And FEAST we did!
On a whim, I made a reservation on Wednesday night for dinner with a friend. I've blasted past the exterior on the Damen bus more times than I can count, and I'd heard only good things.
Inside, there was a monthly wine tasting going on around the bar. The whole area was gorgeous, with a roaring fire in one corner and a nice standing bar that meandered around the whole room. Really great for conversation, it looked like. Apparently, on the third Wednesday of every month, you pay $20 to get in on it, and you sample and snack to your heart's content.
But we went for the big guns and were seated in the equally cozy dining room, which was lit by huge, colorful lanterns. Beautiful ambiance.
Our server was blasé to the point of hilarity: When we asked him about the pot pie (listed on the menu as "market price"), he said, "It's a chicken pot pie with peas, onions and cream. It's $14." In the best Ben Stein voice I've heard out of a twentysomething, ever. My friend, who is gay and absolutely wonderful, said our server was the kind of guy he just wanted to take to get a haircut. I had to agree.
My companion had the steak salad, and I got a lovely glass of Carmenere/Cabernet, a small house salad with INCREDIBLE balsamic vinaigrette and the macaroni and cheese appetizer.
I like to eat.
Now, I am a blue-box-blues aficionado, and I normally prefer the box variety to what I get in restaurants (I'm gross, I know). But this mac and cheese was approaching orgasmic, truly. The pasta was done perfectly; the cheese was a creamy parmesan with a little something else for smooth meltiness; and the pancetta, roasted tomatoes, some delicious little green things and crunchy bread crumbs on top... Just perfection. And I don't say that very often.
We split the apple-blueberry tart for dessert, which was a little ho-hum and could've used some cinnamon or ANY other spice. But it tasted like it had just come out of the oven and was otherwise nice on a cold night.
When I move to Bucktown — after I make my first $5 million — I'll be a regular at Feast! Until then? I'll be back to give brunch a try sometime soon.