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16 Restaurants To Find Housemade Charcuterie In Chicago

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Chicago is a big meat town, everyone knows that. But until recent years the city wasn't known for its charcuterie. Now, the process of curing and/or smoking meats or the creating of pâtés and terrines is, while not commonplace, far more plentiful. In honor of Eater's Five Days of Meat, the below map lists the top restaurants whose chefs are taking great pains in delivering artisanal, in-house charcuterie programs.


· All The Five Days of Meat Coverage [-ECHI-]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Bread & Wine

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Chef Michael Dean Reynolds says that his signature charcuterie item is the chicken liver pate. With livers from Little Farms on the Prairie in Saunemin, IL, he incorporates butter, cream and whiskey. From there it’s “do a little dance, make a little love and just like that…pâté.”

The Radler

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Though fairly new on the scene, The Radler is showing ambitious signs already with chef Nathan Sears at the helm. Trained under Paul Virant at Vie, Sears is taking what he learned and putting his own stamp on charcuterie. There's the cured pork loin, pork collar and smoked turkey breast. But then there’s the teewurst, a fermented fatty sausage with caraway, cardamom and lemon zest which is then hung to dry in the cooler for nearly a week.

Old Town Social

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As the first chef in Chicago to receive legal certification to dry-cure salumi in-house, Jared Van Camp knows a thing or two about charcuterie. Old Town Social’s current list features finocchiona, chicken liver mousse and pâté de champagne and follows Van Camp’s desire to be “extremely local.”

Tête Charcuterie

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There’s a lot of charcuterie going on at TÊTE Charcuterie because…well it’s in the name, isn’t it? They’re doing terrines, they’re doing pâtés and they’re curing meats. There’s fermented beets to complement their fresh German sausage and salt cured fluke with vadouvan as well. Their desire is to pay tribute to the art of French charcuterie, while recognizing the historical impact of Chicago’s meat industry.

Table, Donkey and Stick

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Scott Manley learned a lot about butchering whole animals during his time at Paul Virant's Vie in Western Springs and those skills are a large part of what earned him the job at Table, Donkey & Stick. His items include pork loins cured with Szechuan peppercorns, salami flavored with dandelion root tea and another with chamomile and cocoa nibs. The restaurant's pheasant galantine is made by curing a whole deboned pheasant with coffee from Sparrow Roasters, then making a forcemeat with a second pheasant.

The Bristol

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“The ability to use everything from the animals allows us some freedom in what we prepare,” The Bristols’ chef Chris Pandel states about the restaurant’s dedication to butchering all of its proteins in house. Current items on the restaurant’s charcuterie list include whipped chicken liver mousse with charred radicchio and saba, porchetta di testa with arugula and smoked chiles, smoked chorizo with pickled ramps, and country pâté with charred corn and pickled garlic.

Big Jones

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The heritage southern cuisine at Big Jones finds chef/owner Paul Fehribach going back more than one hundred years at times to pull recipes from his epic number of cookbooks. His strict enforcement of knowing where things come from, in this case animal husbandry, is what led him to make his twelve varieties of charcuterie in house. Trotters are pickled and used to season butterbeans, the head goes into head cheese and posole, and the organs are made into chaudin and boudin with Fehribach utilizing all of the pig in the manner of a Cajun boucherie. Other items include streak-o-lean (salt pork), Chaurice (“a Creole knock-off of Chorizo), and seasonally applicable items such as potted duck and guinea hen as well as crawfish boudin.

Chop Shop & 1st Ward Events

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Most of the charcuterie available at Chop Show is made in-house, executive chef Joshua Marrelli says. The meat and seasoning in their pâtés often changes, but all are rolled into a torchon and then wrapped in bacon. Liver mousse is baked, then puréed, piped into small serving vessels, then topped with a gelee that changes with each batch. “Most recently it’s Pimm's and blueberry (we usually do a liquor and a fruit), it is our play on butter and jelly."

Quartino

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Quartino's charcuterie are made from centuries-old family recipes that use organic, sustainable and local products. Chef John Coletta makes nine varieties in house, from prosciutto d’ anatra (duck prosciutto) to salame al tartufo nero (truffle salame) to La Spianata Romana al Punta del Coltello, which is pork shoulder and pork belly blended with fragrant spices from Lazio, Italy and red wine. This unique salumi sees the pork marinated for several days and then placed by hand into natural beef casings, tied, pressed between natural pine wood boards and dried for three months at a cellar temperature of 55 degrees with 70 percent humidity.

