Rootstock Wine and Beer BarHumboldt Park | Website
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Three wine lovers who put in time at Webster's Wine Bar -- Tonya Pyatt Clemer, Johnny Hap and Jamie McLennan -- are behind this intimate Humboldt Park bar featuring local artwork and second-hand furniture to lend a comfy, lived-in feel. Though this trio has plenty of expertise on their own, they cooperated with other local experts (Paul Johnston of Goose Island, Craig Cooper of Pops for Champagne and Jeremy Quinn of Webster's, to name a few) on a menu of small-production wines and artisanal beers. They also snagged former Lula Cafe sous chef Duncan Biddulph to man the kitchen and churn out salads, flatbreads (called "crusts"), seasonally changing entrees and "bar plates" such as olives, mixed nuts and duck liver toast with sour cherries. Don't overlook the cheese and charcuterie.