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    Post #1 - July 19th, 2007, 9:27 am
    Post #1 - July 19th, 2007, 9:27 am Post #1 - July 19th, 2007, 9:27 am

    Wanted to share my dining experience at HB Home Bistro this past Wednesday night. We were two for dinner. HB has a prix fixe on Wednesdays: $28 for three courses. You choose one entree and then you can select two plates from the starters/salads/desserts categories.

    HB is BOYB with no corkage fee - huge plus in my book. BYOBs are just awesome.

    HB is located just north of Roscoe and Halsted across from a 7-Eleven. It is a little narrow place with a rustic feel. HB is apparently an European bistro and the interior decor resembles a simple eatery one might expect to find across the pond. The dining room had a good vibe going and was somewhat loud but not prohibitively so...more like a festive setting.

    Our server was outstanding. Opened our bottles of wine promptly, very accomodating, very knowledgable about the menu offerings, our waters never got past half empty. Great service.

    We opted for the following offerings:

    This was served on baby greens with toasted walnuts and jam. I can't remember ever having this cheese before. The cheese was amazing. Perfectly browned with multi-faceted flavors. Great depth. Very good opening.

    A special for the day and just fabulous. Perfectly flat-grilled sausage bursting with flavor and spice offset by a wonderful interpretation of succotash which added a creamy, fresh taste and texture to the sausage. This dish was further enhanced by a glob of German mustard on the side. Really an unsual and unique dish.

    Flavorful, well-crispsed seasoned fries. Good aioli on the side. I would say just a notch below Hopleaf's very similar pommes frittes.

    The pork loin was served with a tart apple and roasted fennel risotto with a Serrano ham vinaigrette and toasted cumin seed. The GF had this plate and I must say it looked rather simple and uninspired. Unfortuantely, the taste matched the presentation. It's not that the dish tasted "bad" so to speak, it just was rather simple and less than invigorating. Something any basic chef could whip up at home in 20 minutes.

    The was a special of the day. The dish was baked immersed in cherry tomatoes, garlic cloves, tarragon and thyme. Presentation was very nice as the fish was served whole. The flavors just didn't seem to permeate the fish for some reason. Sadly, this dish was rather pedestrian. Compunding the ill-effect of this offering was the $7 upcharge to the base prix fixe for this selection. Again, not horrible or even bad but really not memorable either.

    An orgy of flavors, scintillating. The cake was smothered in a rich chocolate sauce enhancing the already intensely delectable and well-portioned finale. Very, very good.

    Unfortunately, the wonderful appetizers and dessert could not make up for two disappointing entrees. HB is one of those places that you root for. You want it to be good and you want to want to come back. But, when the most important part of the meal goes 0-for-2, it precludes any overall positive assessment for the evening. Very sad.

    Really can't remember the last time I had a meal were the atmosphere, service, appetizers and desserts were impeccable only to be slayed by underwhelming entrees.

    Two prix fixes consisting of three starters, two entrees, one dessert, one espresso with tax and tip came out to $86.

    Given the distance I live from HB I can't imagine a return anytime soon. If I lived effortlessly close, I would give HB a second chance. I would have to say that I would still guardedly recommend HB to LTH, with the caveat that you should go on Wednesday night for the relatively economical prix fixe; order entrees other than the Sea Bass and Pork Loin; and make certain they are still BYOB with no corkage fee.

    I would be very interested in future reviews of HB or notes of past experiences.

    I really wanted HB to be good, but objectivity demands I maintain a level of sketical hope.

    HB Home Bistro
    3404 N Halsted St.
    Chicago, IL 60657
    Last edited by Bster on July 20th, 2007, 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #2 - July 19th, 2007, 8:13 pm
    Post #2 - July 19th, 2007, 8:13 pm Post #2 - July 19th, 2007, 8:13 pm
    I was there about a month and a half ago, and was similarly conflicted about the place.

    We were starving when we got there, so the bread with truffle oil and black pepper-infused butter was quickly inhaled. We had the artichoke and edam fritters, which, sweet Jesus. Those were good.

