Schaumburg's City Works delivers delectable fare, 90 craft beers in a welcoming space

Whether you're in Schaumburg to shop the malls, hit the comedy clubs or cheer kids on at youth soccer tournaments in Olympic Park, chances are that at some point you're going to get hungry. But before resorting to the area's usual suspects, check out a new place in town - City Works Eatery and Pour House on the north side of Golf Road in front of the Schaumburg Hyatt Regency.

Right away when you walk into City Works' lofty space, which opened a few months ago, you'll notice that food and drink get equal billing. "Classic American food with modern twists" is the restaurant's mantra. Plus, diners will find a full selection of specialty cocktails and craft brews. City Works boasts that 40 percent of the craft beers come from local brewers. Beer afficionados will appreciate the full page on the drink menu dedicated to beer education.

  City Works' 10-ounce bone-in pork chop comes artfully presented with potato puree, cinnamon spiced apples and crispy buttermilk onion rings drizzled with a chipotle maple glaze. Mark Welsh/

On a recent Sunday lunch visit, we had our choice of seats inside or outside in spring sunshine bathing the spacious patio deck. With important sporting events to watch though, we stayed inside and were quickly seated at a cushy half-circle booth in full view of a variety of flat screens hanging on a high wall above the bar. City Works isn't exactly a sports bar, but it's definitely a nice spot to enjoy sporting events or table conversation. It's not too loud or too quiet, making it just right.

You'll find lots of "haven't seen that befores" on the food menu, including the Scorpion Burger, featuring Habanero pepper jack cheese, jalapeños, five pepper jam, arugula, vine-ripened tomato and scorpion pepper aioli. Need a little more "kick"? There's also a Nashville Hot Chicken Wrap, filled with a buttermilk-breaded crispy chicken breast with hot cayenne pepper mop, vegetables and ranch dressing contained in a flour tortilla. Yeah, there's plenty to pick from on the spicy side of things.

  Can't decide on just one beer? Try a flight at City Works in Schaumburg. Mark Welsh/

For me, I love a place that has a taco section on its menu. So of course I had to try the mahi-mahi fish tacos with chipotle coleslaw. My platter featured three large corn tacos, each stuffed with ample portions of perfectly cooked beer-battered fish and flavorful toppings along with a side dish of black beans and corn. Usually I have no problem devouring three fish tacos. But this plate nearly required a to-go bag. Other taco choices include ahi tuna, chicken tinga (house-smoked pulled chicken) and even braised short rib.

  City Works' ahi tuna chopped salad combines rare Togarashi spiced seared tuna with Napa cabbage, romaine, bok choy, bell peppers, mandarin oranges, almonds and crispy won ton strips tossed in a sesame ginger vinaigrette. Mark Welsh/

My dining partner couldn't turn away from the duck nachos, which featured pulled confit duck, pepper jack cheese sauce, pickled jalapeños, smoked tomatoes, red onion, white beans, avocado, micro cilantro and queso fresco all sitting on a bed of chips. Tender pieces of duck intertwine with the other toppings nicely, with a hearty crunch to boot. While this dish is considered a shareable, it's definitely a full meal by itself.

With the amount of food in front of us, we needed some suds to wash it all down. City Works offers beer in 6-ounce tasting portions as well as in full drafts. In support of local brewers, I doubled up the tasting portions, trying the Taproom IPA from Penrose Brewing in Geneva followed by the End All IPA from Solemn Oath Brewery in Naperville. Both were distinct and would be worth checking out.

  Ami Sue of Villa Park, Michelle Hillebrandt of Portland, Maine, and Jessica Bean of Warrenville chat during lunch at City Works in Schaumburg. Mark Welsh/

As delicious as our meal was, there was something on the dessert menu that we couldn't pass up. Looking like a party on a plate, the Peanut Butter Snickers Pie features an Oreo cookie crust, peanut butter mousse, Snickers filling and whipped cream in a cylindrical tower of sugary goodness drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauces. There's no way you can try just one spoonful - we finished it off easily.

Other pluses: City Works features vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. And many dishes are moderately priced between $13 and $25. There's also a private room for events. Even better, there's free valet parking at the front door (an option worth considering if you don't want to park in the back lot; street parking is limited in the front).

  The half-pound City Works burger garnished with aged white cheddar comes with a side of olive oil parsley fries. Mark Welsh/

Overall, we had a great experience at City Works. And we're looking forward to returning so we can try even more dishes. While it wasn't that busy during our weekend lunch visit, given the overall atmosphere of the place, I'd like to see what it's like with a packed house during a Bears game or on a weekend night hanging out with family and friends.

  The delectable Peanut Butter Snickers Pie makes for a perfect ending to a meal at City Works in Schaumburg. Mark Welsh/

And I might just go back tonight for more Peanut Butter Snickers Pie.

• • •

City Works Eatery and Pour House

1850 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg, (847) 584-2500,

Cuisine: Modern American with 90 beers on tap

Setting: Upscale casual

Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday

• Restaurant reviews are based on one anonymous visit. The Daily Herald does not publish reviews of restaurants it cannot recommend.

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