CHICAGO VICINITY, ILLINOIS
Opening its doors in May 2002, tiny midtown Geneva saloon, STOCKHOLM’S VARDSHUS, retains a friendly Old World charm some historic northwest Chicago suburbs strive for. Visited August ’06, its left side front-to-back mahogany bar opposes dining area. Snug back deck is cozy for sucking down brews from front-windowed brew tanks.
Good sandwiches, ribs, salmon, and Italian fare go well with middling beers such as lemon-fizzed hard-candied wheat-chaffed Older But Weisser and zesty orange-embittered, white grape-soured, green apple-tart Third Street Ale. Astringently-oxidized meagerly-fruited caramel-malted British bitter S.W.C. fared badly but earthen peat-malted citric-soured Doc’s Porter proved quite satisfying. Best bet: Aegir’s English Pale Ale merges caramel kettle corn sugaring with honeyed tea succinctness.