Goodfunk, which opened in the Loop in December, sounds like an unreleased Prince record; and as far as wine bars go, it’s as iconoclastic as The Purple One. Tattooed and dad-hat wearing somms behind the hulking teal backbar evangelize the gospel of oxidation and orange haze found in affordable natural wines, some with almost bathtub-sized production volumes. The blink-and-miss stability of the list made Goodfunk wine director Colin Hofer pause before offering food and wine suggestions, saying “That’s a tough question, as our by-the-glass wines are ever-evolving due to their small production. But, currently I’m really loving pairing the Holger Koch Spätburgunder Kaiserstuhl and our anchovy butter toast. Anchovy combined with herbed butter is a cheat code for the palate on its own. The spätburgunder has this subtle sun-dried tomato, umami characteristic and just enough tannin and acid to clean your palate of the butter and fish.”
It’s not all fish-with-red-wine surprises at Goodfunk. There are concessions to the ordinary, like a cheese plate and steak tartare. But skip that, and get your beef and dairy fix from an angus cheeseburger dripping with American cheese and black garlic shoyu-glazed onions. Chase the patty with a glass of 2020 Roberto Henriquez Rivera del Notro Blanco. The stony acidity of the moscatel, corinto, and sémillon blend mingles with the fizzy ferment of the garlic and amplifies the minerality of the beef, resulting in, as fits the bar’s name, a fantastically funky pairing.
180 N Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606
Michael Nagrant is the former Chicago Sun-Times food critic and a contributor to the James Beard award-winning Alinea cookbook. He currently writes about Chicago food on his newsletter The Hunger, thehunger.substack.com. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter @michaelnagrant.
This is a W&S web exclusive. Get access to all of our feature stories by signing up today.