Cafe|bar reinvents the neighborhood restaurant in the neighborhood north of West Washington Park

When Dane Huguley landed the lease for a spot on Alameda Avenue that had most recently held Pho Pasta, he and chef Eric Rivera examined all the other restaurants in the neighborhood before they decided what kind of concept they'd build.

They settled on Cafe|bar, a reinvented neighborhood restaurant that marries European cafe culture with an environmentally-friendly sensibility in well-designed digs. And they hoped the combination would work well enough to attract regulars, who'd fill the space on any occasion, be it a lunch meeting, romantic dinner or nightcap.

For this week's review I visited Cafe|bar, eating my way through Rivera's menu of North American cafe fare, including such classics as tomato bisque and a bison burger, while watching the neighbors come and go from the tables.

How was the food? Find out tomorrow, when the review is posted here.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk