“To think like a wise man, but to express oneself like the common people.
Lady Gregory’s motto (taken from Aristotle)
There’s some interesting history behind Andersonville’s Lady Gregory’s Irish Restaurant and Bar, an upscale farm-to-table bar, with a large beer and whiskey menu, served in a ‘traditional’ Irish pub.
According to an archived Chicago Reader story, the restaurant endured a fire three weeks before its opening in 2011, and undaunted, owner Martin Cournane rebuilt the space, proving himself every bit as resilient as the Galway-born Lady Gregory, an author and co-founder of the Irish Literary Theatre and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Cournane pays tribute on the restaurant’s cozy, bookshelf-lined walls laden with books.
Cournane described the menu to The Reader as “approachable gastrofare.” Well, that’s true. The American-Irish menu is heavy on traditional gastropub offerings as burgers, mac and cheese, and sandwiches, but pays homage to its Irish roots with entrees like Shepherd’s Pie, made with angus sirloin, carrots, potatoes, peas, herbs, beef gravy, and mashed potato, with a parmesan cheese crust. Other hearty offerings include a Chicken Pot Pie with roast chicken, onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, peas, chicken cream gravy, tucked in a pastry crust.
All can be washed down with a selection of 200 Irish whiskeys.
Lady Gregory’s vegetarian and gluten-free patrons also have many delectable selections. Curried Veggie Pot Pie pairs cauliflower with mushroom, red potato, broccoli, squash and tomato. Or, try the Buddha Bowl, long grain brown rice with broccoli, baby bok choy, red peppers, kale, edamame, bean sprouts, and peanut glaze.
Their separate gluten-free menu offers Fish and Chips, with crisp fresh haddock, and tartar sauce, served with gluten-free chips and slaw, and a Grilled Scottish Salmon, with a lemon beurre blanc, and served with asparagus and mashed potatoes.
Sandwiches and burgers, served with fries, includes a Blackened Chicken Club, with Swiss cheese, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion, and herb mayonnaise on Tuscan bread.Their Ultimate Grilled Cheese (with bacon) pairs four cheeses –swiss, sharp white cheddar, mozzarella, and brie, with roasted tomato concasse, crispy fried onions, candied bacon confetti, served on parmesan-crusted sourdough bread. Lady Gregory’s Impossa Burger isall-natural all-veggie, vegan bun, lettuce, tomato, onion, daiya cheddar, and their special “impossa” sauce. Their Hatch Kick-Ass Burger hasAmerican cheese, hatch green chile, grilled onions, and Marie Rose sauce.
Google reviews are generally good, with a 4.5 rating. As one wrote, “The vibe and the foods were good. The grilled cheese was fantastic, with the perfect crisp from the bacon, some sweetness from the jam and abundant cheese over the whole thing. Shepherds pie is delicious too with the melted cheese over smash potatoes. Skillet cookie and ice cream was the highlight for this meal as the cookie is just so good. However, they require a 2.9% transaction fee if you’re using a card, so consider paying with cash.”
Lady Gregory’s Irish Bar & Restaurant is located at 5260 N. Clark Street. They are open Monday-Wednesday from noon– 10:30pm, Thursday from noon– 11pm, Friday and Saturday from noon-11:30pm, and Sunday from 11am– 10:30pm. For reservations, click here.
Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago