Hands down this is a must visit nosh spot when in the Windy City. It was a delight to wine and dine here and a privilege to be perched on the cheese bar to interact with the cheese and service team.
The location next to the actual Pastoral cheese shop on Broadway was ideal since this neighborhood was a haunt for me when I lived in the city. The warm atmosphere is cozy and inviting in an old-school white-tile, dark wood paneling sort of way. The dining room has class without pretense. The service team has charm and attentiveness with enthusiasm thrown in. You would have to if you worked in a cheese restaurant, right?
As a solo diner I had to make my decision wisely since the bill can add up and the belly can still be empty when ordering small plates. Not at this place. The price point for wines by the glass are respectable since you can have half, full or carafe of wine brought to you. The L. Mawby sparking house wine was a dry winner to whet my appetite. The French rose that followed carried on through the meal since it was dry and delicious. My selection of a Chicago interpretation of Rush Creek Reserve (WI made cheese) served like a deconstructed Chicago-style hot dog was a great way to start the meal. Following was house-made country pate with appropriate garnishes that followed. A chilled beet salad with endive was an architectural wonder that was worth the effort to construct. Finally, I broke down and ordered the house-cured ham covered with raclette cheese to only have too much food on hand. It served as an excellent hearty breakfast in my hotel room the next morning.
Yes, I would return. Let the staff guide you on the food. Ask for a nibble before you make a decision on your cheese. It’s there for the enjoyment and you only live once.
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