If you’ve dined at some of the other hot spots in Brendan Sodikoff’s Chicago restaurant empire, it’s likely that you’ll find a few items on the menu at Dillman’s that look slightly familiar. The cheeseburger and the matzo ball soup from Au Cheval, the baked goat cheese and chocolate pie from Bavette’s, or those creamy, delicious mashed potatoes with chicken jus from Gilt Bar are just a few of my favorite dishes that you’ll also find on Dillman’s menu. Don’t get me wrong…this deli-style American Brasserie does have several unique menu items of it’s own, and a very attractive interior to boot.
Mike and I stopped into Dillman’s for dinner on a Friday night. I made a reservation just a few days ahead of time so unlike Bavette’s, it’s not a night out that requires 2 months advance planning. This River North establishment is one part high-end deli, one part bar, and one part library-complete with red leather-lined booths and dimly lit chandeliers that add to it’s dark, sexy ambiance.
We started with cocktails, as we usually do, and also threw in an order of the Potato Pancakes. These crispy potato bird nests didn’t quite live up to the standards that my Lithuanian grandmother’s potato pancakes have set for me, but that didn’t stop me from slathering them in sour cream and applesauce and finishing every last bite!
The service here wasn’t the best but we managed to flag our server over and place an order for the Truffle Mac & Cheese and the Chicken Pot Pie served with my favorite mashed potatoes. The Mac & Cheese was delicious-definitely no stinginess with truffles here. The pot pie was the perfect definition of comfort food with it’s flaky, buttery crust and the thick and hearty filling. We finished off the meal with a slice of their chocolate pie that is To. Die. For. Seriously-hands down my favorite dessert, ever.
Word on the street is that Dillman’s will soon be downsizing, turning half of the space here into a boutique Italian eatery. It will be interesting to see how this new concept unfolds, and if Dillman’s will actually stick around for the long haul…
Dillman’s is located at 354 W. Hubbard St. in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.