12/12/2012 02:06:00 PM

First Look: Gather Wants You to Bring the Party to Lincoln Square

What if you could invite all your friends over for a delicious dinner and not have to clean up after? It would be great, but it’s not going to happen. The next best thing opened yesterday in Lincoln Square. Gather feels like the coolest apartment on the block not another trendy restaurant. Not that they couldn’t have gone the trendy route, owner David Breo spent time at NoMI and Spiaggia before turning his focus to a lower key establishment.

Food: Chef Ken Carter crafted his career in kitchens around Arizona before joining the team at Charlie Trotter’s in Las Vegas and eventually moving to Trotter’s in Chicago. His menu at Gather is simple, with sections dedicated to food to share, appetizers and entrees. Every Sunday, they serve family-style dinners for family night. Looking at the menu and the local forecast, it’s hard to not droll over Irish stout chili made with short ribs, winter squash soup with Maine lobster and tagliatelle with maitake mushrooms.

Drinks: Simplicity is key in the drink menu as well. Sixty wines are available by the bottle or the glass. They also have a select beer list and classic cocktail menu. On their bar, there is no more than three bottles of any given spirit – emphasizing quality of quality or name brand. Try one of these spirits in either a signature or classic cocktail such as the “King Bee” with Brugal Anejo rum, honey syrup and lime or the “Sluggers Pick” with applejack brandy, pear liqueur and egg white.

D├ęcor: The space is divided into three dining areas separated by an open kitchen and granite bar. Diners can sit at either of the parallel counters. Other seating areas include the main dining room with its vibrant green wallpaper. Past the kitchen and bar are four secluded booths tucked away in a cozy nook. Further into the seemingly endless space is a third dining area, which could be used for private parties, with two high-top tables under mason jar light fixtures. In the summer, Gather will open a sunroom on the back patio that currently houses a Christmas tree.

Details: 4539 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-506-9300

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