Pompette—French for “tipsy”—is Chicago’s newest all-day café and wine bar, located in the city’s Bucktown neighborhood. Opened in October of 2022, Pompette buzzes with energy—light-colored wood, white walls, globe pendant lights and playlists curated by the staff (it was ‘80s hits the day I was there).
Three partners manage Pompette, including co-executive chefs Katie Wasielewski and Aaron Patten and general manager Ashlee Aubin. They saw an opportunity to appeal to people working from home through the pandemic. “We wanted to give people a place to come any time of day with great food, wine and cocktails,” says Aubin, who curates the wine list.
The list features 14 wines by-the-glass and more than 60 bottles, most under $100. Choices include under-the-radar natty and organic wines like Alice et Olivier De Moor ‘Sans Bruit’ VDF Blanc—a Burgundian white from sauvignon blanc ($85 per bottle)—and Ferdinando Principiano Dosset—a dolcetto from Piemonte ($14 by the glass). Every section of the list, organized by style, country and region, includes at least one by-the-glass choice.
In the kitchen, Wasielewski and Patten present dishes for any time of day, like their Veggie Hash with butternut squash, sunchokes, spinach, mushrooms and chickpeas topped with a perfectly fried farm egg. Try it with the bone-dry Col di Luna ‘Flora’ Pét-Nat from Italy’s Veneto. The acidity of the wine, its crisp red-fruit notes and underlying herbal character complement the richness of the hash.
Pompette’s cheeseburger is a double-decker affair with caramelized onions, melted cheddar and sweet pickles. Paired with the 2019 Les Demoiselles Côtes de Bourg, a merlot-cabernet franc blend from Château Falfas, the wine’s lush red and black fruits, fresh earth and violet notes played against the decadent fattiness of the burger.
Aubin’s match of the moment? A 2019 Kallstadter Kabinett Trocken Riesling from Koehler-Ruprecht with the spicy Buttermilk Fried Quail with Corn Salsa. “The fruit and acidity in the wine is a great foil for the spice and crispy skin of the quail,” he says.
This story appears in the print issue of Winter 2022.
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