How Chicago Restaurant Maple & Ash Made Up for Missing Out on Restaurant Week

Copyright 2015 Nathan Kirkma

© Nathan Kirkman

By Carson Demmond Posted January 25, 2016

Maple & Ash debuted an $8 all-the-time menu this weekend at the restaurant’s downstairs cocktail den.

When the team behind Maple & Ash, a relative newcomer to the Chicago dining scene, missed the deadline for participating in this year’s Restaurant Week, they came up with their own unique way to embrace the idea of a ridiculous deal. Since the restaurant occupies a two-story space at 8 West Maple, they’ve instigated an aptly named "I Don’t Give a F*@k About Restaurant Week" menu in the ground floor dining area, dedicated to $8 cocktails, snacks and wines by-the-glass that punch above their price point. Expect things like caviar with salt and vinegar potato chips, chicken parm with burrata, an aged rum Old Fashioned, and a rotating list of glass pours from wine director Belinda Chang that includes Le Vigne di Zamo’s Ribolla Gialla and Alias Wines’ Pinot Noir.

This spirit of irreverence and general gluttony is in keeping with the main restaurant upstairs, which offers an Amuse-Booze gin martini on arrival and an "I Don’t Give a F*@k" option wherein, for $145, the kitchen can style you out with chef Danny Grant’s picks, eliminating that pesky step of making a decision.

The best news? These $8 deals will run into the foreseeable future, eschewing the limited-time nature of a traditionally designed Restaurant Week feature. Restaurant industry compatriots can also enjoy a free “Downstairs” burger on Monday nights by presenting a business card or pay stub.

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