First Look: Bar Pastoral, Opening November 12

By Lorna Juett in Food on Nov 3, 2012 3:00PM

Greg O’neill, co-owner of Pastoral and Bar Pastoral, was able to squeeze us in for a sneak peek yesterday in between six grueling inspections by the City of Chicago. While we were there, gas tanks for the draft lines were delivered, vendors came and went, and fire alarms went off, seemingly as a test. It’s a good thing those alarms worked, (and everything else was up to code) because Bar Pastoral passed all inspections and is slated to open on November 12.

We had a chance to show you how Moss Designs worked with this former retail space, and they’ve created a cozy nook for cheese, wine, beer and cocktail enthusiasts to enjoy a relaxed night out. The arched plaster, hay, and silica ceiling was hand applied by Anna Wolfson and draws the eye up with it’s interesting texture and slightly shimmery appearance. In order to make room for this arch, beams were removed from the ceiling. These were not wasted, as they were turned over to furniture designer Miguel Mendez of Helium Up in Ravenswood to create the tables. Perhaps the most interesting feature in the room is the “Udder” table, named for the milking machine turned light fixture that hangs above it. Mendez used wood from the space, and rimmed the table with remnants from the renovation of the bar’s facade.

The photos suggest that the space is intimate, and they don’t lie. There are 50 seats, with plans for seating for another 25 on the patio in warmer months. The walls are bare for now, but will be adorned by photography from Christine Hyatt, which feature cheesemakers (both the humans and animals) from the midwest, along with a champagne bottle installation on the rear window, and stained glass pieces along the brick walls.

But with so much ado about the space, what about the food and drink? As we mentioned before, all wines will be $10 a glass, with half pours available for $5, including an on-tap cuvee made especially for Bar Pastoral by Michigan winemaker, L. Mawby (dessert wines are slightly pricier, with no half pours available). There is also a bottle list, to round out any customer needs not available by the glass. A smattering of beer, both rare and classic, graces the coolers and drafts, and the cocktail program will open with a focus on Koval liqueurs and syrups from Quince and Apple.

Here are some sample items from the menu, written and executed by Chrissy Camba, formerly of Vincent, and the current season of Top Chef. The full drink menu is below.

SNACKS

Pizza Nuts
peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, Podda

Merguez Stuffed Apricots
labne, bacon, cilantro

House Biscuits
Wuthrich butter, Quince + Apple Orange Marmalade

SMALL PLATES

Smoked Trout Chowder
trout roe, Dazoc potato, chives

Grilled Cheese
pear, ricotta, Saxony, toasted almonds on sourdough

Roasted Cauliflower
toad-in-the-hole, Emmentaler mornay, chives

NOT-SO-SMALL PLATES

Spanish Anchovies
marinated celery, pickled banana peppers, Podda, crostini

Castelinhos Fondue
pear, rye soldiers, hazelnut sables, cocoa nibs

Roasted House-made Ham
boiled heirloom potatoes, Raclette, cornichons, mustard, baguette

HOUSE-MADE CHARCUTERIE

Duck Rillette Parfait
white triumph sweet potato, crispy kale
Accompanied by baguette, mustard, cornichons

CHEESE BOARD—select 1, 3 or 5 featured cheeses for a plate, served with baguette and select accompaniments.

CURED MEAT BOARD—select 1 or 5, served with baguette and select accompaniments.

Bar Pastoral_Drink Menu OVERVIEW

Bar Pastoral is located at 2947 N. Broadway