Our Neighborhood Restaurant Reviewers got a sneak peek of what’s likely to become a new neighborhood hot spot: Standard Market Grill. Opening TODAY at Clark & Fullerton, Standard Market Grill will be setting the ‘Standard’ for casual dining in Lincoln Park.
Standard Market Grill dubs itself as a “celebration of food” and features an eclectic menu of chef-inspired dishes that are made with fresh, seasonal ingredients locally sourced from their gourmet market located in suburban Westmont.
Their menu offers a variety of options from artisan pizzas, freshly-ground burgers, salads, and sandwiches with scratch-baked bread. They also offer lunch and dinner specials that are reasonably priced (the most expensive item on the dinner menu is steak frites at $22). Standard Market Grill also offers a full bar with a great cocktail menu, selection of local craft beers, and carefully curated wines.
The vibe and ambiance is sophisticated, yet casual. There’s a large dining room with large booths and tables, the bar has large communal high tables, or you can opt to eat outside on their patio. And, if you’re in a rush, you can take your order to go.
When you arrive, you order your food and drinks at the counter and find your own seating. During peak time during the soft opening, we were able to find a seat without any problems. You’re given a typical buzzer with a number like you’d get when waiting for a table or your order at Panera, only the tables read the buzzers so servers know where you are sitting, and when your food is ready it is brought out to you.
For our reviews, we ordered a bit of everything, starting with the hand-cut sweet potato fries. They were perfect and paired up with a honey mustard dipping sauce. We’d never had fries with honey mustard before but this was a winning combination for sure.
For our mains, we opted to try a salad, pizza, sandwich, and some of the featured dinner options.
We bent bare-fisted for the sandwich and ordered the Knuckle sandwich. Made fresh to order with Standard Market Bread, this whopper of a sandwich comes punching out of the kitchen with sweet Maine lobster and sassy freshly-made slaw on top. The sweet and savory flavors with the crunchy slaw and fresh bread make this sandwich a knockout on the menu. We consumed the sandwich before we could get a photo of it, so just take our word for it. It’s THAT good.
Chicagoans are picky about their pizza, so we were intrigued to see what Standard Market Grill would do with pizza. We ordered the Tuscan Kale Pizza because, let’s be honest, kale is so “in” right now. Hand-tossed and baked in a deck oven, this beauty features a base of garlic Alfredo sauce topped with crunchy kale, pepperoni and Caciocavera cheese. The flavor combination was out of this world but what stood out to us the most was the crust. It was crispy, not flimsy, and thin — a nice breakaway from Chicago deep dish. Well fought over who would have the last piece.
The presentation of the salmon was comparable to restaurants where you’d pay twice the price. Fish at Standard Market Grill is flown in daily and filleted by hand. The fresh Scottish salmon was seasoned lightly and grilled to perfection drizzled with a Ponzu sauce and topped with delicate shiitake mushrooms. It was served with a sizable portion of couscous and sautéed baby bok choy. The combination of flavors and textures was as satisfying to the body
The Asian BBQ porkchop was a crowd-pleaser. The hearty piece of freshly-cut pork was succulent and juicy and served with a side of soy-honey glaze. There honestly was enough of the sauce, but it’s probably a good thing because we would have drunk it. The porkchop was served with seasoned marble potatoes and braised kale. For only $15, you can’t go wrong.
We sampled a couple of the cocktails from their menu to go along with our meals. One of the favorites was the Maple Bourbon Smash. With a fully-stocked bar, Standard Market Grill is a great place to get an artisan cocktail with quality ingredients and no pretense.
At the end of our meal our server brought us individually wrapped home-made chocolate chip cookies that were fresh and hot out of the oven. If the experience and service didn’t already impress, this was the cherry on top.
For the price, quality, service, experience, and location, Standard Market Grill is a welcome addition to the neighborhood in Lincoln Park and we have no doubt it will become a neighborhood mainstay in the months to come.
At the end of the night the only question left on our mind was when an actual Standard Market would find its way to Chicago. If the Grill is any indication of what can be found in the Market, we’re ready to shop! Oh, and we can’t wait to try their brunch menu, too.
Standard Market Grill is located at 444 W Fullerton (at Clark) in Lincoln Park.
Learn more at StandardMarketGrill.com