WEST LOOP — A scenic new lunch spot with stunning views of the river housed in a newly built high-rise is open now in the West Loop.
Porter Kitchen & Deck opened earlier this week in the lower level of 150 N. Riverside Plaza, joining incoming restaurants like Small Cheval and Hannah's Bretzel in the 53-story tower.
The sleek, posh eatery from Four Corners Tavern Group offers a variety of seating, from circular booths to a long bench that can host large groups, but the best seats in the house are on its riverside patio.
With views of the Lake Street bridge and Chicago architecture along Upper Wacker Drive, diners can sip and snack during the warmer months on the 45-seat patio or on the second outdoor deck, where 75 guests can enjoy bar bites and drinks from a full-service bar.
Seating on the new Porter Kitchen & Deck patio offers scenic views of the river. [Provided/Barry Brecheisen]
"We're thrilled to introduce Porter to Chicagoans in search of an accessible, fresh restaurant in the Loop that channels the lively city atmosphere, mixed with the buzzing mood of the riverfront," said Matt Menna, co-founder of Four Corners.
The 7,000-square-foot restaurant features 1960s-style decor elements, a bookcase-inspired bar and vintage subway tiles in the 260-seat dining area.
Four Corners executive chef James Keane, the mind behind menus at restaurants like Federales, West End and Benchmark, has crafted a higher-end selection of small bites, sandwiches and signature dishes.
Topping the price list is a $28 fennel-crusted short rib served on a bed of house-cut pappardelle and pork ragout. Other signature dishes include steak frites, a crispy brick-oven roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes and a lemony salmon with charred broccoli for $19-$24.
A classic cheeseburger is served with dijonnaise on a brioche bun, while buttery lemon lobster and crab rolls are served on New England-style buns.
One of Porter Kitchen's signature dishes, the fennel-crusted short rib is served on a bed of house-cut pappardelle pasta, pork ragout and parmesan ($28). [Provided/Emily Mortier]
Lighter fare ranges from charred octopus with pickled fennel ($14), grilled pita with hummus ($14) and burrata on crostini ($16). Salads are mostly $12 and include a lemon vinaigrette gem salad with avocado, shaved Brussels sprout salad with sesame, mint and scallions and a kale salad served with pine nuts, green apple and raisins.
The standout salad is a $24 lobster cobb.
Sides are $6-$9 and include Brussels sprouts with panchetta, elotes and baby carrots served with brown butter, honey and pistachios.
Elotes are $7 at Porter Kitchen and come with spicy mayo, lime, cilantro and queso. [Provided/Emily Mortier]
A pared-down lunch menu has a few more sandwiches like a Reuben, a club and a fried chicken sandwich with honey mustard. Get an egg, chicken or tuna salad sandwich with tomato soup or a small house salad for $12.
The full-service bar specializes in martinis made to order with several varieties of vermouth and garnishes for added flair. Try a New Orleans-style sazerac, a whiskey smash or an old fashioned or one of Porter's original cocktails like the cucumber collins, Jameson-spiked kickstarter coffee or a mezcal, grapefruit and chile palenque.
All cocktails are $12, except for the $18 Manhattan, made with barrel-strength WhistlePig rye, Lustau vermouth and cherry bitters.
Wines come by the glass for $10-$20, and the bar serves 17 beers on draft, including Chicago brews from Half Acre, Goose Island, Moody Tongue and Revolution. Twenty varieties of bottled and canned beers are also available.
Porter Kitchen & Deck is open at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, with the kitchen closing at 9:30 p.m.
News of the restaurant from Four Corners and Brendan Sodikoff's Hogsalt Hospitality broke in April 2016, while the office tower was still under construction.
Developer Wolf Point unveiled plans for the high-rise in 2013 with the backing of 42nd Ward Ald. Brendan Reilly. Work on the $500 million skyscraper included the creation of a 1.5-acre public park and green space praised for its "coolness factor."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel helped break ground on the project in July 2014. It took three years to complete.