Springtime at Reilly’s

In spring, the poets say, a young man’s fancy turns to love. Foodies’ fancies turn to menu changes and at Reilly Craft Pizza and Drink there are some nice additions to the already tasty menu.

At the media dinner last night we sampled some of them along with a few cocktails at the Tough Luck Club, Reilly’s basement cocktail lounge. Tough Luck Club

tough luck clubjust got a great write-up in Playboy Magazine Bars We Love Column. Here’s the link.


We ended the evening there after a full assortment of food at the upstairs Beer Garden. The building was once known as Reilly’s Funereal Home. The team has transformed the space into a lovely restaurant. The Tough Luck Club was where the embalming was done and as far as we could figure last night the Beer Garden could’ve been the garage for the hearses.

We started the dinner with a couple of “Smalls”: the charred sugar snap peas and the risotto. The peas were snapping fresh and the char added a slight smokiness. They were dressed in a light ranch dressing dashed with pickled chilies and basil. I love peas and I have to say I really loved these peas.

The risotto was another hit. Golden and creamy the dish had a hint of roasted mushrooms and an earthy finish from the truffled gran.

Had we stopped there I would’ve been happy. The red wine that sat on the table was a perfect pairing for both dishes.

But then the “Toasts” appeared; one after the other. There are five on the menu. We got to taste four: the ricotta, local honey and black pepper; the burrata, truffle and arugula, the local chevre and asparagus and the cheesy garlic. The last was like a high-end garlic bread that you find at red sauce Italian joints. I really enjoyed the goat cheese and asparagus. The bread used held up under all the toppings. I can’t say which one was my favorite. But I would order anyone of them again.

The farro salad followed.

farro salad at reillyThe toothsome farro was mixed with arugula, some more of those snap peas, roasted peppers, Marcona almond and goat cheese. The dressing was a light sherry vinaigrette. Crunchiness and creaminess were in every bite.

There was pasta, of course. In this case, big bowties in a creamy vodka sauce that held a bit of spice. This inspired me to make this dish at home.

Two pizzas were also part of dinner. One was a margarita: the other a pepperoni. The know how to so crust at Reilly’s.

We all then traveled down to the Tough Luck Club. Impressive! The stone walls. The wooden beams, a bar that looked like it had been teleported from a 1950’s Midwest supper club.

We had three cocktails. They were all well-built and unique. I didn’t get the names or all the parts, but the craftspersonship that went into them is apparent. The photo here iTLC_Cocktailss not of the ones we had.  I didn’t snag a copy of the Bar Book but you can find it on line.

It was a great evening. I talked with old friends, met some truly nice new people, ate fantastic food and sipped good wine.

I can’t wait to go back.