The owners of the Ukrainian Village
's High Dive
rode the winds of gentrification to cater to the new Logan Square
. Crisply designed without being generic, The Rocking Horse is the perfect destination for young, hip professionals who want the inviting, no-gimmicks bar experience of a neighborhood dive with the creature comforts of a new establishment.
The Rocking Horse is dark and attractive, with black leather booths and richly stained wooden tables and floors. Light, mostly coming from a handful of unique lamp shades the staff picked out from local resale shops, is kept to a minimum. It's a decent size, especially when taking into account the back room that contains diversions like pinball, Pac-Man and a pool table, but it's intimate and a bit sultry, the sort of place that's begging for a haze of cigarette smoke.
However, the best part about the Rocking Horse is its craft-heavy beer list. A dozen well-chosen beers are available on tap, with another 50-plus available by the bottle. The good news is that most are priced $5 or below. The bad news is that bottled beers are served in tiny glasses, so you sort of feel like you're rinsing after brushing your teeth. Wine by the glass ($7) and liquor is also available, and there are daily specials.
The food menu is typical (though well done) bar food: mostly burgers, wraps, sandwiches and salads. The appetizer offerings are more interesting, with items like sashimi squares and a trio of homemade wontons with cross-cultural fillings. If you go to the Rocking Horse for drinks only, you may want to avoid the menu entirely, lest you spy the irresistible series of french fry and tater tot platters available with a range of toppings, from cheese and gravy to lemon, feta, oregano, oil and vinegar to chimichurri.
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Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Alexander Hough