Ceres' Table

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The recently relocated Ceres’ Table is making their own lonza cotta (brined and poached pork loin), porchetta di testa (cured and rolled pig face), along with pork liver sausage (bacon, mascarpone and saba, which is a sweet syrup made from grape juice). For the porchetta di testa, chef Giuseppe Scurato debones the whole pig head before marinating it for three days in garlic, salt, pepper and lemon zest. He then rolls the head in cheese cloth and plastic before sous viding the whole thing low for nine hours.

Fountainhead

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“The kitchen is quite small at Fountainhead, so I have to do a smaller housemade charcuterie offering,” chef Cleetus Friedman explains. He expects to expand on the rillettes, mousses and terrines he does now with dry curing once he and his team open The Northman cider bar later this summer. “I love to pair alcohol with food and that will be a big focus at The Northman,” Friedman says.

Dusek's

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Chef Jared Wentworth says that, while they don’t serve dried, cured sausages at Dusek's, they do make fresh sausages and choucroute. For added measure at Longman & Eagle they make smoked sturgeon rillettes, pheasant pâté and tete de cochon. While at The Promontory they will rotate out items including a foie gras and wild mushroom terrine, pâté en croute and rabbit gallontine.

Perennial Virant

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Perennial Virant’s Paul Virant, in collaboration with his chef de cuisine Ed Sura, creates a mountain of charcuterie: finocchiona, pork liver mousse, pate, smoked pork loin, lomo (dry cured for a week then hung to dry in their charcuterie cellar, Sura says that the “fat cap melts in your mouth and cuts through the saltiness” found in the center of the loin), coppa, genoa, guanciale, chorizo, soppressata, bresaola, cacciatore (“hunter style,” thin sausages that dry quickly for traveling), savory sumac, and “Deena” which was created by former Vie chef de cuisine Nathan Sears, who is now heading up The Radler. Named after Sears’ wife, it's a fermented and dry cured sausage that Sura says “has a distinctly beautiful floral flavor from dried lavender and fennel.”

"Our approach is to always make everything ourselves and not to buy," says Acadia's Ryan McCaskey. Currently he and his staff are offering up wild boar terrine, chicken liver mousse and Elysian Fields lamb bacon. Doing the charcuterie in house pays many dividends, McCaskey says. It's "a valuable skill and craft to have. The young cooks are eager to learn and it's a good way to stimulate them with new techniques and flavors."

Laughing Bird

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Laughing Bird boasts a charcuterie program that sets it apart from most others. The Filipino spot with chef Chrissy Camba at the helm boasts a plate special featuring chicken liver mousse with adobo aspic, Peking duck rillettes with skins, grilled kimchi pork pâté, along with accompaniments of grilled sesame bread and Asian pickles.

Current offerings at the Michelin-starred restaurant include lamb country pâté, coffee-cured smoked duck breast, duck liver mousse and porchetta di testa courtesy of chef Andrew Zimmerman.

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Bread & Wine

Chef Michael Dean Reynolds says that his signature charcuterie item is the chicken liver pate. With livers from Little Farms on the Prairie in Saunemin, IL, he incorporates butter, cream and whiskey. From there it’s “do a little dance, make a little love and just like that…pâté.”

The Radler

Though fairly new on the scene, The Radler is showing ambitious signs already with chef Nathan Sears at the helm. Trained under Paul Virant at Vie, Sears is taking what he learned and putting his own stamp on charcuterie. There's the cured pork loin, pork collar and smoked turkey breast. But then there’s the teewurst, a fermented fatty sausage with caraway, cardamom and lemon zest which is then hung to dry in the cooler for nearly a week.

Old Town Social

As the first chef in Chicago to receive legal certification to dry-cure salumi in-house, Jared Van Camp knows a thing or two about charcuterie. Old Town Social’s current list features finocchiona, chicken liver mousse and pâté de champagne and follows Van Camp’s desire to be “extremely local.”

Tête Charcuterie

There’s a lot of charcuterie going on at TÊTE Charcuterie because…well it’s in the name, isn’t it? They’re doing terrines, they’re doing pâtés and they’re curing meats. There’s fermented beets to complement their fresh German sausage and salt cured fluke with vadouvan as well. Their desire is to pay tribute to the art of French charcuterie, while recognizing the historical impact of Chicago’s meat industry.

Table, Donkey and Stick

Scott Manley learned a lot about butchering whole animals during his time at Paul Virant's Vie in Western Springs and those skills are a large part of what earned him the job at Table, Donkey & Stick. His items include pork loins cured with Szechuan peppercorns, salami flavored with dandelion root tea and another with chamomile and cocoa nibs. The restaurant's pheasant galantine is made by curing a whole deboned pheasant with coffee from Sparrow Roasters, then making a forcemeat with a second pheasant.

