Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wilde: Restaurant Masquerading as Irish Pub

OK, this is not really a pub.  It clearly was made to be a restaurant.  However, the two long bars make this a good place to have a drink as well.  And the atmosphere mirrors that of an aristocratic, turn-of-the-century Irish pub.

With the hustle and bustle of Broadway surrounding it, Wilde provides a taste of serenity from the outside with its patio seating and surrounding greenery.  When you walk inside, you are transported into a different world and time.  At first, you see relatively normal tables and chairs, but as you walk further in, you are met by beautiful stained-glass skylights, booths with domed ceilings, and a raised platform sporting tables with armchairs (yes, you can eat dinner in an armchair!) surrounded by high bookshelves with leather-bound tomes.  While the dark wood paneling, low lighting, and long bars evoke the atmosphere of an Irish pub, the armchairs and books give the restaurant a taste of Victorian England and the sophistication that comes with it.

So why the unique atmosphere?  This bar/restaurant was named for the Irish writer Oscar Wilde, a member of the aristocracy who never failed to denigrate it.  The Irish pub feel reflects his origins while the aristocratic British study feel evokes his life and works.  Of course, the library is the best tribute the owners could give to Oscar Wilde, but they have supplemented it with some of his famous quotes sprinkled about the restaurant and on the menu.  By combining the pub feel with a little sophistication, this restaurant creates a truly unique atmosphere that anyone can enjoy.

As far as victuals are concerned, the tap is pretty standard for an Irish pub with lots of imports and a few Irish beers.  However, the full bar goes beyond the norm for Irish pubs by offering a large supply of wines, liquors, and liqueurs as well.  But if you come to Wilde, you really ought to have more than a drink because the food is exquisite.  Though a little pricey, it is worth the few extra dollars, and they have good specials on food and drinks everyday, especially for late night guests.  The menu is quite large and contains a decent selection of Irish food, and all of it is delectable.

Wilde is definitely worth your while.  With its unique atmosphere and great food, this place is a must for any Irish pub lover.

3130 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 244-0404

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