9/04/2012 10:25:00 AM

The Best Thing We Ate and Drank This Weekend: Pizza and Beer at Heritage Prairie Farm


What happens when city slickers get dropped on a farm? We come back to Chicago with a lot of mosquito bites. We also return having eaten pizza fresher than any pie found in the city – yes, we said it, feel free to brandish your pitchforks.

How exactly did we end up in the middle of Heritage Prairie, a farm an hour west of the comforts of unlimited takeout options and smog-tainted air? We were chasing beer. Not just any run of the mill brew, but an early release of Solemn Oath’s saison Whisper Kisses in addition to a version spiked with some honey straight from the farm - that one was dubbed Sweet, Sweet Whisper Kisses.

A special pie made by Chuck's Wood Fired Pizza was offered to wash down that dry-hopped 9% alcohol beast of a beer. This pop-up pizzeria is cooking gourmet pies three nights a week using ingredients from the farm. Hand-stretched dough was coated with alfredo sauce, thinly sliced ham, mozzarella cheese, cippolini onions. The oblong pie spends a few minutes in the wood fired oven and then is topped with grated Gruyere and horseradish alfredo.

Maybe it was the extra-boozy beer making its way through our system, the sunset over the farm that turned the sky purple with streaks of pink clouds or the smell of bonfire as we bit into the crispy yet chewy crust - but this eating experience was divine. The cream-based pizza sauce let the ham shine, and a bit of kick from the horseradish was soothed by the bright yet light beer.

This may have been a once-in-a-lifetime culinary excursion, but Whisper Kisses is making another early appearance on Friday night at The Bluebird. Stop by for a pint and some mussels - the Southern-France-style preparation with white wine, fennel, leek, tomato, chili and herbs de provence were a close second for the best thing we ate this long weekend.

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