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The Peasantry Goes All In on Comfort Food

A new chef at the Lincoln Park space is switching the focus from street food to heartier fare just in time for the start of sweater weather.

Grilled baby octopus at the Peasantry   Photo: Alexander Brunacci

When Alexander Brunacci was searching for a replacement for outgoing chef Robert Hoffman at The Peasantry (2723 N. Clark St., 773-868-4888), he interviewed Michael Reid, already a former kitchen manager at Alinea and chef de partie at Boka, despite being only 26 years old. “He impressed the living beejeebees out of me,” Brunacci says.

Brunacci asked Reid to prepare a sample menu, and the detail, execution, and presentation blew him away. “He completely nailed the pork and chicken,” Brunacci says.

Under Reid’s menu, the description of the Peasantry’s food shifts from street food to comfort food—fittingly, given that the platings are like no street-food carts we’ve ever visited. Reid oversees desserts as well, including a vanilla bean–cognac panna cotta with flambéed peach coulis, fresh peaches, and candied mint. “His take on [panna cotta] is extraordinary,” Brunacci says. The restaurant reopened this past Thursday, and it will roll out Reid’s dishes gradually as the kitchen gets up to speed.

Brunch to come, as soon as Brunacci can come up with a few more superlatives to describe his opinion of Reid.

In other Alexander Brunacci news, his haute-cuisine sausage stand Franks ’n’ Dawgs is open but planning for a move to the West Loop, hopefully to a 60-plus-seat space with a liquor license.

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