So, I got really caught up in all of the splendor of the New Year and decided to start this 30 Day Fitness Challenge with a few co-workers. No junk food, no take out food and I’m required to drink half my weight in ounces in water every day. We’re also given a different workout each day. Here is just one sample workout. By day 7 of this, I was DESPERATELY in need of my cheat day.
How to spend my cheat day? I thought long and hard about this. There were many options. But in the end, I was in the mood for a laid back spot with good bar food. I’ve heard a lot about a pub in the up and coming Bloomingdale neighborhood, and it sounded like a good fit. And if you’ve forgotten the Taste and See methodology for restaurant reviews, please refer to the former review of Ben’s Next Door.
Boundary Stone Public House was a different kind of dining experience. When I initially pulled up and parked on the street, navigation told me I’d arrived, but I had trouble spotting the place. And once I did, I wasn’t 100% sure that they were open as the lights were so low. Then the entrance was a sliding barn door. I didn’t pass judgement, though, just tried to soak it all in.
The ambiance really hits you with your first step in. It looks like a naturally drafty place, what with the partial stone, partial brick walls, but they’ve got the heat cranked to maximum capacity here with huge overhead heaters. They keep the lights rather dim, but it adds to the overall experience and probably balances the temperature so as not to compete with the heaters. Sorry- enough with interior design lesson.
The main dining area and bar were packed (even on Monday night). So my boyfriend, BKA the ultimate trooper, and I sat in a rather narrow addendum of a dining space that reminded me of a corral. It seemed like an architectural afterthought, but still, I passed no judgement. My stomach was starting to speak in tongues at this point, so I really just wanted to order food.
It didn’t take long. Our waiter was consistently prompt and enthusiastic about us being there. He was also very helpful to appease my dieter’s conundrum: splurge my calories on one of the local beers OR the delectable sounding brownies a la mode with salted caramel? We made a unanimous table decision to go with the brownies. So in terms of service, I was definitely satisfied.
How did everything taste? I ordered the Honey Hot Wings, which came with a house made blue cheese dressing. I’ve been hearing folks rave about the wings here. They were plated nicely enough, so exhibition wasn’t lacking, with just enough celery to make me believe it wasn’t the worst choice. But they were pretty average for me. The sauce was tasty, obviously a honey and hot sauce combo, but they weren’t crispy enough for my liking. That’s just my own truthful feedback. Overall, they still tasted good. Is it strange that I was more of a fan of the house made bleu cheese dressing? I’ve still got that sitting in my fridge.
My dinner companion demolished his Bacon Burger–I mean, it did have bacon on it after all–but he didn’t seem to like the barbequey/mesquite taste of the burger. Nay–this didn’t stop it from disappearing from the plate. We also had the dessert: a very tasty dish of salted caramel brownies a la mode. Only one thing put me off about this dish. Seriously, 1 scoop of ice cream??
As far as the theme, this Boundary Stone serves in true pub form. The diversity of the neighborhood was well represented here and it was obviously serving the community as the local favorite after-work hang spot, even on a Monday. It also takes the local pub up a notch by providing sustainable foods and other items, like the dinner napkins, which is always appreciated. This place gets many points for being a cornerstone to the community, but when I return (yes there will be a return visit), I will try to be more adventurous on the menu. I hope to be pleasantly surprised. And now that I know where it is I won’t have to search for the barn door.
Score: 3 out of 5