John and Karen Shields at the Papineaus’ farm
John and Karen Shields at the Papineaus’ farm Photo: Jeff Marini

In July, when John and Karen Shields open the West Loop’s Smyth + the Loyalist, their two-story vision for regional American cuisine (à la carte Loyalist on the ground floor, tasting-menu Smyth upstairs), they will take the farm-to-table notion to a new level of intimacy. Thanks to an exclusive partnership that the husband-and-wife restaurateurs have with Rebecca and Alan Papineau, owners of a 20-acre farm in Bourbonnais, the Shieldses will be able to special-order produce they want to try—Utah celery, kakai pumpkin, and hairy vetch, anyone?—and the Papineaus will cultivate it especially for them. The Shieldses will also have access to über-fresh eggs and cream, among other earthly delights. 177 N. Ada St.

Read More: Loyalist, Casual First-Floor Concept, To Open First in June