More than 20 years after opening on Webster and Racine, John's Place Lincoln Park will get new life tomorrow as White Oak Tavern & Inn. Closed for reconcepting since late May, the neighborhood restaurant is now a farm-to-table gastropub with a new rustic buildout, a new chef (former Alinea and Trio staffer John Asbaty), and lodging upstairs.
Asbaty, who most recently helmed the shuttered Panozzo's Italian Market in the South Loop, has concocted some interesting dishes for White Oak that mostly employ local farm-sourced ingredients, which is notable in its in-house creamery program and breads and pastries that utilize stoneground flour from Wisconsin. Dishes include rainbow trout with celery chimichurri and smoked trout roe; stracciatella with sunflower seed romanesco; vegetable tartare; parsnip cake with olive oil ice cream.
Seasonal cocktails made with locally-sourced ingredients, small batch bourbons, and local craft beers now highlight the beverage selection.
The space is now rustic chic: reclaimed wood fixtures are the hallmark, while classic Midwestern dishware rests on shelves behind the bar, cutting boards hang on exposed brick, and framed sketches and mirrors hang on newly-whitewashed walls. The space seats 90 inside while an additional 25 can sit outside when it's warm out.
And if you don't want to go home, two upstairs apartments are available for rent, which completes the "inn" portion of the redesign. White Oak Tavern & Inn will open for dinner service at 5 p.m. tomorrow.