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Mini-review: Farmhouse

We're feeling at home in this Midwestern-themed bar

February 08, 2012|By Emily Van Zandt | RedEye

Farmhouse
228 W. Chicago Ave. 312-280-4960
Rating: !! 1/2 (out of four)

The scene: Think a 30-and-older crowd out for dinner, mixed with a few area workers stopping in for a drink before heading just a few feet to grab the Brown Line home.

The drinks: The beer list is impressive. More than 25 on draft, including a personal favorite, Boulevard's Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale. The focus remains on regional brews from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. Not in the mood for beer? Drink options also include a handful of house cocktails and wine, including a red and white house wine available on draft. The red wasn't impressive--a little too sweet--but at $6 a glass, the price was right.

The bites: The real draw at Farmhouse seems to be the food, with most patrons settling down to a late dinner rather than order rounds of drinks on the Friday we stopped by. The bar snacks and appetizer list seemed hearty enough to make a meal out of, and the mac 'n' cheese fritters ($8) were suprisingly un-greasy with a barbecue cream sauce adding just enough kick. When my friend and I ordered a salad and the trout to split, the kitchen served it up on two separate plates without even asking--a nice touch. The trout ($18) was fresh and flavorful with the melted leeks adding a suprising burst of bitterness that worked well.

Bottom line: Farmhouse is doing everything right, but it still feels unoriginal. Local beer list? Seasonal, Midwestern-ispired dishes? Communal seating with animal-centric art? Where have we seen this before ...

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