Remember that post I did at the end of April rounding up farm-to-table restaurants in Chicago? Do you also remember how I wanted to try at least a few of them over the summer? Well, I got a head start a few weeks ago when I went to Farmhouse in River North with a few friends for dinner. I'd been to Farmhouse in the past but I haven't eaten an actual meal there. The menu is something to be reckoned with and their wine, beer and cocktail selection isn't so bad either. I love the communal dining feature Farmhouse has because it makes it feel more casual. We were seated upstairs which was a surprise to me because I didn't even realize there was an upstairs. Our waitress was very friendly, incredibly accommodating (especially with our indecisiveness) and the food was even better than I had expected. I tried quite a bit of it too.MENU Appetizer: Beer Battered Wisconsin Cheese Curds Main 1: Amish Chicken Thighs sweet tea brined with shaved asparagus, rhubarb, carrot, spring onion and a sweet tea vinaigrette Main 2: Pasture Raised Burger on a grilled country bun with hand cut fries Side: Baked Cheddar Mac and Cheese Wine: Domaine du Pre Semele Sancerre
We were really craving cheese when we went out to dinner so the Beer Battered Wisconsin Cheese Curds were an obvious choice to start with. These come with high recommendations from basically anyone who's ever had them and they did not disappoint. Perfectly crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside, they are dangerous. I highly advise to share these among a few people because it's not hard to eat them all on your own. Try dipping in the sauces that accompany them. One is a home-made ketchup and the other was like a honey dijon. I'm not for sure but it was delicious. My friend ordered the Amish Chicken Thighs which I had my eye on. This is a great springtime meal. It was light and there wasn't anything fried so it was easy on the stomach. The sweet tea brine was incredible. It gave the chicken such a unique flavor and the chicken itself was tender and juicy. I love chicken thighs because they are generally more moist and flavorful than breasts. Add that quality with the brine and refreshing flavors of the salad, this meal is satisfying and delectable. I ordered the Pasture Raised Burger because I love a really good burger. I was determined not to order something so "typical" for me but after seeing several other people around me eating this, I felt that I had no choice but to try it for myself. This was the best and worst decision I could have made. The burger was so juicy and perfectly cooked. The flavors burst into your mouth at each bite and the cheddar cheese I included on mine was the perfect salty tang to complete an ultimate cheeseburger. There isn't one bad thing I could say about it which is why this was also my worst decision. I dream about having another one of these, possibly with a different cheese just to try it out. The homemade ketchup that comes with the fries is incredible. I've never given a condiment much credit before. My other friend order the Baked Cheddar Mac and Cheese along with a simple side salad for her meal. Smart girl, it was the perfect amount of food. I had a taste of the mac and cheese and was blow away. I had more dairy in this one night than I've had in the last month but it was well worth it. I did not try the side salad but I have it on good authority it was delicious. My friend said that it was her favorite part of the dinner which is hard to imagine because the wine was a showstopper. Farmhouse has a lot of local options for beer and wine. They work with local breweries and they serve wine on tap from Michigan. They also have some imports as well though including Domaine du Pre Semele Sancerre. As soon as I saw a Sancerre was on the wine list, I was sold. This is my favorite white wine, possibly by favorite wine overall, and it's not easy to find. Not many restaurants have it so I was impressed to see it on the menu at Farmhouse. Crisp, clean and citrusy, this bottle was everything I remembered from Paris. It's a great varietal for summer because it's light and it's crisp. It's easy to drink and pairs well with many types of food. If you're looking for a people-pleasing wine, Sancerre is your best bet in my opinion.
Overall, the experience at Farmhouse was fantastic. The service was great and the food was phenomenal. The lighting isn't the greatest so please excuse the photos. They're not at their best quality. I can't wait to head back to Farmhouse and try their brunch. It's been on my radar for a while so I'll have to make it there soon.