If you live in Chicago and have not heard of Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, then we want to help get you out from underneath that rock. Pastoral is the Chicago’s go to spot for delicious sandwiches, salads, artisan cheeses and meats. Their first location opened in East Lakeview in 2004, and on Thursday, October 29th they opened their fourth location in Andersonville.
Owners Ken Miller and Greg O’Neill hosted a preview party the week prior to opening to give bloggers, media and members of the Andersonville community who helped get this project to come together, a sneak peak it their new location, and it was, simply put, fantastic. As a fan of Pastoral since moving to Chicago three years ago, I can say I was already delighted to be invited.
After the warm welcome by the team at Pastoral, and a quick introduction with owners Greg and Ken, I can say that I felt, for just a moment, part of their very cool and awesome family. This Andersonville location of Pastoral is just incredible.
A great addition to the neighborhood, you can expect everything at this location as you would at their other locations; a beautiful retail space hosting high quality, handcrafted items, an array of specialty wines and cheeses from around the world, breads, charcuterie, and a deli counter. In addition, you will also see the company venture into new territory with the addition of the 75- seat wine bar and restaurant, Appellation.
If this preview party was any indication of what Pastoral has in store for patrons, then we are all in for a treat. From the moment I walked in I was greeted with… well what else? CHEESE. The entire space had food everywhere; different types of cheeses, charcuterie platters, artisan breads, and trays of delicious hors d’oeuvres being handed to you. The back counter even had a lovely gentleman ready to serve you hot melted cheese. I was in heaven! Wine was flowing at the bar, and happy people were everywhere.
It is a little puzzling as to why it took the guys at Pastoral so long to venture into the restaurant world again, considering their success of Bar Pastoral since opening in 2012, and their already established presence and ability to host people for good food and good wine. With one look of this Andersonville location though, you can see why it did take time — it had to be right. This spot is awesome, and reflects great efforts to get it to where it is today.
This is no ordinary restaurant concept. With a unique menu, Appellation looks to give diners a simple yet dedicated approach to food, with notable ingredients that also highlight some of their featured cheeses. The restaurant itself, is not only warm and inviting, but the design concept of the entire building is noteworthy on its own.
A large industrial space, with exposed brick and beautiful lighting, Pastoral’s attention to detail is impeccable. The food counter that will host a breakfast service bar in the morning, and take out orders throughout the day, proudly shares restaurant goers with a glimpse into head Chef Jessie Williams’ beautiful kitchen.
The far back corner past the wine bar boasts a beautiful open wine cellar with the walls lined with bottles of wine from around the world. Another unique element is found right in the middle; a keg that will feature a rotating French mustard on tap from Maille, which in the United States, is only available in two other locations outside of Chicago, from which you can pour you own mustard to take home.
Kudos to Pastoral, you all have done it again. A great new addition to the already splendid Andersonville neighborhood, Pastoral will stand out and offer a new dining experience from its surrounding establishments. If you are a lover of Pastoral, or a lover of wine and cheese, then prepare to be wowed. This bitch cannot wait to have a girls night out there soon.
5212 N Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640