There’s an upscale sports bar located in the heart of River North called Theory, which I’ve been frequenting for years now, but only for drinks. A recent meeting with owner Joel Sorinsky transpired into an invite to go in for a menu tasting, and I’ll admit that I was pleasantly intrigued. I had never really associated food with Theory, as most people probably do at a glance, judging it as a place only to party. Wrong. Theory might just be one of the best spots for a casual bite downtown and offers one of the most eclectic menus I’ve seen. There I proclaimed it.
Versatility is a word that comes to mind when describing Theory. The space can pretty much cater to whatever mood you’re in; a first date, a crazy night out, an after work event, a business meeting or a casual meet up.
Joel was sweet enough to let me bring some friends with me and treated us to a dinner we won’t forget any time soon.
I always knew that their drinks menu was extensive, but again, I only explored the well-drinks section on prior visits. This time, I actually paid attention to their cocktail list and was very impressed at the sheer creativity and collection of cocktails offered.
I went in big and ordered their Spicy Strawberry Margarita, which was served in a giant goblet and could probably serve 4-6 people. It was delicious and could instantly cool you down on any hot day, while offering a little kick from the jalapenos mixed in.
The Totchos were just gooey morsels of goodness smothered in melted cheese (homemade queso), pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream. I loved how crispy the tater tos wee despite being loaded with all the condiments. I tried not to fill up on these, but they were too irresistible.
The Brussel Sprouts offered some respite, being on the lighter side and we asked for it without the bacon. The cranberries were such a good touch giving the kale some sweetness, and also adding crunch.
An array of seafood dishes started to arrive shortly after. First to come were the shrimp nachos. A yummy mixture of pico de gallo and crispy shrimp loaded on top of warm tortilla chips. These bites were delicious!
We were also treated to three types of seafood tacos, the grilled cod, the Guinness-battered cod, and the crispy shrimp. These were phenomenal. I loved the doubled folded warm flour tortillas, and the fact that the fillings were generous and not too spicy.
Speaking of spicy however, the Buffalo Shrimp had some kick to it. Jumbo shrimp breaded and battered in a zesty buffalo sauce coating, with the biggest flavor bursts in each bite.
Desserts were both stunners. There was a giant chocolate chip cookie baked in a cast iron skillet and topped with creamy vanilla ice cream and then the Nutella Poppers. The poppers were fried dough with powdered sugar and warm Nutella oozing out in each bite. They came with a tangy-sweet raspberry dipping sauce. Fruit and chocolate combination never tasted better!
Theory was absolutely a blast. I forgot that it was a Monday night and my visit there put a smile on my face for the rest of the week. A special mention to our server Georgia who did everything to make our experience extraordinary. And an outdoor deck from where you can eat as you take in the hustle-bustle of busy Hubbard street.
Thank you Theory! Now I can’t wait to try your brunch!’
Check out the full article by The Chicago Pescetarian (AKA Pooja) here.