“We’re calling it a Spanish brasserie,” says Sari Zernich Worsham of the about-to-open Bar Biscay (1450 W. Chicago Ave.). The restaurant, from much of the same team behind the acclaimed mfk., is going to bring the flavors of Europe’s Atlantic coast, as well as late night snacks, to West Town in a few weeks.
Instead of the Mediterranean, which gets plenty of culinary attention, Zernich Worsham, husband Scott Worsham, and chef Wilson Bauer (formerly of Schwa, Longman & Eagle, and Elizabeth) want to focus on the coastal foods of Galicia (think tons of seafood and great stews), Basque country, and Brittany, with all the cheese and wine you can imagine.
One menu highlight: a tête de porcelet (yup, a pig’s head), from a milk-fed suckling pig, which is brined for 24 hours before being roasted and served with pickled eggs, pickles, shishito peppers, mustard, and roasted garlic. In addition to that slightly intimidating dish, Bar Biscay will offer a range of brasserie favorites like roast chicken ballotine with potato puree and mushroom demiglace, steak frites topped with Spanish blue cheese butter, and whole roasted fish with bright salsa verde.
In addition to a full dinner menu, Bar Biscay will offer a happy hour and late night menu featuring pinxtos, the Spanish bar bites that, for some reason, haven’t yet found a solid foothold in Chicago. Think bites of brandade, or octopus and potatoes with aioli and smoked paprika, served alongside a curated wine selection and Spanish vermouth on draft. “We’ve got a good location between the West Loop and Bucktown, so it’s a place where people who work late can come by and grab a drink,” Scott Worsham says.