You might expect to see the Eiffel Tower from the windows of Pastoral at its new Loop location (the original
is in Lakeview). The market has a Parisian feel thanks to sophisticated decor and shelves stocked with tantalizing flavors from around the world, especially France, Spain and Italy. Serenaded by subtle muzak, customers browse the selections while surrounded by wooden hatboxes stamped with the Pastoral logo (they can be packed with a variety of cheeses for a tasty gift), antique mixing jars, rows of wine and hanging cured meat.
The gourmet store offers a variety of delicacies, including extra virgin olive oils and appetizers like pickled okra from New York’s Rick's Picks and marinated artichokes from as far as Florence, Italy. The wine selection consumes two walls and is conveniently arranged by body. Cheese sits next to the deli counter and is meant to accompany one of the fine baguettes—some baked with olives. Like most everything at Pastoral, the cheese is labeled with meticulous detail, including name, origin, description and which animal it comes from. The selections range in price, starting at about $12.99 per pound for a custom cut. There are a dozen varieties of olives, infused with almost anything, from chili peppers to lemon.
In addition to providing luxurious food items (including gourmet sandwiches), gift baskets, catering and delivery services, in-store events and classes and a full online store, Pastoral offers the perfect date package—a pre-packed picnic. With 24-hour notice, Pastoral will pack a French, Italian or Spanish picnic basket for two, complete with an array of cheese, local meat, salads, spread and a baguette.
Centerstage Reviewer: Pasha Carroll