Say Cheese (and Wine)!
There are few better pairings than wine and cheese, and no one knows that more so than Chicago’s Pastoral Artisan Group, who’ve been retailing both along with bread, sandwiches and other hand-sourced comestibles in three locations across the city since 2004. At their cut-to-order counters, Chicagoans have long queued for the very best renditions of classic European cheeses, like Ciresa’s floral, herbaceous Pecorino Fioretto, as well as New World wonders, like Vermont Creamery’s milky Coupole, and finally those avid vin et fromage lovers can sample these and many more in-house at their newly opened Bar Pastoral.
In a cosy, 50-seat bolthole of yellow walls and rustic brick, Bar Pastoral offers up their Chrissy Camba-designed menu of grazing and sharing plates from hand-scrawled chalkboards seven nights a week. Cheese and charcuterie are the obvious default choices, but a natty selection of seasonal dishes, bar snacks like Merguez stuffed apricots, small plates including smoked trout chowder, and large dishes like house-roasted ham compliment the substantial soft, washed-rind, firm and blue cheese, and home-cured meat menu nicely. In the way of drinks, guests can choose from a tightly-curated list of Old and New World wines (by the glass or bottle) and craft beers sourced from both the US (like Brewery Ommegang’s Abbey Ale) and abroad (including De Koninck’s Belgian Pale Ale). We’ll cheers to that!