After winning the hearts of Boystown locals and foodies across the country thanks to a show on the Food Network, HB's owners Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh make for a hard act to follow. But the restaurant's new owner Joncarl Lachman shouldn't have to worry too much about that. HB's former executive chef, Lachman mixes the old with the new to offer HB...Home Bistro.
Keeping the Hearty Boys spirit well intact, the decor remains nearly the same: brightly colored walls, white linen tablecloths and signature quotes scrawled across the walls reading statements like "Never eat more than you can lift" (Miss Piggy) and "God as my witness, I'll never be hungry again" (Scarlett O'Hara).
It's the menu that experienced a facelift. Basing his culinary style on the "ettecafe," a Dutch-style eatery, Lachman infuses the food with an unpretentious, European twist. Appetizers include almond-stuffed dates, Madagascar shrimp and anchovy deviled eggs; the dinner options range from Wisconsin rainbow trout to Cajun-rubbed New York strip steak. For the breakfast crew craving a change from the usual eggs and toast, weekends offer up orange blossom pancakes, maple-glazed pork chops and a pastrami, Swiss and rye omelet. Make sure to save some of your toast to sop up the signature strawberry butter. Dinner entrees range from $15-$20, and brunch run anywhere between $8-$17.
Wednesday hosts a steal of a deal: a three-course pre-fixe menu for only $25. Come any other day and at least you'll save on drinks with H.B...Home Bistro's BYOB policy, sans corkage fee. For private parties, check out the catering options online.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Eve Ardell