The Big Cheese

Pastoral gets into the restaurant game

Should you go to Bar Pastoral if you're not a cheese-board fanatic?

Yes, you should. The new Lakeview restaurant, from the specialty shop of the same name, is petite and warm. It's stocked with affordable wines and a handful of non-cheese dishes: trout chowder, beet salad, and a selection of charcuterie.

For cheese lovers, it's a destination. A rotating cast of 17 goat, cow and sheep's-milk varieties is on offer (three for $16), served with a warm baguette and a variety of house-made accoutrements, including pumpkin-seed brittle and beet chutney.

Cheese stars in most menu items, too. Curried carrot puree with pickled peppers and brioche croutons is garnished with shards of nutty Dante ($8), a sheep's-milk cheese from Wisconsin. Emmentaler-laced Mornay sauce blankets a dinnertime egg in a basket, with egg cooked in thick-cut brioche, topped with a slab of roasted cauliflower ($11).

On a recent visit, our favorite plate featured a swath of softened Raclette over boiled new potatoes and slices of brown-sugar-brined ham (pictured; $14). A forkful of ham, potato and cheese dragged through the sweet roasting jus along the bottom of the plate was a superlative bite.

Chef Chrissy Camba will make a fanatic out of you yet.

Bar Pastoral, 2947 N. Broadway; 773-472-4781 or pastoralartisan.com/bar-pastoral