The Bristol

“The ability to use everything from the animals allows us some freedom in what we prepare,” The Bristols’ chef Chris Pandel states about the restaurant’s dedication to butchering all of its proteins in house. Current items on the restaurant’s charcuterie list include whipped chicken liver mousse with charred radicchio and saba, porchetta di testa with arugula and smoked chiles, smoked chorizo with pickled ramps, and country pâté with charred corn and pickled garlic.

Big Jones

The heritage southern cuisine at Big Jones finds chef/owner Paul Fehribach going back more than one hundred years at times to pull recipes from his epic number of cookbooks. His strict enforcement of knowing where things come from, in this case animal husbandry, is what led him to make his twelve varieties of charcuterie in house. Trotters are pickled and used to season butterbeans, the head goes into head cheese and posole, and the organs are made into chaudin and boudin with Fehribach utilizing all of the pig in the manner of a Cajun boucherie. Other items include streak-o-lean (salt pork), Chaurice (“a Creole knock-off of Chorizo), and seasonally applicable items such as potted duck and guinea hen as well as crawfish boudin.

Chop Shop & 1st Ward Events

Most of the charcuterie available at Chop Show is made in-house, executive chef Joshua Marrelli says. The meat and seasoning in their pâtés often changes, but all are rolled into a torchon and then wrapped in bacon. Liver mousse is baked, then puréed, piped into small serving vessels, then topped with a gelee that changes with each batch. “Most recently it’s Pimm's and blueberry (we usually do a liquor and a fruit), it is our play on butter and jelly."

Quartino

Quartino's charcuterie are made from centuries-old family recipes that use organic, sustainable and local products. Chef John Coletta makes nine varieties in house, from prosciutto d’ anatra (duck prosciutto) to salame al tartufo nero (truffle salame) to La Spianata Romana al Punta del Coltello, which is pork shoulder and pork belly blended with fragrant spices from Lazio, Italy and red wine. This unique salumi sees the pork marinated for several days and then placed by hand into natural beef casings, tied, pressed between natural pine wood boards and dried for three months at a cellar temperature of 55 degrees with 70 percent humidity.

Ceres' Table

The recently relocated Ceres’ Table is making their own lonza cotta (brined and poached pork loin), porchetta di testa (cured and rolled pig face), along with pork liver sausage (bacon, mascarpone and saba, which is a sweet syrup made from grape juice). For the porchetta di testa, chef Giuseppe Scurato debones the whole pig head before marinating it for three days in garlic, salt, pepper and lemon zest. He then rolls the head in cheese cloth and plastic before sous viding the whole thing low for nine hours.

Fountainhead

“The kitchen is quite small at Fountainhead, so I have to do a smaller housemade charcuterie offering,” chef Cleetus Friedman explains. He expects to expand on the rillettes, mousses and terrines he does now with dry curing once he and his team open The Northman cider bar later this summer. “I love to pair alcohol with food and that will be a big focus at The Northman,” Friedman says.

Dusek's

Chef Jared Wentworth says that, while they don’t serve dried, cured sausages at Dusek's, they do make fresh sausages and choucroute. For added measure at Longman & Eagle they make smoked sturgeon rillettes, pheasant pâté and tete de cochon. While at The Promontory they will rotate out items including a foie gras and wild mushroom terrine, pâté en croute and rabbit gallontine.

Perennial Virant

Perennial Virant’s Paul Virant, in collaboration with his chef de cuisine Ed Sura, creates a mountain of charcuterie: finocchiona, pork liver mousse, pate, smoked pork loin, lomo (dry cured for a week then hung to dry in their charcuterie cellar, Sura says that the “fat cap melts in your mouth and cuts through the saltiness” found in the center of the loin), coppa, genoa, guanciale, chorizo, soppressata, bresaola, cacciatore (“hunter style,” thin sausages that dry quickly for traveling), savory sumac, and “Deena” which was created by former Vie chef de cuisine Nathan Sears, who is now heading up The Radler. Named after Sears’ wife, it's a fermented and dry cured sausage that Sura says “has a distinctly beautiful floral flavor from dried lavender and fennel.”

Acadia

"Our approach is to always make everything ourselves and not to buy," says Acadia's Ryan McCaskey. Currently he and his staff are offering up wild boar terrine, chicken liver mousse and Elysian Fields lamb bacon. Doing the charcuterie in house pays many dividends, McCaskey says. It's "a valuable skill and craft to have. The young cooks are eager to learn and it's a good way to stimulate them with new techniques and flavors."