My first experience with Chicago Restaurant Week 2016 is with Farmhouse Chicago. I used Open Table to book my reservation. Using opentable.com was very easy. I had to adjust my reservation last minute and I had no problem. I am glad I did have a reservation. The Friday night start of CW16 had this River North boutique style restaurant with a capacity just under 100 packed.
Farmhouse Chicago cuisine is classified as GastroTavern/Pub. Which is spot on. GastroTavern or gastropub are part wine bar, part beer pub, part shot bar, and part upscale restaurant. Farmhouse Chicago delivers a high standard in it’s food while offering a casual yet refined atmosphere. They do this with ease.
Farmhouse Chicago offers farm-to-table dining at it’s best. (Farm-to-table or farm-to-fork refers to the stages of the production of food: harvesting, storage, processing, packaging, sales, and consumption. The movement is promoted by some in the agriculture, food service, and restaurant communities. It’s sometime associated with organic farming initiatives, sustainable agriculture, and community-supported agriculture. They’re concerned with producing food locally and delivering that food to local consumers.) Farmhouse Chicago source just about everything you’ll eat or drink locally. This Midwestern craft tavern has 30+ Midwestern beers and 2 local wines on tap.
During Chicago Restaurant Week participating restaurant design a preselected menu for you to dine from. You can of course still select from their regular menu. The restaurant week menu offers a budget friendly introduction to the restaurant. The Farmhouse menu introduced itself to me by saying “Hello!, It’s me” as if it was Adele.
The dinner menu came with 3 courses. Course one included your choice of Beer Battered Wisconsin Cheese Curds (house made Catsup, spicy curd sauce) or Pork Sausage (house-Cased, savory cabbage, spicy pickles, bread and butter, pickled mustard seeds) or Winter Roughage (hearty Greens, bacon, fromage blanc, cranberries, smoked feta, white vinaigrette, smoked pecans).
I picked the Winter Roughage (salad). For the salad Farmhouse sourced the greens from Nichols farm of Marengo, IL. The greens were strong and had great crunch. The smoke feta was a delightful surprise hidden between the greens and smoked pecans. The flavors married deliciously. The restaurant’s suggested wine pairing is Barrique pinot noir. Winter Roughage is similar to the Winter Salad when ordering from Farmhouse Chicago’s regular menu.
The second course options included Smoked Wisconsin Trout (rushing Waters, fresh radish and apple, roasted Turnips, brown butter and preserved lemon) or Stuffed Cabbage (black kale, crack-top shiitake, red onion, stewed tomato) or Dry Rubbed Pork Tenderloin (Slagel family farm, oyster mushrooms, crispy rosefinn potatoes, sunflower seeds, mustard greens and pork jus).
I selected the Dry Rubbed Pork Tenderloin. The tenderloin was ordered medium at the servicer suggestion. Farmhouse Chicago receives the pork locally from Slagel Family Farm. While the Oyster Mushrooms are farmed in Harvard, Illinois by Dave Odd. Like the greens from the winter roughage salad; the mustard Greens are from Nichols. I was must impressed by the crispy Rosefinn potatoes. The chef got them so right! I’ve had many a potato but these had crunch and were perfectly seasoned. The restaurant’s suggested wine pairing is Dauvergne Ranvier Luberon. The CRW16 Dry Rubbed Pork Tenderloin I received was a slightly smaller version of one from Farmhouse Chicago’s regular menu. I found myself very happy with my second course selection.
The third course options included Apple Cider Cake (Don’t Tell William Farmhouse Cider, Apple Steeped Cream, Anise Hyssop) or Chocolate Bread Pudding (milk crumble, boozy oranges) or Shot of Fernet (Letherbee Distillery)
I chose to finish with the Apple Cider Cake. I was aware that Farmhouse Chicago is known for their ciders. I couldn’t pass the chance to have a dessert made with it. Their use of Farmhouse Don’t Tell William cider proved me right in choosing the cake. The cider comes accompanied by Farmhouse apple steeped cream and anise hyssop. The cake ingredients are sourced from Nichols and Dave Odd. The restaurant’s suggested wine pairing is Chateau Grand Traverse Riesling.
The Farmhouse Chicago gave me an excellent dining experience. I love that they choose local growers and knew where all the parts of my meal came from. Even my server Mura was locally sourced. She told me she was from the farm town that Farmhouse Chicago uses for many of their ingredient. Farmhouse Chicago is easy to get to whether you’re driving or on public transit. The price for the quality & quantity is very good. I would dine at Farmhouse Chicago again outside of Chicago Restaurant Week.
The Farmhouse Chicago’s restaurant week dinner menu is $33 not including Tax, Gratuity or drinks. Farmhouse Chicago also has a CRW16 lunch menu for $22. The restaurant does not allow substations or meal splitting when ordering from CRW16 menu. Farmhouse Chicago is located at 228 W. Chicago Ave. Chicago, IL. Reservations recommended and can be done using opentable.com or contacting the restaurant directly.
Chicago Restaurant Week 2016 runs though February 4th. You can find out more about CRW16 here.
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