PRESS

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Bar Biscay, Where the Party Never Ends

"Mfk owners Scott Worsham and Sari Zernich Worsham wanted a bigger box to play in ... and the result is the lively and colorful Bar Biscay, whose expanded menu lets chef Johnny Anderes embrace the food of Southern France and the Basque region, in addition to the Spanish dishes for which mfk is rightly praised." 

The 43 Best Restaurants in Chicago That You Have to Try

"At times, Chicago's restaurant scene feels like a revolving door of New American concepts. Bar Biscay breaks the cycle with its mashup of Basque and French flavors from chef Johnny Anderes. As impressive as the daring menu is the restaurant's funky interior, which is outfitted with floating tube lights, pastel-toned wire chairs and a technicolored booth that lines the length of the space. Pull up a barstool to sip vermouth and snack on pintxos like crunchy, squishy manchego gougeres, ham and cheese skewers, and white bean puree on toast.."

"Sari Zernich Worsham and Scott Worsham had (and still have) a pretty good thing going with mfk, their coastal-Spain restaurant, but with their 2018 project, Bar Biscay, they wanted, in Scott's words, "a bigger box to play in," and expanded the menu's focus northward into the Basque region. Abetted by partner Joe Campagna and chef Johnny Anderes, the Worshams created a nonstop party of festive and delightful small plates, including irresistible manchego gougeres and a squid-sausage and piperade plate that was one of my favorite dishes of 2018. May the fiesta never end."  -- Phil Vettel, Chicago Tribune 2018 Dining Awards

Chicago Magazine's 15 Best New Restaurants

As Bar Biscay prepared to open in February 2018, the owners were trying to come up with a big signature dish that would capture the restaurant’s boisterous Basque vibe. Chef Johnny Anderes mentioned offhandedly that everyone loved oxtail but “nobody uses the whole thing.” Within 30 minutes, a classic was born: a colossal hunk of long-braised, gelatin-rich meat sprinkled with watercress and orange zest gremolata. Everything at Bar Biscay hums with that same effortless confidence, driven by a menu packed with sea-breezy dishes that channel a cockeyed version of maritime Spain. Color-shifting LED lights, a steady flow of well-shucked oysters, and licoricey shots of Atxa red vermouth make it impossible not to fall under the restaurant’s spell.

The 35 Best Restaurants in Chicago You Have to Try

At times, Chicago's restaurant scene feels like a revolving door of New American concepts. Bar Biscay breaks the cycle with its mashup of Basque and French flavors from chef Johnny Anderes. As impressive as the daring menu is the restaurant's funky interior, which is outfitted with floating tube lights, pastel-toned wire chairs and a technicolored booth that lines the length of the space. Pull up a barstool to sip vermouth and snack on pintxos like crunchy, squishy manchego gougeres, ham and cheese skewers, and white bean puree on toast.

WE'RE TIME OUT MAGAZINE'S BEST NEW RESTAURANT of 2018!

"At times, Chicago's restaurant scene feels like a revolving door of New American concepts. Bar Biscay breaks the cycle with its mashup of Basque and French flavors from chef Johnny Anderes. As impressive as the daring menu is the restaurant's funky interior, which is outfitted with floating tube lights, pastel-toned wire chairs and a technicolored booth that lines the length of the space. Pull up a barstool to sip vermouth and snack on pintxos like crunchy, squishy manchego gougeres, ham and cheese skewers, and white bean puree on toast."

Craving: French — A search for Chicago's best foie gras, quiche, croissants and so much more

“People love them,” said the waiter at Bar Biscay when I asked about the fried manchego gougeres. In this case, the people have spoken correctly, and it’s easy to taste why: They’re just cheeseballs! Gougeres are, in the best and most beautiful way, a simple choux pastry combined with cheese — in this case a buttery, sweet-ish manchego — that yields soft, fluffy pastry balls. The manchego walks the fine sweet/savory line perfectly, and the deep fry doesn’t go too far, instead deepening the flavors of both the cheese and pastry. The garlic aioli served under the gougeres feels appropriately indulgent for a dish so rich yet so light. They're easy to love. $9. 

