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Now Open: Goosefoot Food And Wine

By John Lenart in Food on Oct 15, 2014 7:30PM

Photo by John Lenart

When Chris and Nina Nugent opened now Michelin-starred BYOB restaurant Goosefoot on a somewhat rundown block of Lawrence Avenue in the winter of 2011, some people questioned the location. What perplexed many was what types of wines to bring to this fine dining location. Others, unaware that Goosefoot is BYOB, would arrive with no wine and often run down the block to a small liquor store that sells little more than cheap plonk wine. On Tuesday, the Nugents offered a solution for both of the above types of people while bringing a bit more class to their sleepy block.

Goosefoot Food and Wine (2654 W. Lawrence Ave.) a wine and gourmet food shop, contains about 200 wine selections with plans to expand to about 280 wines. Prices start at $12.99 and top out at $74.99 for the 2010 La Dominque Grand Cru Saint Emilion. When asked about the price range Chris Nugent told me, “We're down to earth people. We want the neighborhood to come to the shop and buy a bottle of wine they can afford.”

Working alongside Ald. Patrick O'Connor (40th), Nugent was able to get a liquor license moratorium on the neighborhood lifted. “The city was really helpful…” when it came to opening, Nugent said.

To help choose the wines for the store the Nugents turned to friend and former Les Nomades sommelier Michael Gustaitis, who now owns Wine Sellers in Saugatuck, Michigan. To assemble the wine selections, Gustaitis asked what wines people were bringing to Goosefoot. Armed with this information he put together the wine program for Goosefoot Food and Wine. The wine selection is approachable not only in price but in wine types as well. If you're looking for oddball, boutique wines, you probably won't find them here. (At least for now.) What you will find is a nice representation of classic wine regions from around the world.

To assist guests who are choosing wine to dine with at their restaurant, Goosefoot Food and Wine will soon offer their “Goosefoot Selections,” which will be wines specifically chosen to pair with the current menu. Goosefoot will maintain its BYOB policy.

If you'd rather play the role of sommelier on you own you can choose from a good selection of Champagnes and other high quality sparkling wines. The white selection offers a good range of German wines, five different Sancerres and even a Savennières, as well as other high quality old world white wines. Of course, you can also find a solid choice of new world whites from California and New Zealand. The red selections also offer a tour of great wine regions and varietals. Well known California and Oregon producers abound here, but there are also very nice wines from Spain, Italy and France. You can also find a solid selection of half bottles, including five white burgundies, ranging in price from $12.99 to $33.99 per half bottle.

Wines come from seven different distributors who, along with Gustaitis, will lead store staff in tasting and training.

Aside from wine, the shop also sells a variety of high end foods, from artisan pastas, to cheeses, to granola, and more. You can also buy Goosefoot soups. Current selections are mushroom, chestnut, and heirloom squash. These are the same soups served in the restaurant. Also exciting is the availability of three different roasts of Sparrow Coffee which is rarely seen at retail.

Perhaps the part of the shop which Chef Nugent is most excited about though is his chocolate lab. In this small temperature controlled room he will create gem-like truffles. He tells me that originally he had planned to create chocolates in the restaurant but the kitchen was just too hot. Not one to give up, a year and a half ago he hatched the plan for Goosefoot Food and Wine, with creation of chocolates being the one of the most important parts of the plan. Now, standing in a quiet store, empty of customers after a grand opening party, Nugent smiles and quietly reflects, “It's exactly what I had envisioned.”

Goosefoot Food and Wine is located at 2654 W. Lawrence Ave., 773-942-7522. Current hours are 1 p.m. - 10 p.m. 7 days a week. Hours may change based upon demand.

UPDATE: Newly posted business hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.