    My husband had the wild boar sausage that you described, and he really liked it. The bite he gave me was just as tasty as you said. I had the steak au poivres, which they describe as a "pepper-crusted flatiron steak on a fingerling potato and brussel sprout hash, topped with caramelized onions and crumbled bleu." Here's where I feel a little conflicted. The first few bites were overwhelmingly good, no doubt about it. Subsequent bites, though, were more and more salty--it was odd, the salt level seemed to be building up as I kept eating. I'm not one to turn away a salt shaker, but this was a bit much, even for me. I don't know if maybe it had some freak reaction with the wine I was drinking, or what, but it was less than pleasant. It was a definite struggle to finish it.

    What was pleasant, however, was our dessert. As I said, it's been awhile, and I had had more than a couple glasses of wine at this point, but I seem to recall it was a banana bread pudding? I do quite clearly remember, however, that it was tasty as hell.
  • Post #3 - April 18th, 2009, 12:34 am
    Post #3 - April 18th, 2009, 12:34 am Post #3 - April 18th, 2009, 12:34 am
    I had a good experience at HB. The table ordered the mussels with truffle fries as an appetizer. The mussels were tender and the sauce was unique, anise seed was the pervasive flavor which we liked a lot. The truffle fries were better than Hop Leaf in my opinion, especially when dipped in aioli. The pretzel bread was great, and the table dipped it in mussel broth rather than the vinaigrette it came with.

    For an entree I ordered the artichoke/edam fritters and a herring dish that was cured in vinegar, served on rye crackers with a craime fraiche topping. This was the most unique dish of the meal. The fritters were OK, nothing special. One of the other diners ordered the veal osso buco which was pretty ordinary. Flavorful but not noteworthy in any way.

    For dessert we had the brown sugar cake which was delicate and rich. Overall the appetizers were quite good, though the entrees were just OK. This somewhat echos the previous reviews, though I would say the appetizers were good enough to merit the trip. And the BYOB is of course a huge plus.

    I'd say this this is the best restaurant I've been to that's near Wrigley. We'll definitely be back since we live relatively close by.
  • Post #4 - August 23rd, 2009, 12:24 pm
    Post #4 - August 23rd, 2009, 12:24 pm Post #4 - August 23rd, 2009, 12:24 pm
    My wife and I had a great evening last night at Home Bistro. It was our first, but definitely won't be the last, visit to this restaurant.

    I started with the escargot appetizer. The escargot were perfectly cooked, and the roasted tomato based broth was garlicky and satisfying.


    My wife's starter was the Red Beet salad. The sweetness of the beets and orange was countered nicely with the feta and truffle vinaigrette.


    We both had the Skirt steak main course. It's topped with a truffled sunny-side up egg and served on top of hash brown potatoes. This dish was excellent. I broke the egg yoke over the steak, which gave me a slight truffle note with every bite. The potatoes were excellent as well.


    My dessert was the home made "Ho Ho". It was a very nice dessert, chocolaty with an excellent caramel sauce and chantilly cream.


    My wife's dessert was the bread pudding, which was fabulous. It was topped with the chantilly cream and chocolate and caramel sauces. With just a hint of lemon as well, it was a killer.


    Service was very friendly and spot on. The timing of the dishes was perfect. It's a small place that's quite loud, but it's really fun. It's also BYOB, so bring some great wine and have an excellent dinner.
    John Danza
  • Post #5 - April 3rd, 2011, 8:53 am
    Post #5 - April 3rd, 2011, 8:53 am Post #5 - April 3rd, 2011, 8:53 am
    My wife and I had another great dinner at HB Home Bistro last night. The place is constantly crowded, so it surprises me that there are so few postings about it here on LTH. I'm at fault on this as well, since we go there fairly regularly and yet I don't really post about it. With the discussions lately about the qualifications to be a GNR, I'll keep posting about HB.

    Back to the dinner. They turned over a new menu for the spring/summer, introducing a number of dishes. However, we started with a couple of mainstays. I had the crispy oysters over grits with a light chili broth that gives the lightly coated fried oysters a slight spiciness. It's a great starter with either champagne or an off-dry Riesling. My wife ordered the artichoke and edam fritters with the garlic aioli, which is a starter that's better to share as they can be a bit filling.