Chicago Restaurants Holding ‘Unprecedented’ Fundraiser for Domestic Violence Shelter

An unprecedented coalition of Chicago restaurants are holding a fundraiser on Thursday, May 2 with sales benefitting a domestic violence victim advocacy group that is well aware of the effort

Cafe 5: Recipe for Sausage Stuffed Peppers

In this segment of Cafe 5, Chef Johnny Anderes of Bar Biscay shares his recipe for sausage stuffed peppers in honor of Chicago Gourmet's ticket launch happening this week. 

WEST TOWN, CHICAGO: THINGS TO DO & EAT

Looking for the latest and greatest? Two of the neighborhood’s newest additions are just a couple blocks from one another and are worth it for the interiors alone. Bar Biscay does Basque tapas and larger plates with killer cocktails in a modern dining room that’s lit with playful pinks, blues, and teals. 

Best Chicago happy hour deals: March 14-20

On Tuesdays, Bar Biscay (1450 W. Chicago Ave., 312-455-8900) offers $6 glasses of wine, $3 house pickles and an $8 board of five pinxtos from 3 to 6 p.m.

Thirsty Thursdays Cocktail Club at Bar Biscay


"Bar Biscay's new Thirsty Thursdays Cocktail Club spotlights three different classic cocktails for $7 each, plus an educational component. Every Thursday, learn a bit about the cocktails from bar manager Archie Powell ("educational banter free of charge"), then grab one of the recipe postcards on the bar and bring it back the following week for a free cocktail. Upcoming cocktails include Negronis (March 14), old-fashioneds (March 21), and long drinks (March 28). The cocktail specials are available during the bar's open hours (3 p.m. to midnight)."

"At sister restaurants Bar Biscay and mfk., owner Scott Worsham uses the the vessel to liven up service. Throughout the night, he or a bartender will stroll from table to table, allowing guests to take a gulp without touching the porrón. “It’s an instant party starter. It brings everyone in the room together,” says Worsham. 

Every few tables, he’ll come across a group of first-timers, who are typically eager to crane their necks back and aim the tip straight into their gullets. For those hoping to avoid a dry-cleaning bill, Worsham has a few pointers: “Start close to your mouth with a nice, steady stream,” he says. “Once you feel like you’ve got that, extend your elbow straight out and then go back in. But, most importantly, don’t overthink it. It’s supposed to be fun.”

SKY FULL of BACON TOP 10 of 2018 LIST

Michael Gebert of Fooditor and Sky Full of Bacon fame gave us some love here:

"5. Saturday afternoon snacks, Bar Biscay.

The best thing is a new restaurant that gets better and better every time you go back in its early months. Bar Biscay was promising at a media preview but some holes showed; much improved at a dinner a month or so later… and, as I tell the story in The Fooditor 99, just perfect one Saturday sipping vermouth and noshing on things from the sea on bread."

CHICAGO TRIBUNE'S 18 BEST THINGS WE ATE THIS YEAR

"A base of spring peas mixed with bits of squid sausage support toast points loaded with piperade. Easy peas-y, seemingly, but the ingredients coalesce magically, and the whole dish bursts with fresh, bright flavors. Thoughts of this composition will keep me going through the bitter winter." -- Phil Vettel

Chicago’s Dining Experts Share Their Best Meals of 2018

A little more love from Morgan Olsen of Time Out Magazine! We really should put her on the payroll.

TIME OUT MAGAZINE'S 50 BEST DISHES IN CHICAGO 2018

Our peas and squid sausage dish made the number one spot!

Chicago’s Restaurant Experts Name Their Top Restaurant Newcomers of 2018

Some noice shout outs from some of our local critics makes us happy!

JEAN BANCHET AWARDS BEST NEW RESTAURANT NOMINEE

We are honored to be nominated for best new restaurant!

CHI TRIBUNE REDEYE BEST HAPPY HOUR DEALS

"Bar Biscay (1450 W. Chicago Ave., 312-455-8900) offers a rotating selection of five pintxos for $8, and $6 vermouth shots, glasses of wine and rotating cocktails from 3 to 5 p.m."

EATER CHICAGO BEST BRUNCHES AUGUST 2018

"Set sail for the northern coast of Spain and enjoy a relaxing brunch at one of Chicago’s hottest new restaurants. The team behind mfk have pivoted to the Biscay region’s French-Spanish flavors and the results are impressive. Sundays offer intriguing choices like tortilla española topped with fried squid; a braised pork sandwich; and customizable sweet or savory crepes. Complement them with a Bloody Mary, tricked out with vermouth and cachaca, on the outdoor patio for a good time.

