[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Yes, you read that correctly. You can purchase dill pickle wings ($10) at The Monarch. As the owner explained to me, the idea came when he and the chef realized that they always seemed to want Buffalo wings and fried pickles late at night. Perhaps it was inevitable, but what makes this particular tale actually interesting is that the chef in question turns out to be Andrew Brochu, who was last seen manning the kitchen at Graham Elliot. If Brochu decided to make pickle wings, I had to try them.

The tiny wings are fried, tossed with butter, and then sprinkled with pickling spice and fresh dill—a blend that eerily manages to evoke the profile of a dill pickle. Now, whether that's a good thing or not is totally based on how much you love pickles. If, like me, you think nothing of devouring multiple pickle spears for a snack, then this is probably worth ordering. Regardless, there's little question that with Brochu in the kitchen of this neighborhood bar, basically everything on the menu is way better than it has any right to be.

The Monarch

1745 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622 (map)

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