Publican Anker

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The restaurant's website claims that the tavern is an "homage to the early 20th-century saloons and breweries that once comprised Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood."  The L-shaped space is generally filled with neighborhood families passing pork rinds, couples feasting on carefully prepared seafood and revelers downing cocktails at the bar. Join them, and look up: You'll notice a collection of oversized spinning tops created by local artist Emmett Kerrigan. They neatly sum up the dizzying feeling of letting go at Publican Anker, drifting wherever inspiration leads and enjoying the ride.Anker has little in common with the Publican, purveyor of pork, oysters and beer; here, there are only two kinds of oysters, far more fish and vegetables than pork, and an abundance of interesting wine vying for your attention. Still, a few Publican signatures peek through. The stunning half roast chicken ($25) comes minus the sausage, but with thinly sliced potatoes and curly endive. As is the case with the original, the meat is heavily marinated, impressively juicy and encased in extra-crispy skin. The Publican pork rinds ($6), some of the crunchiest and airiest bites of pork to exist, also show up.