CHIReview

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Bronzeville Winery review image
8.0

Bronzeville Winery

$$$$

4420 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago
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If Bronzeville Winery’s energy could be harvested, this place would have enough backup power to keep its DJ spinning during a blackout. This upscale Bronzeville restaurant is buzzing with chatty couples hanging out at the bar, people celebrating birthdays, and—if you’re as lucky as we were one visit—the Bridgerton Experience cast in full costume (minus the wigs) tossing back glasses of wine. You might have just planned on coming here for dinner, but Bronzeville’s liveliness and great food will have you staying past dessert.

Bronzeville Winery review image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

The American menu is full of dishes with playful touches that don't just act as eye candy, but are essential components to each plate. Crispy brussels sprouts are tossed in a tart and spicy chili oil and vinegar, and are garnished with a rice cracker that looks like a wind-blown sheet frozen in time, but also adds some crunch. A Polly Pocket-sized garden made of fresh flowers, tiny carrots, and umami-packed mushrooms perfectly balances the buttery filet mignon. Its vegan counterpart, a glistening watermelon steak, is crowned with mache and drops of zesty romesco that complements the sweetness of the juicy fruit.

Though Bronzeville Winery is not, in fact, a winery, the thoughtfulness found in their food is also apparent in the wine list. The breadth of options makes sure that there’s a style for everyone. From dry skin contacts, to sparkling whites, to dessert varieties—we wouldn’t be surprised if they had something made with fermented space grapes. And the sommelier will gladly help you choose, whether you want something to go with your gnocchi, or just want to sip wine on the patio with your newfound actor friends.

Bronzeville Winery review image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

There are some fumbles, like under-seasoned burgers or wait times between courses that will have you adding extra time on your ParkChicago app. But Bronzeville Winery is such a blast, that the occasional missteps feel insignificant. And if the DJ hits you with a double whammy of Earth, Wind, and Fire and Stevie Wonder as you’re about to pay, you won’t need much convincing to extend your parking time, order more wine, and keep the party going.

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Food Rundown

Bronzeville Winery review image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Sweet Potato Ribbons

Even if you’ve had sweet potato chips before, eating these crispy delicious ribbons will make you feel like it's your first time. Sweet and salty, they pair nicely with the herbaceous dill creme fraiche that comes on the side. Your first serving is complementary, but you need to pay if you want more—and you will definitely be tempted to make a meal out of these.

Bronzeville Winery review image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Brussels Sprouts

Similar to the sweet potato crisps, the brussels sprouts are light, airy, and perfectly fried. They’re topped with a malt vinegar, sesame glaze, and thin red chili threads, all of which blend together for a multilayered combination of sour, sweet, nutty and spicy. It’s also served with a sheet of puffed rice paper that adds crunch.

Bronzeville Winery review image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Gnocchi

Cooked with just the right amount of squishiness, we wish the gnocchi were large enough to be used as a pillow for our next international flight. It comes with juicy scallops, shrimp, and mushrooms, all of which are bathed in a cream sauce and topped with goat cheese. Alone, the sauce and cheese combo might be too rich, but it’s balanced out by vinaigrette, chili oil, and tart sun-dried tomato.

Bronzeville Winery review image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Steak

Tender and well-seasoned, the filet mignon is great, especially when combined with the creamy grit cake that’s underneath. But even more impressive is the “edible garden” on the side, which looks like should have a mini “do not touch” sign right next to it. The mushrooms, carrots, radish, and greens making up the display are full of earthy flavors that complement the fattiness of the meat.

Bronzeville Winery review image

photo credit: Kim Kovacik

Watermelon Steak

The seared watermelon slice is juicy, a caramelized top brings out the sweetness, and the addition of vegan feta, mushrooms, and a tangy romesco throws some savoriness into the mix. If you're vegetarian this dish is a must-order, and if not, it's still delicious.

Wagyu Burger

Unlike the steak, the wagyu burger tastes like it missed the memo that it had to show up to work fully seasoned. Also underwhelming is the dense milk bun, which lacks the fluffiness you’d expect from milk bread. It comes with comté and a robust caramelized onion sauce, but neither are enough to save it. Skip this.

Vegan Burger

The vegan burger also misses the mark with the same styrofoam bun and a bland patty. Skip this one too.

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