Editor's Note: This post marks the debut of Sugar Rush, a weekly column that will explore the sweeter side of Chicago's restaurant scene. Leading the search is Kate Bernot, who has written extensively about food and drink around town, and recently counted down where to find great hot chocolate.
I never quite make it past the appetizers at Farmhouse: tavern-cut fries with aioli, Wisconsin cheese curds with smoked ketchup, or a knock-out chicken soup with herbed dumplings. The savory Midwestern dishes—coupled with a formidable chocolate or bourbon stout that the restaurant's liable to have on tap—are more than enough for me. Recently, a friend suggested I forgo the apps in favor of the desserts, and man, am I ever glad he did. One of the stand-outs is the milk chocolate pudding pastie pie ($9), a savory U.P. favorite (that's Upper Peninsula, Michigan, for the uninitiated) that I regret ever having overlooked.
Chef Eric Mansavage has served pasties at Farmhouse for some time, but wanted to expand beyond their traditional meat filling to a sweet permutation that's filled with chocolate pudding, a beer and cherry sauce, and tart Mick Klug Farm cherries. While the flaky, empanada-like crust and warm chocolate center are enough, it's those bright, sour cherries that are the perfect foil to the dish's inherent richness. While it may seem strange to saddle up to the wood bar and order a chocolate dessert with your Midwest craft beer, you'd really be silly not to.
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