Every Sunday night, Erin and I get together with her family for dinner. This Sunday, we chose Crust (2056 W Division), the second restaurant from Michael Altenberg (his first being Bistro Campagne in Lincoln Square). Crust is one of five restaurants in the country that is certified as organic, and the only restaurant in the city of Chicago (or state for that matter). Crust features pizza style flatbreads, sandwiches and salads, plus a ton of really tasty mixed drinks, micro brews and wine. There’s an assortment of juices and teas, but I didn’t pay much attention to that portion of the menu.
We opened up with a few salads, the Sun Salad and Sweet Basil. I liked the Sun Salad, as it’s similar to the Seaweed Salad at Indie Cafe (and that is my favorite salad in the city). The Sweet Basil salad was pretty much your standard caprese salad, and it was also tasty. We also ordered a Brown Derby Salad, which contained roasted chicken, bacon, egg, cheddar, avocado, green onion and some russian dressing. That was pretty good too…I’m not sure how you can go wrong with those ingredients :)
We skipped past the sandwiches, as we really wanted to tear into the pizzas and our waiter told us that all the sandwiches except for the pulled pork were pretty boring. We tried a bunch of pizzas: Clambake (clams, bechamel, mozzarella, onions and wild herbs), Mexicali Blues (shrimp, chihuahua cheese, pico de gallo, heirloom peppers and cilantro), Flammkuchen (onion, bechamel, caraway seed, bacon and black pepper) and Italian Sausage (sausage, provolone and tomatoes) w/pepperoni and some other pizza with a lot of blue cheese. Mind you these are smallish pizzas, so this sounds like more food than it actually is. The pizzas were all pretty tasty, but I really thought that they were missing out on some spices. For instance, the Clambake could have been a little better with some added garlic.
We also tried their carrot cake, and that was damn good. Our waiter told that this was from the Bleeding Heart Bakery, which makes sense since their stuff is totally killer.
Overall rating: good stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing how this restaurant grows, and I bet that they will have nailed their pizzas after a few more months in business.