There are a lot of places one can sit down and indulge in a little imbibing these days. But, if you are looking for something a little different, try “The Cube” at Standard Market, located in both Westmont and Naperville.
As it notes on their website,
“The CUBE is our Wine, Beer & Cheese Bar, named for its cube-like shape. Located inside the Standard Market Wine, Beer & Cheese Shop, it showcases craft beer on tap, a variety of wine flights and wines by the glass, and a gastropub-style menu of small and large plates.”
Here’s my take on what you can expect from The Cube at Standard Market
- Great beer, including an assortment of Chicago craft beers.
- Great wine. You can even pull wine off the shelves and drink it there (and bring it home).
- Great cheese. There's an impressive, expansive selection of cheese.
- Great (and fun) food including burgers, sandwiches and sliced meat.
It may appear as if I am describing a place that is a bit pretentious or fancy, but you can put your pinky down. While I was there, I was watching college football on the flat screens, which was hung above the bar. However, it is certainly sophisticated. This is not your typical wings and nachos type of place. This is a place to enjoy a little bit of the finer things in life – including terrific craft beer.
Besides, it’s located in a splendid, unique grocery store filled with ready-to-go culinary delights (they are REALLY good – I recommend!), an awesome bakery, a juice bar, a restaurant, and a plethora of unique foods, as well as your standards. I mean, you can go here, get some food for the house, and take a break for some great beer, or wine if you prefer.
While there, I had the following beer (you can have 7 or 12 oz.):
Marz Nasal Cavity Golden Stout: It has Wasabi, vanilla custard, lemongrass, white pepper, and green tea leaves. It’s incredibly unique and absolutely delicious. It plays with your mind a bit, but like most of what Marz produces, it’s brilliantly done.
Revolution Brewing Fistmas: This is a really good Holiday Brew, and it's a Red Ale, too. It was the featured beer of the day and I couldn’t resist (it won’t be around much longer). I love the notes of orange, pine, and sugar cookie in this beer that accompany the ginger root and hops.
Hammerheart Valkyrie Tears IPA (Lino Lakes, MN): This 13% ABV hoppy beer is not for the timid. But, it’s oh so good. It offers a tremendous balance between citrus flavor and hops bitterness. Fantastic brew.
Allagash Black Belgian Stout (Maine): There is nothing Allagash doesn’t do superbly. They are one of my favorite breweries and this is just another great creation from them. Hints of chocolate, clove, roasted malt, and candi sugar. The flavors are robust, but it’s incredibly easy drinking. Tremendously tasty beer.
I also ordered a “board” that included:
- Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (Vermont): "Nutty, complex, reminiscent of the Vermont countryside."
- Creminelli Coppa (Utah): "Slow roasted pork shoulder with juniper and clove."
- Soppressata: "Italian dry salami."
The bad part – the board cost $15. The good part - the taste was phenomenal and I was surprised how filling it
was. They do have deals on food, so you don’t have to splurge, but if you want to indulge a bit, it’s worth it. My only regret was not getting the elk salami!
I can’t explain it, but sitting at a bar with a huge room full of cheese, eating some pork, viewing a collection of tappers – I’m a huge fan of tap-handle artistry, and in a room full of endless bottles of wine and beer, provides for a great imbibing experience.
Check out The Cube. Shop. Eat. Drink.
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