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Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine (Loop)

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Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine (Loop)

gomexico | Jan 27, 2010 10:16 AM

I stopped for lunch at Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine's "Loop" location (53 E. Lake St.) earlier this week. It's a spot I've worked into my lunch rotation for one stop each month. For take-out, the restaurant is easy to patronize. If you intend to dine-in, the challenge increases - because there are only 4 "two top" tables, seating a total of 8 people.

It's a comfortable place and you're surrounded by merchandise for sale: wines, specialized bottled soft drinks and waters, fresh-baked breads, cheeses and meats for sandwiches or trays.

This visit I found only two other persons sitting at the tables, everyone else was ordering take-out. My sandwich choice was the "Smokey Finnochi": Hand-made Finnochiona salami, smoked mozzarella, red wine vinegar, field greens and pesto - all served on a muscular baguette. Cost: $9.98

The baguette's at Pastoral are muscular - requiring a bit of a struggle as you eat the sandwich. No pain, no gain! Such struggles can be a drawback but this time it wasn't - the sandwich wasn't overpowered by the bread. The salami was so tender and fresh and the taste/flavors so rich I thought it would melt in my mouth.

Photo of the sandwich:

http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2476...

To wash-down the sandwich I had a bottle of Fentiman's Dandelion and Burdock Soda, a drink I'm developing a fondness for.

Photo of the Fentiman's Dandelion and Burdock Soda

http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2501...

Fentiman's website:

http://www.fentimans.com/

Pastoral probably makes the best sandwiches in Downtown Chicago and the Near North Side. They're not inexpensive, but the high-quality ingredients and preparation justifies the cost and I find it acceptable to stop once a month - sort of a treat.

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine - Loop location
53 East Lake Street
Chicago, IL
(312) 658-1250
Website: http://www.pastoralartisan.com

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