The bar at Found Kitchen

Even for somebody who lives in Rogers Park, Evanston can seem a bit far afield—away from the city’s nexus of nightlife, and particularly remote from the restaurant scenesters who cure their pork belly in the environs of Fulton Market, Randolph Row, and River North. So I don’t know what I was expecting on a recent visit to the new Chicago Avenue (that’d be the other Chicago Avenue) restaurant Found Kitchen & Social House, which comes from chef Nicole Pederson, who most recently oversaw the kitchen at C-House, and restaurateur Amy Morton. It may not have been this: a lively, happy crowd; people at every mismatched set of table and chairs; and a 45-minute wait. Or this: a dining room so haphazardly arranged and yet so inviting that you’d be tempted to wait out those 45 minutes no matter how crowded the circumstances—because, also, did you get a look at that menu? Have you seen those bottles of bourbon behind the bar?