Trencherman (noun): 1. a hearty eater 2. a person who enjoys food 3. a person who is devoted to eating and drinking in excess
Did you know what a trencherman was? Neither did I. But now I do, and I’m pretty sure I’m a trencher(wo)man. What I’m also pretty sure of is that Trenchermen restaurant in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood is a trencherman’s dream come true!
Brothers, chefs, and owners Michael and Patrick Sheerin along with their partners Kevin Heisner and Matt Eisler have turned an old Turkish bath house on W. North Avenue into a cool, unassuming bar and restaurant with food and drink that is sophisticated yet perfect for the trencherman in us all. Original bath tiles line the walls of the bar room while exposed brick, beams, beautiful light fixtures, and wood dominate the main dining area, creating a truly unique space.
I stopped in for brunch on a Sunday with a couple of my girlfriends and we did our best to try as many of the mouth-watering dishes that our bellies could handle. Of course we started with drinks, sampling their Bloody Mary and a new brunch cocktail they were working to perfect, the Beermosa. Both were great; the bloody had a nice kick and was served with tasty garnishes (the 2 key elements I look for in a bloody mary) and the beermosa was a refreshing Allagash taken to the next level.
Right off the bat we ordered the Pretzel Cinnamon Roll…because who wouldn’t order a Pretzel Cinnamon Roll?! It was the perfect balance of sweet and salty rolled into a warm, flaky circle of goodness.
Next we went with one of the sweet dishes on the menu, the Sourdough Banana Bread French Toast. Come. To. Mama. This was outstanding. Sliced banana bread with a bruleed top, caramel spread, crunchy pieces of something delicious, and coffee ice cream? Per-fection. One of my friends doesn’t even like banana bread and she loved this dish.
Next up were our savory plates-the Potato Basket, Butter Basted Beef Burger, and Croque Madame. We each had our favorites, mine was the Potato Basket with the runny soft-poached egg, sausage, crispy basket, and creamy potato puree. The burger was cooked perfectly and served with a side of what I *think* were their pickle tots, which were delish. The Croque Madame was another favorite of the group- mortadella and gouda piled between thick slices of toast, smothered with chorizo veloute, and topped with a perfectly fried egg. Nom. Nom. Nom. Everything was so delicious, at this point we were happily stuffed and ready to be rolled on out of there!
I’m sure you can tell from my raves above that our brunch experience at Trenchermen was great, but that should really come as no surprise when you look at the resumes of the 4 very successful guys running the show. Michael Sheerin has worked at Everest, Wylie Dufresne’s wd-50, and Blackbird, and works as a consulting chef for Three Floyd’s Brewpub. His brother Patrick has worked at NAHA, Everest, and most recently The Signature Room at the 95th. Kevin Heisner and Matt Eisler have Bar DeVille, Bangers & Lace, and The Anthem under their belts-along with a long list of other notable accomplishments. Quite the force to be reckoned with. I know I’ll be back to see what else they have in store!