Another high-quality eatery located in a lovely historic building adds to the increasing charm of downtown West Dundee. MT Barrels isn't merely a wacky name -- the building was constructed by one Martin T. Barrows in 1879 and served as a hardware store, drug store and, during Prohibition, a naughty speakeasy could be found in the basement. Flash forward to the 21st century and you'll discover a steakhouse, microbrewery and cigar bar. Owner Frank Simal, a member of the American Brewers Guild, handcrafts and selects each brew. Whatever you choose, an American Pale or Amber Ale, German Style Hefeweizen, Czech Pilsner or a seasonal brew, know that all of the beers are hand crafted in small batches right at this location (of course, domestic and imported bottled beers are available, too).
The wine cellar tops out at 50 selections, heavy on the reds to complement steaks, and plenty by-the-glass choices. MT Barrels offers a speakeasy of sorts on the third floor with flat-screen TVs, cigar shop, walk-in humidor and full-service bar and deck that overlooks the Fox River. Oysters, fried green tomatoes, pancetta-wrapped shrimp or a fired roasted Melrose pepper stuffed with spicy Italian sausage are popular starters. Fruit wood smoked BBQ pulled pork shoulder piled on a Kaiser roll or a ten-ounce, hand-formed Angus beef burger are smart accompaniments to a frosty mug of beer. Signature main courses include Ma's Meatloaf, roast duck, seafood pasta and slowly smoked baby back ribs that have a quick finish on the grill. You'll also find a half-dozen seafood items and an assortment of steaks and chops, with traditional steakhouse-sized sides like grilled asparagus, mashed potatoes and sauteed Cremini mushrooms, too. Desserts, like a bread pudding of the day and banana cream pie, are house-made by Chef Mike Michalski.