Some of Chicago’s most unique pub food arrives today in River North with Bar Goa’s opening. Yes, chicken wings appear on the menu, but they’re yogurt-marinated and charred — handheld versions of tandoori chicken. The wings are the entry point for a menu that includes green-pea hummus and sandwiches wrapped in a Goan flatbread and stuffed with shredded chicken or pork.
The owners of Rooh Chicago have brought tropical vibes to the Hubbard Street space where Slurping Turtle once served ramen. The space holds potential for potential themed music nights. From South Asian inspired Bollywood nights to nostalgic ‘80s nights and more.
Rooh chef Sahil Sethi has come over from West Loop to give pub grub a fun makeover with South Asian sensibilities, focusing on the coastal state of Goa which was a Portuguese colony. Much of the menu is meant to be shared including the chicken carfreal sandwich which packs a balanced kick with the poultry surrounded by pickled cabbage slaw that hints at Southern barbecue. Other dishes of note include prawn and chorizo fried rice, plus semolina-crusted kingfish served with fries doused with an addicting seasoning. This is classy drinking food.
Co-owner Rina Mallick points out the numerous shutter placed throughout the bar which she added to give the room a tropical beach resort feel. The second-floor overhang has a few booths with a window view of Hubbard Street.
The cocktails continue the escapist feel, proving that feeling can be conveyed without using the tiki aesthetic. The Edge of India is like a gin and tonic with ghee-washed gin. Mallick is hoping that their Chicago Handshake shot-and-beer combo catches on: It’s a Spiteful Brewing Radler paired with Feni, a cashew liqueur made in India.
Step through the space below. Bar Goa is now open.
Bar Goa, 116 W. Hubbard Street, (312) 730-8659, open 4 p.m. to midnight on Wednesday through Saturday; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Reservations via OpenTable.