-Continued from page 45 Opened in June 2016, the gastropub is focused on reducing its carbon footprint with its own greenhouse, hop farm, micro-orchard and gardens, which employees water with reclaimed rainwater. Alyse Marie Warren, Hardware’s executive chef, described the restaurant’s cuisine as “old school ideas about food done in a new way.”
Hardware’s menu changes with the seasons and, this fall, Warren anticipates tweaking current dishes to make them more appropriate for autumn, as well as removing lighter summer dishes. Her favorite fall ingredients are root vegetables like celery root, squash and beets.
In addition to its food menu, Hardware offers mixed drinks, wine, 350 kinds of Whiskey, and beer brewed under its own label, BBGB. That’s “It’s really about getting back to the nuts and where Brent Fiedor, Hardware’s brew master bolts of cooking,” she says. (and former executive chef), comes in. Fiedor Warren says that when it comes to designing the brews all of the BBGB beer and helped build menu, she takes inspiration from everywhere. Hardware’s 1.5-acre hop farm in 2015, before the restaurant opened. “When you’re a chef you kind of eat, sleep and dream about food, so you’re never sure exactly The goal for the hop farm, Fiedor says, is to be where [an idea] comes from,” she says. able to brew BBGB beer exclusively with hops grown on-site. This year’s harvest is the first one Lunch menu items include everything from Fiedor can use for brewing. Hops get better after grilled cheese with wood-grilled mushrooms a few harvests, so first-year hops are not of a and truffle cheddar to a Chicago-style hot dog high enough quality for brewing, Fiedor says. made in-house. Or try a charcuterie board with selections of cheeses and meats, some of which He anticipates that this autumn’s harvest will are also made in-house. yield about 200 pounds of hops; and – at full The dinner menu features options like 14-hour in- yield – they will harvest 2,000 pounds. Warren hopes to have a harvest celebration next year house smoked brisket barbecued in Hardware’s own coffee stout and served with rustic mashed where people can come and sample the hops, then return a year later – during the next harvest potatoes and corn relish. – to drink a special beer made from those hops. And who says that meat can’t be sweet? For BBGB beers are also branching out. Fiedor says dessert, sample whiskey-braised pork belly that they have entered beers into both the served with Luxardo red cherry ice cream and a Festival of Barrel Aged Beers in November and, reduction of dark brown sugar syrup.
46 | OCTOBER 2017 | KANE COUNTY MAGAZINE
DINING & ENTERTAINING
this month, the Great American Beer Festival – the largest in the country – where they also will have a pouring booth. The “whole idea of a gastropub,” Warren says, is that the food and the drinks complement one another.