AMK Kitchen Bar (1954 W. Armitage Ave.) re-opens after a two-week closing for interior enhancements and mechanical upgrades. Diners will see the return of the innovative American fare that made the restaurant a neighborhood favorite. Chef Barney Smith, the mastermind behind the original menu, has brought back his signature housemade sauces (including his famous hot sauce), and has been collaborating with acclaimed chef and AMK newcomer Phil Rubino (formerly of Dusek’s Board and Beer) to expand and enhance the restaurant’s gastropub repertoire. Rubino brings a wealth of experience and perspective to the menu, and his collaboration with Smith has yielded exciting results.
Guests will also notice new HD TVs silently broadcasting events, games and moments that matter to Chicagoans. Additionally, graffiti artist The Lie has updated his spray painterly ode to Bucktown’s former furry inhabitants along with other bits of Americana.
“We’re proud to be part of a vibrant area like Bucktown,” says owner Steven Tsonis. “We’ve learned a lot in the two years since our opening, not the least being that our love of whiskey and innovative American comfort food fit the neighborhood. We’ve brought back the substance and spirit of our original menu, and have made a few changes that we think our loyal customers will appreciate.”
New menu items include new entrees and an expanded selection of salads and shareables:
- Bookbinder Mussels (inspired by the soup that made the Drake Hotel’s Cape Cod Room famous) – E.I. mussels, roasted tomato, Alagash white broth, Pickled Chilis, Warm Baguette
- Baked Pimento Dip – Hook’s Three-year Cheddar, Roasted Red Pepper and Ritz Crackers
- Raspberry Beet Salad – Arugula, Fromage Blanc, Pistachio, six-year balsamic
- AMK Chopped Salad – Bacon, Egg, Chicken, Hook’s Three-year Cheddar, Avocado, Onion, Tomato, Black Beans, Hard Cooked Egg, Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette
- Drunken Gem Salad – Bibb lettuce, Picked Herbs, Drunken Goat Cheese (held in cabernet), Red Wine Vinaigrette
- Kale Caesar – Tuscan kale, Parmesan, Pumpernickel Crouton, Radish
- Fried Brussels – Red Cabbage, Jalapeno, Scallions, Bacon, Crispy Shallots, Bacon Vinaigrette
- Salmon Poke – Pineapple, Fresno Chili, Sesame/Ginger Vinaigrette, Crispy Wonton
- Wild Boar Meatloaf – Molasses glaze, sautéed green beans
- Fried Chicken – even better than the original! So fluffy and delicious, this dish requires no sauce – but if you’ve gotta have Chef Barney’s chili-honey sauce, just ask.
- Slow Roasted Salmon – Dijon Herb Crust, Warm crème fraiche potato salad
- Nashville Hot Chicken Biscuit – Cheddar & Scallion Biscuit, Homemade B & B pickles w/fries
- PBLT – Crispy Pork Belly, Arugula, Heirloom Tomato, Charred Onion Aioli, Toasted Sourdough
Guests will also herald the triumphant return of (slightly modified) Turducken Stuffed Meatballs, and will be pleased to see longtime favorites like Fried Cheese Curds, Fried Pickles, the AMK Classic Burger and their epic Macaroni & Cheese.
The restaurant will continue to offer more than 60 whiskeys, a full whiskey-inspired cocktail list, along with more than 30 craft beers, with a focus on local breweries. The food and drink menus will change seasonally.