A theme of duality runs through Boeufhaus (1012 N. Western Ave., 773-661-2116), a month-old restaurant located on the border of Ukrainian Village and Humboldt Park. In addition to its border location, French-German hybrid name, and two-person ownership group, Boeufhaus presents itself as a more-upscale, beefcentric dinner destination.
Becoming the third owners since the building’s construction in 1924, Jamie Finnegan and Brian Ahern bought the storefront from Mitch and Janina Kostelic, who operated a butcher shop in the space. “Some of the treasures that were left here we have repurposed: a walk-in cooler, subway tile,” Finnegan says. He and Ahern had planned to use the location as a commissary for a food truck selling high-quality sandwiches like corned beef, pastrami, Italian beef, and cheese steaks. Those sandwiches, charcuterie, soups, salads, and a house-made sausage of the day will compose a lunch menu starting in a few weeks.
At night, they dim the lights, and out comes a menu that runs from $6 crudité with green goddess dressing to a $60 22-ounce, 55-day dry-aged prime rib eye. “We both have more of a fine-dining background,” Ahern says. “We saw a need in the neighborhood for something a little higher-end.” First courses encompass traditional preparations of tarte flambée and beef tartare, as well as escargot “tapenade” and short-rib beignets. In addition to several steak options (steak frites among them), entrées cover seared halibut and lardo-wrapped veal loin.
With all the dipartite aspects to Boeufhaus, the only thing missing is a twin restaurant, maybe German-French instead of French-German. Name suggestion: Rindfleisch-Maison.