The celebrated Lakeview cheesemongers have transformed the space next door into a wine bar that still reps its dairy roots with a plastered ceiling reminiscent of a cheese cave (and you, after a few hours there), plus light fixtures made from old milking machines and butter churns.
Start off with snackage like podda-sprinkled "pizza nuts" and merguez-stuffed apricots, or nab some cheese 'n housemade charcuterie (pork 'n pheasant country pate, duck rillettes) from behind the possibly Andy Dufresne-carved soapstone bar. They're also literally going HAM by making their own (um, ham), served up with raclette and heirloom potatoes, and serving a ricotta-filled grilled cheese with pear and toasted almonds.
Drinkswise, beyond the rotating lineup of 16 wines by the glass, they're tapping a sparkling number that a Michigan vineyard made specially for them, potentially taking you to a plastered ceiling all your own.
1. Bar Pastoral
53 E Lake St, Chicago, IL 60601
Cheese lovers (so, everybody) get ready for your utopia! Bar Pastoral is adorned with cheeses sourced from across the globe and local independent farms so you can drop that Mini Babybel now. Wine, sandwiches, and select items are also served.