Crisp – Chicago: Where Wings Take Flight and Bubbles Spark Delight

When it comes to fried chicken in Chicago, the debate is almost as heated as the sauces that coat these crispy delights. Amidst the contenders, Crisp emerges as a standout, offering a fusion of Korean flavors and American-style fried chicken that has the city talking. As part of LUSH Wine and Spirits’ BYOB series, we couldn’t resist shining a light on this unassuming gem that’s hiding behind its simple green doors.

Chef Jae Lee, the mastermind behind Crisp, brings a unique blend of Korean tradition and American flair to his dishes, creating some of the city’s best wings. Forget the inconsistencies you might find elsewhere—Crisp delivers perfectly cooked wings every time, coated in sauces that’ll “knock your socks off,” as the saying goes.

As you step inside Crisp, the lively atmosphere envelops you. The upbeat music, friendly staff having a blast, and the contagious vibes set the stage for a memorable dining experience. It’s a place where rolls of paper towels sit on tables, ready for the messy feast that awaits—a clear sign that you’re about to embark on a culinary adventure.

Now, let’s talk about the star of the show—the fried chicken. Crisp’s Seoul Sassy sauce is a game-changer, spicy and zingy, making every bite an explosion of flavors. And speaking of explosions, we at LUSH have long discussed the unexpected joy of pairing fried chicken with champagne, and we have the perfect recommendation for your Crisp adventure—Champagne Aubry Le Nombre d’Or Campanae Veteres Vites Brut.

Sure, it might seem a bit over-the-top to pair such a humble dish with such an opulent bottle, but trust us—it’s a celebration waiting to happen. Whether you’ve just scored that long-awaited promotion or you’re gearing up for your best friend’s birthday, skip the cliché steak and lobster and go for the perfect combo of crispy chicken and bubbles.

Speaking of bubbles, let’s delve into the wine itself. This champagne is a blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Petit Meslier, Arbanne, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay—a complex mix that brings exotic and spicy flavors, hinting at the tropical. The aroma is haunting, and the palate is intensely structured, creating an experience that elevates your fried chicken indulgence.

Chef Jae Lee’s journey is a testament to the power of fusion. Born overseas, he merged his Korean upbringing with the American experience, much to the initial skepticism of his mom. Yet, Crisp has become a hub where people not only enjoy the food but feel compelled to share the experience with friends and family—an achievement that means everything to Chef Lee.

And let’s not forget the wings! Crisp’s Seoul Sassy wings have earned a spot in the East region of the 64-team March Madness sauce tournament, a testament to their undeniably juicy and perfectly fried nature. But Crisp isn’t a one-trick pony—other menu items like the Korean burritos and Buddha Bowl bibimbaps offer a delightful balance if you’re in the mood for veggies.

Crisp’s unassuming storefront on Clark in Lakeview might blend in with the surroundings, but once you step inside, the vibrant energy and the tantalizing aroma of Seoul Sassy wings make it stand out. It’s a serious takeout operation, but the communal picnic tables and the small bar provide cozy spaces for those who want to savor their wings fresh out of the kitchen.

After experiencing the contagious fun and flavors at Crisp, if you have never tried to pair fried chicken with champagne at least once in your life, we think that their fried chicken is just so good that it’s the perfect excuse. Whether you’re a Chicago local or a visitor, Crisp is a must-try, offering a crispy delight that’s sure to leave you craving more.

Crisp Chicago image
Crisp Chicago image

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