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Fresh meat and produce from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan form the mainstay of the menu of Evanston’s newest downtown restaurant, Farmhouse Tavern, located at the old McDonald’s space at 703 Church St., at the south end of the Hilton Orrington Hotel.

“When I learned that this space was available for a restaurant,“ said owner T. J. Callahan, “I said ‘you’ve gotta be kiddin’,” he told a group of business and civic leaders who turned out for the official ribbon-cutting Wednesday afternoon. “It’s perfect for our kind of operation.”

“The people here are educated, ecologically aware, and contain an excitement for really good, locally sourced food,” he declared. “It was a perfect match.”

While the restaurant shares the name with the first Farmhouse restaurant in Chicago, Callahan was quick to point out that “we’re not a chain.”

The farm-to-tavern concept includes 36 craft beers on tap, four types of Midwestern wine, and locally grown, specially crafted meals, such as Indiana duck breast, roasted Amish chicken, and grilled stuffed river trout, which comes highly recommended by chef Eric Mansavage.

Non-alcoholic beverages include house-made sodas, such as root beer, ginger ale, cream soda, and cucumber basil.

For vegetarians, there’s the Forest Mushroom and Poblano Pepper Old World Grains Burger that comes with garlic mayo on a toasted Challah bun with tavern cut fries.

Farmhouse Evanston opens for lunch weekdays at 11 a.m. and serves dinner Thursday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Monday through Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Soon they will be open for brunch on weekends, Callahan said.

Reservations may be made by calling (847) 492-9700.

Top: Helping Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl cut the ceremonial ribbon are 1st Ward Alderman Judy Fiske, owner Callahan, and  manager  Aaron Steingold.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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