DO 312 BEST NEW RESTAURANTS

West Town vegetarians may have taken a hit when Green Zebra closed earlier this year, but this colorful French-fusion kitchen and bar has swooped in to fill the gap with a variety of meat-free and seafood options. Carnivorous options like a whole oxtail and jamón serrano also have a spot on the menu. 

#20 on PHIL VETTEL'S TOP 50 RESTAURANTS in the CHICAGO TRIBUNE!

"I didn't think there'd be a Spanish-focused restaurant I liked better than mfk, and then mfk owners Scott Worsham and Sari Zernich Worsham opened Bar Biscay, which, with an expanded footprint that embraces Southern France and the Basque region, gives the Worshams “a bigger box to play in.” And with chef Johnny Anderes at the helm, Bar Biscay is a helluva place to play.  -- Phil Vettel, Chicago Tribune Dining Critic

Dining Out Magazines Top 20 Selfie Spots

"Bright colors and fun cocktails make this an easy place to get an enviable selfie."

Chicago’s Most Exciting Al Fresco Dining Destinations

We may not have the biggest patio in town, but it's a whole lot of fun!

Eater's 20 Hottest Brunch Restaurants in Chicago, July 2018

We proudly serve SPARROW COFFEE ROASTERS, the greatest coffee on planet earth!

We're Make It Better Magazine's Best New Restaurant!

We're honored for the nod for Best New Restaurant in Make It Better Magazine!

Modern Luxury Showstopping Dishes!

While the petite pintxos and seafood dishes are much loved at this West Town newcomer, large plates from chef Johnny Anderes are just as delightful. Among them, the whole oxtail is supremely tender and lovingly accented with watercress and orange gremolata...

DINING OUT MAGAZINE LIKES OUR VIBE, MAN

"Bar Biscay not only has one of the prettiest bars in the city, but also one of the best overall beverage menus. From cocktails to draft beers to a widely varied wine menu, there is no better place to arrange a celebration for your coworkers. Be it a promotion, a new account, or even a retirement, their food menu is meant to be shared as a group and enjoyed with friends."

CHI TRIBUNE REDEYE LIKES OUR HAPPY HOUR

...or at least they mention it anyway.

Something Going Down in West Town, Yo!

Michigan Ave Magazine comes past the highway to take a gander at the new joints in West Town.

EATER CHICAGO HEAT MAP JUNE 2018

Holding strong at No. 8, four months in a row!

¡ #1 on Eater CHI Brunch Map May 2018 !

"Set sail for the northern coast of Spain and enjoy a relaxing brunch at one of Chicago’s hottest new restaurants. "

Inside Hook Drops the Brunch Bomb

"In what is the most exciting new Chicago brunch offering in recent memory, Bar Biscay’s midday weekend menu is now served on a colorful sidewalk patio facing Chicago Ave."

Jeff Ruby Likes Our Vibe

"I adore this restaurant—for its food and its freaky vibe but also simply for the fact that it exists."

Eater Chicago Heat Map May 2018

Hanging tough at number 9 for the third month in a row!

Unrestrained Basque-region flavors in a refreshingly buoyant space

Maggie Hennessy is surprised that she's surprised!

'Bigger box' gives mfk team more room to play

Phil Vettel swings into party mode at our house.

Mike Sula thinks "Bar Biscay is a Trippy Vision of a Land Far Away"

The very next day, Chef Johnny put a frog leg special on the menu.

Behind the Scenes at Bar Biscay

Dining Out Magazine gets Scott to spill the beans.

Chicago May Be the New Tapas Capital of America

Food & Wine Magazine likes the looks of this town right about now.

It's All Jamon and Albariño at West Town's Newest Tapas Spot

Sarah Freeman shares some love for us in Urban Daddy.

Bar Biscay channels coastal Spain and France into neighborhood restaurant

The Chicago Tribune takes some good pics of our new baby.

Looks like West Town’s going to be a neighborhood to watch this year because, along with Funkenhausen and other big hits from last year like BeatnikTemporis and the Hoosier Mama Pie Co. expansion, the team behind beloved mfk is branching out with a new venture.