Greg Mohr and Scott Weiner will open their fourth restaurant that will serve literal farm-to-table cuisine, Homestead, by mid-July.
Chef John Wayne Formica – an opening sous chef at Sunda under Rodelio Aglibot and an opening sous chef at C-House under Marcus Samuelsson – will helm the Homestead kitchen. Chef Formica will be serving literal farm-to-table shareable plates where ingredients from every single dish will come from Homestead’s 1,000-square foot organic rooftop farm. The artfully-plated rustic Midwestern fare is inspired by Chef Formica’s Chicago upbringing, his multi-ethnic background, and his extensive global travels.
“Chef John is a true talent who’s been operating under the radar,” Mohr said. “We’re excited to put him at the forefront of our truly unique space that is Homestead. We can’t wait for people experience his textured and flavorful food that’s sustainable yet approachable, familiar yet unique.”
Homestead patrons will enter the restaurant through Roots Handmade Pizza (1924 W Chicago Ave), and will be led upstairs to the unique dual space on the second floor.
The rooftop features 85 outdoor seats with full view of the L-shaped 1,000-square foot organic rooftop farm and two massive vertical hanging gardens.
The light-filled and airy interior space at Homestead will seat about 40 people at tables with an additional 10 seats at the bar. The interior is decked out with a live birch walls, a hanging plant wall, air plants, bespoke glass terrariums filled with living vegetation, and vintage sconces. The South side of Homestead’s interior features floor-to-ceiling windows that over look the rooftop farm.
The handcrafted tables at Homestead inside and outside are each one-of-a-kind made from reclaimed wood, tin ceiling pieces, farm house doors, and other reclaimed materials.
Homestead will be open 5pm to 2am Sunday through Friday and from 5pm to 3am on Saturday. The outside rooftop of Homestead will be open until midnight every night. Homestead will not accept reservations. Homestead is a seasonal restaurant that will stay open until around mid-October, and it will re-open in the spring of 2013.
Chef Formica’s opening Homestead menu will feature about 15 shareable savory plates and about three desserts – all of which will contain ingredients from the 1,000-square foot organic rooftop farm. The menu will change frequently due to the seasonality of the rooftop farm that has over 100 different vegetable, fruit, plant, and herb varietals.
A Homestead opening menu item will be “Two Way Potato” that is inspired by Chef Formica’s Italian background. Sliced potato will be crisped into a cylinder, stuffed with local goat cheese mashed potatoes, served atop of bed of lightly-dressed greens picked from the rooftop farm, and topped with shaved summer truffles.
Another dish will be a “Lamb Tartare” that pulls from Chef Formica’s Lebanese background that will feature finely chopped Illinois-raised lamb filets mixed with bulgar, mint, parsley, scallion, tomato, cucumber, and cinnamon. The tartare will be finished with an aioli and served with housemade chickpea chips.
“Textured Foie” will also be on Homestead’s opening menu that was inspired from Chef Formica’s global travels. Half-moon slices of housemade foie gras tourchon will go through a three-step breading process before being fried. They’ll be served with a sweet squash puree, greens picked from the rooftop farm, and crispy duck prosciutto.
Other savory Homestead shareable plates will feature sustainable pork, beef, seafood, and chicken. In addition to the “Two Way Potato”, Homestead will also have about four other vegetarian shareable plates on its opening menu as well. Homestead will also have daily chef food specials based on what’s best and fresh at local Chicago markets and incorporating the best of Homestead’s rooftop farm as well.
A Homestead opening scratch-made dessert item will be a strawberry granita – strawberry-infused ice with hint of rose topped with strawberry gelee, strawberry sorbet, and pickled strawberries.
The Homestead cocktail list will feature about eight specialty cocktails created by consultant Revae Schneider, owner of Femme du Coupe (http://femmeducoupe.com). Each of the specialty cocktails will incorporate elements of the rooftop farm, and each will be served in a unique vessel. A full liquor bar is also available.
Homestead will exclusively feature brews from the Midwest. Homestead’s beer program will focus around about 15 large format 22oz bottles (“bombers”) that are perfect for sharing and pair with the shareable food plates. There will also be six beers on tap and about 20 beers in 12oz bottles.