LOGAN SQUARE — Veal will be on the menu in a big way Wednesday evening at The Radler.
The restaurant at 2375 N. Milwaukee Ave. is partnering with its Logan Square neighbors Table, Donkey and Stick, Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits and Chicago Distilling Company for a whole veal dinner that will use up every bit of the animal in "eight or nine different ways," said Nathan Sears, chef at The Radler.
Befitting The Radler's Bavarian beer hall vibe, the dinner will be served family-style, with an ale brewed just for the event by 18th Street Brewery in Gary, Ind., and a rhubarb cocktail at meal's end from the Chicago Distilling folks.
Janet Fuller discusses the meal on DNAinfo Radio:
Though the menu has been changing by the hour — "I don't even remember everything," Sears said — he promised "plenty of meat going on."
"It's going to be an extraordinary amount of food," said Bang Bang owner Michael Ciapciak.
It'll start with baskets of bread — Bang Bang biscuits, Radler pretzels and Table, Donkey and Stick rye baguettes — and a bunch of homemade condiments, including mustard, smoked Meyer lemon marmalade, giardiniera, rhubarb jam and ramp kimchi.
Sears and Manley collaborated on dishes such as a cold cut-style shaved veal rump, liver and onions and a salad with crispy veal and a veal jus vinaigrette — all part of just the first course.
The second round of dishes will include veal schnitzel, smoked veal sausage, sauerkraut, pea fritters and Bang Bang's braised veal pot pie.
Desserts will be veal-less: chocolate pecan pie and blueberry pie by Bang Bang pastry chef Carrie Rubinas as well as caraway rice pudding.
Before opening their respective restaurants, Sears and Manley worked together at Vie in Western Springs for years, where they butchered many a pig and cow.
"One day we were talking, and we're like, 'The whole pig thing is played out. Let's do a whole veal,' " Sears said.
The meat is from Kilgus Farmstead in Fairbury, about 115 miles southwest of Chicago. The chefs are using produce from the Logan Square Farmers Market, which will receive a portion of the proceeds from the event.
The dinner is $50 a person, with a $20 beverage pairing option. There will be seatings at 6 and 8 p.m. Reservations should be made by calling The Radler at (773) 276-0270.
But, said Sears, "If people want to walk in, that's great as well."