    For dinner I ordered one of the new dishes on the menu, Wild Boar Bolognese. It's served over a house made rigatoni that is somewhat thick and chewy, which is actually the way I like pasta. The bolognese was excellent. My wife ordered her usual, the mediteranean spiced vegetable couscous. This is actually off the menu now, but I had touched base with the restaurant a few days before because we were accompanied by my sister who is a vegan, and I wanted her to be able to have the dish. The restaurant was quick to accomodate, as always.

    I started going to this restaurant because it's BYOB with great food, but I keep going because the people are so great. The owner Joncarl Lachman is always friendly and having a great time. The rest of the team is always happy to see you and the service is always excellent. If they haven't been nominated for a GNR before, I will most certainly change that next year.
    John Danza
  • Post #6 - April 12th, 2011, 2:45 pm
    Post #6 - April 12th, 2011, 2:45 pm Post #6 - April 12th, 2011, 2:45 pm
    Check Please, 4-8-11. All 3 were very impressed. Also, I'm a BIG fan of BYOB.
    Anyone eaten there? How's the food??

    Wally Wade
  • Post #7 - June 20th, 2011, 4:13 pm
    Post #7 - June 20th, 2011, 4:13 pm Post #7 - June 20th, 2011, 4:13 pm
    Ate there this past Friday and liked it. The food is all over the place in terms of theme, but everything had bold flavors, if not always perfectly in balance. I had an excellent bread and asparagas salad, followed by fried oysters over grits. The oyster dish was a nice twist on shrimp and grits, and it included a moderately spiced chili oil. My wife had sweetbreads (which had some heat, as well) followed by softshell crab. We split a strawbery rhubard crips for dessert that had lots of nuts and crumble on top, which we liked. The food was all a bit heavy, and I felt quite stuffed despite my ordering only two appetizers.

    Service was relaxed and excellent. Our meal lasted around a little over two hours which made for a nice lengthy conversation with our friends. A touch noisy for my taste, but that may mean it's too quite for the average poster here. (I'm fussy on that.)

  • Post #8 - July 27th, 2011, 4:07 am
    Post #8 - July 27th, 2011, 4:07 am Post #8 - July 27th, 2011, 4:07 am
    I just had a really nice dinner here. A friend and I shared the aforementioned artichoke and edam fritters, the mint fettuccine with duck sausage and the braised pork shank. I agree with turkob that the fritters were well-executed as a fried starter but otherwise not distinctive. However, both the pasta and shank were toothsome and left us, not interested in dessert, but in trying other entrees...if only we hadn't been so full.

    The place is on the louder side, but they get extra points for service. It was about 3/4 full on a Tuesday night, and my friend and I lingered for 3+ hours (BYO does that). FOH staff did a great job of making sure we had what we needed and also letting us be to have our conversation. Too many places don't know how to do this.

    I like HB plenty.
  • Post #9 - July 12th, 2014, 7:37 am
    Post #9 - July 12th, 2014, 7:37 am Post #9 - July 12th, 2014, 7:37 am
    Thought I'd kick this up a bit, since, really, it is one of the better alternatives in Lakeview for a mid-level non-ethnic independent chef-run restaurant. We didn't go too deeply into the menu, but the trout over chard was perfectly cooked, the special mussels entree had well-mingled flavors, and there was a good version of truffled frites. Keep it in mind if you're heading to theatre Vic (or even Wit is not a huge walk) and you want to move a little upscale from Big & Little's.
    "The fork with two prongs is in use in northern Europe. In England, they’re armed with a steel trident, a fork with three prongs. In France we have a fork with four prongs; it’s the height of civilization." Eugene Briffault (1846)
  • Post #10 - June 1st, 2019, 1:49 pm
    Post #10 - June 1st, 2019, 1:49 pm Post #10 - June 1st, 2019, 1:49 pm
    HB Home Bistro, longtime Lakeview restaurant, closing at the end of June after 14 years
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny