Enjoy bold and flavorful cooking and artisan cocktails at The Finery & Blacksmith Bar, the newest in come-as-you-are fine dining on Main Street in St. Charles.
The Finery & Blacksmith Bar has seen a lot of local love in the two months that they have been open.
Here’s the scoop on this artisan, new American hot spot.
What’s on the menu? The food and drink at The Finery & Blacksmith Bar are inspired by things on a local and global scale. “We focus on seasonality and what’s available in the western suburbs in Elburn in those kind of areas. We aim to source locally and sustainably. It’s not always about local though, if we can get a better product elsewhere, we will. It’s about conscious sourcing and quality,” said David Reyes, co-owner and executive chef.
About the owners: The owners of The Finery & Blacksmith Bar are a husband and wife duo, David and Juliette Reyes. The Reyeses met while attending culinary school at Kendall College. “Her style and my style are very different,” said David Reyes. “She is more by the book and appreciates great recipes; I am more about feel and deriving from experience. I derive my experience from being in the industry for very long.” David Reyes has opened over 30 restaurants in his career all over the United States and Mexico for another company.
“I was bringing a lot of experience to this project, but decided to do things differently. I focused more on character than experience when hiring staff. We have a very regimented training program, and I know that people could take it on and serve,” said Reyes.
Mission statement or philosophy: The Finery & Blacksmith Bar’s goal is to provide guests with “an ode to the American table with its diversity and global influence.” Delicate care and attention is evident in every drink and dish served.
“We started off with a clear vision and want to up the ante and dining experience and tweak and highlight the way that we do business and service,” said Reyes when asked about how he will continue to strive for perfection.
The decor: The Finery & Blacksmith Bar is in a historic building that was once a part of the Underground Railroad. The location was also once the first blacksmith shop in the St. Charles area. Drawing inspiration from the site’s rich history, The Finery section, the back half of the restaurant, is lined with a chic, distressed furniture, modern tables without the fuss of table cloths, with a 1920s vibe. Blacksmith Bar, toward the front of the restaurant, is a little more up tempo with higher seating options and decorated with fresh herbs that are used in the kitchen and behind the bar.
“When we were looking for restaurant spaces, we felt that St. Charles had a familiar but modern feel, very modern historical. It’s close enough to the city, but close enough to the farms — it was a nice, cool medium,” said Reyes.
Food specialties: “One of our goals was to bring pheasant back to the dinner table. This area is known for pheasants, like Pheasant Run. It’s a game meat that you can introduce to people who haven’t had it before,” said Reyes. The Finery & Blacksmith Bar’s pheasant dish is out of this world. First the pheasant breast is marinated with fresh truffle and pesto in a vacuum-sealed pouch for 24 hours. Then, after is it marinated, the breast meat is removed from the bone, and folded into a fuille de brick, a thin pastry dough typically used in pastry and savory applications. Next, it’s seared on both sides until it is nice and crispy, cut in half, and plated with a creamy risotto and served with sliced of truffle and pesto.
The poached salmon is also a hit. “We will soon be getting it from Alaska,” said Reyes. The salmon has modest starts with a beautiful olive oil and citrus marinade. Next, the salmon is poached to order with romanesco broccoli and potatoes that are slow-poached and then briefly fried for every dish with a dill sauce.
We’re different because: “Our approach on seasonality is important to us. We use our experience, research, and getting to know purveyors to pull that off,” said Reyes. The Finery & Blacksmith Bar has the right idea. By rotating the menu seasonally to accommodate local harvest, the ingredients that go into the dishes are at the peak of freshness.
Extras: The Finery & Blacksmith Bar is currently a dinner-only restaurant. They have a daily happy hour from 3-5 p.m. During those happy hours, all beers are $3, select appetizers are half off, and there is also a half off special for the burger of the month, an Illinois-sourced, grass-fed beef burger. For the month of October, the burger of month is a black and bleu burger with blackened seasoning and California bleu cheese served on a potato bun.
Beginning in October, The Finery & Blacksmith Bar will have live acoustic music on Tuesdays from 7-9 p.m. In November, they will be opening for Saturday and Sunday brunch.
Price range: most dishes are between $11 and $31.
Logistics: The Finery & Blacksmith Bar is at 305 W. Main St. in St. Charles. It is open Tuesday and Thursday 3-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 3 p.m.-11 p.m., and Sunday 2-9 p.m. Call 630-940-2380 or visitthefineryrestaurant.com.