so much from the music, but from the people. (I was seated in the rear room, but the front room with the bar didn't seem any quieter.)
  • Post #19 - August 13th, 2016, 11:41 am
    Post #19 - August 13th, 2016, 11:41 am Post #19 - August 13th, 2016, 11:41 am
    Roger Ramjet wrote:
    Marshall K wrote:The Duck Inn is my favorite Supper Club. Located in Delavan Wis. the club has been in business since it was a speakeasy during prohibition. Not sure how Kevin is able to use the name, perhaps he obtained permission.

    Wondering because it is my understanding that Duckfat in Forest Park had to change their name to Fat Duck because the name was owned by a place out east.

    http://www.duckinndelavan.com/index2.php



    There are Duck Inns in Lake Palestine, Whitefish, and Prairie du Chien, to name but a few. So most likely not a problem.



    (I am not a lawyer. The above comment should not be relied upon as legal advice.)

    Burger Boss in Elmwood Park lost a Name trademark dispute and has changed their name to "Burger MooVment".
    Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
    Woody Allen
  • Post #20 - March 31st, 2017, 1:36 pm
    Post #20 - March 31st, 2017, 1:36 pm Post #20 - March 31st, 2017, 1:36 pm
    Kevin Hickey Exits The Duck Inn’s Kitchen To Focus On Other Rockit Projects

    http://chicago.eater.com/2017/3/30/1513 ... leaves-amk
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #21 - October 2nd, 2017, 12:15 pm
    Post #21 - October 2nd, 2017, 12:15 pm Post #21 - October 2nd, 2017, 12:15 pm
    The Duck Inn's Kevin Hickey is going solo, as the chef and owner has announced his business will run independent of its former partner, Rockit Ranch Productions.

    https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/2017100 ... n-phillips
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #22 - January 1st, 2019, 10:11 am
    Post #22 - January 1st, 2019, 10:11 am Post #22 - January 1st, 2019, 10:11 am
    The family and I went to the Duck Inn on Sunday on, on the recommendation from a friend that lives in the area. On Sunday night at 6pm this place was packed. The owner had been on the news earlier that day, promoting the Duck Inn brunch, and it seems that many didn't want to wait till the following weekend. The menu is fairly small but I liked that they had a variety of things to choose from, as well as price range. Hotdogs and hamburgers for around $10-$13--and an "secret" burger called the "Up and Over" which mimics the In and Out Double Double. We had the cheese curds (fantastic) and grilled octopus (on the advice of friend above--also amazing) to start. For dinner my daughter had the scallops and pork belly, the hubs had the Up and Over (cut in half to share with son) and son had the mushroom pasta dish. I made my own entree of 2 starters, the foie gras and brussel sprouts. Everything was amazing--but everyone was blown away by the brussel sprouts. They do have a full duck option, which many tables around us ordered. The online menu states that you need to pre-order, but the waiter told us we could order if we wanted it. Dark meat is slow roasted for 3 hrs, and breasts are cooked to order. Comes with potatoes. Our waiter told it us would be enough for 2, stretching it for 3 and if for 4 to order another entree to split or share. We were all very happy and we are looking forward to coming back to try the duck and/or the chefs tasting menu in 2019.
  • Post #23 - January 2nd, 2019, 8:35 am
    Post #23 - January 2nd, 2019, 8:35 am Post #23 - January 2nd, 2019, 8:35 am
    CM2772 wrote: I made my own entree of 2 starters, the foie gras and brussel sprouts. Everything was amazing--but everyone was blown away by the brussel sprouts.


    I had the brussies recently, and while they're certainly tasty, I found the use of both brown butter and a sort of pseudo-Caesar as the (double) sauce a bit gratuitous. Cheap trick.

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