Farm to table. Sustainable. Organic. Restaurant buzz words that probably beat you over the f*cking head these days. Problem is, when you live in a concrete jungle and there’s limited vegetation in sight, it’s hard to know exactly how far from the farm your food had to go before arriving on said table. And if that’s something that bothers you about farm to table concepts, then you need to check out Homestead on the Roof.
A second floor establishment above Roots Pizza in Ukrainian Village, Homestead on the Roof has a kick *ss 1,000 square foot rooftop with an organic garden and 80 seat patio. There are literally fruits, vegetables, and herbs growing in every direction around you, which just so happen to be the driving force behind seasonal menus. We know that it's currently below freezing outside, but the 65 seat indoor space is also a good mix of spacious and intimate with a real casual feel, although patio is the way to go when you can. You’ll notice a Homestead on the Roof sign at the Northeast corner of Chicago and Winchester, but the entrance is actually inside Roots, so walk into the pizza joint and tell the host to direct you to the back stairs.
The menu is made for sharing with dishes ranging in size, plus the wait staff will help you navigate if you need - though be warned they can at times be pompously descriptive. The food has a real rustic American feel, with visually appealing dishes that allow the garden ingredients to shine. A few issues with the food itself hold Homestead back slightly, but it's still a more than deserving place to spend your money and time.
Homemade chicken skins with Sriracha honey mustard. The question is how many should you order.
Asparagus served with fried duck egg and brown butter vinaigrette. More of a side vegetable dish than a salad, but well done if you’re a cooked asparagus fan.
Kale with apples, burnt cheddar, and a bacon-cider dressing. Great flavors, but a tad heavy on the dressing at times.
Not your typical preparation. They aren’t kidding around with the Moroccan spices, and the fried chickpeas add a new and welcoming taste to seafood. A must try if you like mussels.
A straightforward dish with some exceptional pappardelle noodles.
The fish comes with some gnocchi and poached lobster in a lobster broth. The broth is basically lobster bisque, and it’s awesome.
The scallops are pretty good, but they come with small pieces of braised beef short ribs wrapped in some wilted greens, which are even better. The garlic chive mustard emulsion is on point too.
Half a chicken plus some lamb sausage with fried artichokes and roasted carrots. A very hearty and well balanced dish. This lamb is better than the actual lamb dish below, and the crispy artichokes add a nice textural contrast.
Probably the most disappointing dish here, which is unfortunate. It looks beautiful, and the yogurt, frika, carrot, and truffle aioli sauce it comes over is great, but despite looking like a juicy piece of lamb it’s a lot of bone and fat.