The Barn - Evanston
First things first: How do you enter The Barn? It's straight down an alley in downtown Evanston, with a reclaimed green barn door welcoming in guests.
The restaurant is housed in a 19th-century brick barn formerly used to house horses, whisking guests to another time and place entirely, as restaurateur Amy Morton (Found Kitchen and Social House) worked to ensure the original sensation of the barn was retained. The result is a rustic dining space that feels like a pastoral haven of bygone Americana, with restored fixtures like brick walls and soaring 20-foot ceilings.
Sourcing the finest quality ingredients, meats and Prime Heritage Angus,Morton and Executive Chef Nicole Pederson feature a meat-centric dining experience. The Barn draws inspiration from Pederson's classical French training, along with brasseries and butcher shops. She pays homage to farms with dishes like bison bolognese, pan-seared calves liver and a roster of heritage steaks presented table side and adorned with marrow butter and bearnaise.
For Morton, the meaty focus is doubly special, as The Barn serves as an ode to her late father Arnie Morton of Morton’s Steakhouses fame. The restaurant also features nightly specials like chicken pot pie on Wednesdays, crispy sweetbreads on Thursdays and rack of lamb on Saturdays. Desserts skew wholesome and refreshingly simple, like a chocolate mousse with candied hazelnuts and affogato with vanilla gelato.
The Barn’s beverage program pays equal mind to wine and cocktails. For the former, guests can expect a mix of uncommon hidden gems along with classic varietals and wineries, sourced from across the country and the globe. Cocktails lean classic as well, with enough big and bold flavor to stand up nicely alongside Pederson’s meaty offerings.