It has long been conventional food board wisdom that there’s nothing good to eat in the area of Clark & Diversey. I’ve lived in this area for about 10 of the 12 years that I’ve lived in Chicago, and while this thinking was pretty accurate in 2001 it doesn’t hold true anymore.
One of the more exciting openings in the neighborhood last year was Bar Pastoral. Pastoral (the store) has been around for a while now, fueling many patio BBQ nights and trips to Ravinia. When they announced that they would be opening a restaurant, we were eagerly looking forward to it.
I’ve been to Bar Pastoral four or five times now and I am thrilled to have it in the neighborhood (we even went there for New Year’s Eve). Yesterday was a particularly challenging day at work so all I wanted was a glass of wine (or two, or three) and some comfortable food. An appetizer of burrata from Zingerman’s was like eating summer. Mostly creamy burrata (the edges were a bit too firm) with pea tendrils, pesto, and fava beans (both whole beans and puree) served with toasted crostini. Great with a glass of some sort of Portuguese white. Next was the duck confit huarache with crema, radishes, beans cooked in duck fat, gouda, and red chili. There was a lot going on here, but everything came together perfectly. The crema offset the richness of the duck and the beans and the radishes added a nice bit of crunch. It’s a really interesting dish, and one I would definitely recommend going in for before it rotates off the menu. Normally I wouldn’t have a big dessert (especially in the middle of the week), but yesterday sucked so I figured why not. I went with the Elvis, which was a big mess of banana cake, peanut butter mousse, chocolate, bacon, and whipped cream. The portion was gigantic, and clearly meant to be shared between two or even three people. I ate about a third and, so I wouldn’t feel too bad about myself, and boxed up the rest. I think I’ll be eating it over the next four days or so.
The only downsides to the place are the service can be a bit off (they routinely try to deliver food to the wrong table) and it can get a little nuts on the weekends (no reservations). But, given the fact that I live about a 7 minute walk away, that sort of stuff doesn’t really bother me. I’m always happy to recommend it to anyone looking to grab a bite in my neighborhood.
2947 N Broadway St Chicago, IL 60657