Lincoln Whiskey Kitchen a perfect blend
BY THOMAS WITOM Dining October 31, 2012 5:34PM
The Lincoln Whiskey Kitchen, 930 N. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg serves up American Cuisine with a good dose of whiskey and bourbon. The 12-Hour Hand Pulled Pork Sandwich comes with fries, cole slaw and pickle slices. Suggested drink is the Jack Daniels Single Barrel Kentucky whiskey, exclusive to Lincoln Whiskey Kitchen, in a "rocker" glass. | Dom Najolia~Sun-Times
WHISKEY KITCHEN ★★★
930 N. Meacham Rd.,
Prices: Appetizers, $5-$10; sandwiches, $10-$14; entrees, $14.89-$25; shareable
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m.-midnight Thursday-Saturday.
Try: Buffalo chicken flatbread, barbecue ribs, bourbon ice cream sliders. Definitely sample the whiskey.
Wheels: Free parking in back.
Tips: Full bar. Reservations accepted. Takeout menu available.
In a bite: Boutique microbreweries and wineries have made an imprint on the dining-out picture. Now Lincoln Whiskey Kitchen further enhances options for food lovers to pair a meal with their favorite spirit.
KEY: ★★★★ Extraordinary; ★★★ Excellent;
★★ Very Good; ★ Good;
Zero stars: Poor
Lincoln Whiskey Kitchen, the name of a recent arrival on Schaumburg’s restaurant scene, doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. But its vast collection of whiskeys — more than 125 strong — certainly does.
Customers can sip on a number of small-batch, single-barrel bourbons. American whiskey choices include rye, wheat, single malt, Tennessee and other possibilities, and whiskeys from Scotland, Ireland and Canada are all represented. The bar also stocks a full complement of wine and beer, including many craft brews on tap.
Best of all, the menu at this new establishment, brought to town by the same folks who developed White Chocolate Grill in Naperville and elsewhere, also offers plenty of satisfying food choices.
A recent dinner started with an international flight: ¾-ounce pours of a smoky 12-year-old Bowmore scotch, a lively 80 proof single-pot-still 12-year-old Redbreast whiskey from Ireland and a smooth Four Roses small Batch bourbon from Kentucky. This was paired with a shared order of buffalo chicken flatbread ($8.99) — a warm and crusty pizza-like appetizer topped with spicy chicken and blue cheese.
Pulled pork nachos, egg rolls with grilled chicken, corn, black beans and jack cheese and whiskey wild mushroom soup, a house specialty, were among other starter options.
Lincoln Whiskey Kitchen also features a half-dozen salads and a variety of handcrafted burgers (including a quinoa-veggie version), plus steak, citrus-soy salmon, Cajun chicken and Memphis-style, 12-hour hand-pulled pork sandwiches.
Many restaurants purport to serve barbecue ribs that fall off the bone, but here it’s no empty claim. A large knife is provided, yet it’s unlikely to find much employment as you tackle a slab of these tender beauties slathered in a flavorful whiskey barbecue sauce that holds its sweet and spicy notes in perfect balance. An autumnal treat — spaghetti squash, topped with a sprinkling of crushed pistachios — accompanied.
My dining partner found her blackened whitefish, a catch of the day, tasty in its own right even though the kitchen’s mild interpretation of “blackened” was several steps removed from previous experience with spicier Cajun-seasoned dishes.
Among other entrees are beer-battered fish and chips, Parmesan-crusted filet and layered chicken enchiladas.
By all means consider dessert, as the whiskey theme continues with its sliders. Two can easily demolish the three profiteroles stuffed with honey-bourbon ice cream, topped with a marshmallow whiskey fudge sauce.
The main dining room and bar area are adjoining rooms, and sound bounces around with abandon, especially during peak hours. Intimate conversations can easily get drowned out.
To its credit, even during the hubbub, the well-trained staff stayed on top of things, and service never faltered.
Guests at Lincoln Whiskey Kitchen sit at tables and cozy booths. A whiskey barrel wall displays stacks of oak casks that once functioned as whiskey aging vessels, and a dark wood interior lends a clubby feel to the room.
Thomas Witom is a local free-lance writer.