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Date Night at Pub Royale and Queen Mary Tavern

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I am really excited to introduce you to my two new favorite hangouts. Conveniently they are located just a block apart, and I highly recommend visiting both. The pairing of Pub Royale, a lively Indian restaurant with an atmosphere mimicking a British pub, and Queen Mary Tavern, a nautical inspired cocktail lounge, is just too fun to resist. The Pub Royale/Queen Mary Tavern combo has become my favorite date night itinerary.

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Let’s start at Pub Royale. They serve the type of Indian food that is popular in London, alongside an impressive beer and cocktail list. Charles loves the beer list, while I am a fan of their cocktails. On this night I had the Royale Cup #1 made with Letherbee Gin, Orange, Strawberry, and Cucumber. It was fruity without being overly sweet, and it will be a refreshing drink to enjoy once summer arrives.

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The cucumber raita with yoghurt, tahini, mint, and red onion tastes like summer. It’s light and refreshing, and a nice palate cleanser to start off with.

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I order the Butter Paneer every time I go to Pub Royale. It walks the line of having spice to add flavor, without it overshadowing all the other ingredients. It’s a spicy chili sauce with cubes of cheese, and at Pub Royale it is served with a thin whole wheat paratha, a thin crepe like bread that is effective at scooping up the cheese and sauce.

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My meat loving husband doesn’t ordinarily order, or enjoy vegan cuisine, but the Eggplant Curry at Pub Royale is incredible. It’s made with cashew, coconut, cilantro, and large chunks of meaty eggplant over a bed of basmati rice. It’s so good that Pub Royale is definitely the place to bring your vegan friends for dinner. (It’s worth noting that several other menu items can be made vegan with minor substitutions).

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The beef cheek pie is made with stout gravy, pea, and large chunks of beef in a blue cheese crust. We order this again and again. First off, beef cheeks are the most tender cut of beef, and it is a treat to find them on any menu, secondly, they are superb in the rich stout gravy, and the delicate blue cheese crust is a delight. If you are a beef eater, order this, you won’t be disappointed.

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And then the kitchen sent out their Royale with Cheese, and even though we were really full, we dug right in. Similar to the burger at Au Cheval it is topped with an aioli with finely diced red onion, house made thinly sliced spicy pickles, and aged cheddar on a sesame bun, and is served with some of the best fries in Chicago. I love how Pub Royale’s menu has fantastic red meat options along side vegan fare.

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We ended out meal with the mango lassi. Unlike the traditional a mango lassi, Pub Royale’s version adds Bacardi to create a creamy chilled boozy cocktail.

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After Pub Royale we made our way down the block to Queen Mary Tavern. Wondering why this is the best cocktail lounge to bring a date? The answer is simple, their long bar is designed so that people can sit on both sides of the bar, so you can sit across from your date. Genius right?

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I love the vibe of this place. It isn’t a place to seen and be seen. Instead, it’s a place to catch up with someone over a well crafted cocktail.

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While it’s known for their cocktails, Queen Mary Tavern does serve a small seafood focused menu. They have oysters, whitefish dip, clam chowder and a few snacks.

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The thing that makes Queen Mary Tavern exceptional is that they do both ends of the cocktail spectrum very well. I can get a slightly fruity and floral champagne cocktail like the Espadrilles, while Charles can enjoy a stiff boozy drink like the Navy Strength Old Fashioned or the Martini.

Pub Royale‘s address is 2049 West Division Street. They do accept reservations, and delivery is available via Caviar. You can get $20 off your first Caviar order by using this link.

Queen Mary Tavern‘s address is 2125 West Division Street.

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