When I first had the idea to planticize restaurant menus, I called my friend Matt Eisler to get his take on the idea. Matt’s created some of the most popular bars and restaurants in Chicago (Bar DeVille, Bangers & Lace, Trenchermen), so I knew he could tell me if this was a great idea or just plain wackadoo. I prepared a lengthy presentation in my head about how clean food is becoming more and more mainstream, including info on health benefits and details about my own experience. To my surprise, after just a few anxious minutes of explanation, Matt said he loved what I was up to and agreed to get involved.
Enter Trenchermen, OPP’s first partner. Similar to my meeting with Matt, his partners and chefs (Pat and Mike Sheerin) needed little convincing. In fact, they already had a couple dishes on the menu that could be tweaked to be 100% plant-based. I played it cool when they said yes, but inside I was doing some major booty shaking.
Trenchermen is just plain cool. It has major chef-cred (Mike was a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2010) and some serious drink-cred to boot (beverage director Tona Palomino is a wd~50 alum). And then there’s the space itself. Designed by partner Kevin Heisner, the attention to detail and beauty of it all is so good that it makes me nervous. It’s hands down my most favorite space that Kevin has designed. The entryway alone is enough to put this at the top of your restauranting to-do list.
Check out their plant-based options on their menu. I’ll be there this week for the smoked pistachio hummus…see you there!