Land & Lake Ravenswood - Chicago
Land & Lake in Ravenswood is the newest location for a restaurant group that has proven itself in Andersonville and in the Loop on Wacker Drive. Land & Lake specializes in approachable American classics using locally sourced ingredients.
What are some of those "approachable" classics of American cuisine? Well, for those who like their dinner in a bowl, there's mac n' cheese, three-bean Midwestern chili and tomato soup -- that's what we mean by approachable: foods we've all grown up with but that we never get tired of.
There's a big list of hand-helds, casual sandwiches like a burger, Buffalo grilled chicken, tried chicken, fried fish, Portobello mushroom burger and grilled cheese. Nothing overly surprising but all delicious and delivering the flavors you know and love.
The Big Plates section of the menu is especially promising, with a beautiful boneless chicken, steak, and (our favorite) a pork chop with roasted and pickled apples and whole grain mustard.
For dessert, there are few challenges but lots of deliciousness: just chocolate and carrot cake, pretty simple, prepared in the traditional way, no surprises, which is sometimes just how we like it.
Aimee Levitt in the Chicago Reader praises the little things at Land & Lake that make sure a big difference to your dining experience: "The macaroni and cheese was great. It tasted the way you remember Kraft mac ‘n’ cheese tasting, with all the chemicals edited out. When you pull out a single noodle, it’s followed by strings of melted cheese." Block Club Chicago explains that "Given the restaurant’s proximity to Chicago’s famed Malt Row, Land & Lake Ravenswood will focus on highlighting locally brewed beers and craft cocktails using locally and regionally distilled liquors." Unsurprisingly, again, there are some fine cocktails on the menu and good wines by the glass.