My two girlfriends and I arrived on the Friday of their opening week. At 7pm. We were feeling bold. We were told there would be an hour wait, less for a spot at the bar itself. We gave the host our phone number and plopped down at a dive bar across the street to grab a drink while we waited. After about 25 minutes, we were called and they had a spot for us at the wine bar. Win.
We walked into the small storefront which was packed with patrons at each of their 10 or so tables plus the cheese bar in the back and the wine bar in the front. The wine bar was actually quite comfortable. Even though we were in a tight space, I never felt the people around me were on top of me. I actually really enjoyed watching all the wine pouring action up close and personal.
|Wine bottle list|
|Full glass of 2009 Bodega Gougenheim Cabernet Sauvignon|
We started off with each of us selecting one cheese for our cheese board. Our trio of cow's milk cheeses included a softer Liebe Rot cow's milk cheese, Reserved Bandaged cheddar, and a Challerhocker. The Liebe Rot was very soft and creamy, similar in texture to brie. We found this one to be a tad too bitter, but I did enjoy the texture. This one was served with a side of pickled plums and a baguette. The crumbled cheddar was in a cup along with some peanut brittle. I loved how the sweetness of the brittle cut the saltiness of the cheddar. Lastly, the Challerhocker, both our favorite of the cheese board and the most fun to pronounce, was served with a pumpkin seed brittle. I loved the semi-firm texture and grassy taste. It nearly moo-ed when I bit in.
|Cheese board and pizza nuts|
|Pizza nuts with peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds and podda|
|Roasted cauliflower with egg-in-a-basket, brioche, mornay sauce, chives|
|Grilled cheese with pear, ricotta, Saxony, toasted almonds, sourdough|
Bar Pastoral gets 4 stars for its diverse menu, reasonably priced wines and welcoming staff. Next time I'll ask to sit at the cheese bar in back. Hey, maybe I'll score a few samples?
2647 North Broadway
Chicago, Illinois 60657