1401 West Devon Avenue;
Uncommon Ground packs enough attributes into its homey Edgewater space to fill a dozen storefronts, instead of the one it occupies: classic art deco bar, cushy lounge, roaring fireplace, great craft beers, a whole page of coffees and teas, an eco-friendly design, open mic nights, weekend brunches. And Brian Millman's menu is organic, locally produced, and family farmed. But is it any good? Yes, it is. Dishes as simple as a vegetarian French onion soup with portobello mushrooms and melted Gruyère are deep-flavored and sweet, and those as hearty as brick-oven-braised short rib with organic celery root purée, wild mushrooms, and natural jus have nuanced flavors. Uncommon indeed.
SHOWSTOPPERS Duo of duck: a wonderland of duck confit, seared duck breast, braised cabbage, and crunchy Gorgonzola potatoes; buttery jumbo sea scallops with tasso ham chips, pear sauce, and heirloom squash purée
BONUS Live music includes eclectic acts like a Japanese drum band.
WHO? The terrific ice creams and gelati—such as the salty peanut gelato with the amazing warm apple cobbler—are by Black Dog Gelato's Jessica Oloroso, ID'ed by our waiter as "a lady who lives a few doors down."
TASTING NOTES Skip the overpriced wine list and focus on beer.
DEFENSE We've heard gripes that the prices are high for a neighborhood restaurant, and maybe they are. But this is not a neighborhood restaurant: It's a serious, professional place with real subtlety in the kitchen.