Farm-to-table cuisine in the southwest suburbs

May 18, 2013 (PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill.)

That's where a new restaurant at the corner of Harlem and 127th Street is attempting to lure diners with the promise of farm-to-table cuisine. The early response has been overwhelming.

The fact that everything here - from the baked goods to the sausage to the spreads - are all made from scratch, wouldn't be as big a deal in a place like Logan Square or Andersonville. But since the Harvest Room opened its doors a few months ago in Palos Heights, it immediately caused a stir -- mainly due to the kitchen's commitment.

"We specialize in making all of our food - as much as we can - from scratch, as well as using local farmers," said co-owner Carri Sirigas.

Part of that was due to the owners' wish to be near their family, but also because they missed the quality of restaurants they had when they lived in Wicker Park.

"We live close by which was something very important to us because we have family and being with our family we didn't want to spend an hour commuting back and forth like we used to to the city," Sirigas said.

Breakfasts are hearty and satisfying. "The Bake" is an eggy bread pudding, loaded with roasted peppers, fresh goat cheese and homemade sausage.

At lunchtime, a crispy fried chicken sandwich blanketed in melted cheddar features a garlicky, herb mayo, homemade condiments and a mound of handmade french fries. Warm goat cheese fritters serve as flavor bombs in an otherwise straightforward beet salad with peppery arugula and dried cherries, that also happens to include crispy bits of chicken skin.

At dinner, start off with smooth, luxurious smoked trout crostini with apples or homemade chorizo ravioli amped up with a sherry cream. A duo of pork features both a hearty, grilled chop as well as some braised, fork-tender cheeks. Clearly, not the typical plating you see in this part of the 'burbs.

"We also wanted to take it a step farther away from what was already offered here in the Southwest suburbs," she said.

Goat cheese fritters, golden beets and dried fruits; not exactly a salad I would expect to find in the Southwest Suburbs and yet, Harvest Room is hoping there's a lot of demand for salads like this of such high quality.

Harvest Room
7164 W. 127th St., Palos Heights

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