The Larder is an extension of Dutch’s Bar and Bottle Shop, a neighborhood fixture that was transformed from pony keg to beer and wine arsenal—700 varieties of beer, 200 of wine; eight rotating taps—six years ago. A seasonal patio for dining, imbibing, and bocce ball connects them. Indoor seating is limited to a cozy dozen or so spots; a deli case of handcrafted meats and cheeses commands much of the room, a curated boutique of grocery items (many locally and regionally sourced) line the shelves and the cold case. So is it a restaurant? You bet. As dining out continues to redefine itself, the Larder confidently rides the new wave. I’m mad for it. I’ve carried out dozens of artisan sandwiches (mortadella, you complete me) from chefs Jim Cornwell and Chase Blowers (both have helmed Boca’s kitchen; Cornwell is also part owner of the Larder). A hammered copper bar runs the length of a window where I’ve lingered over lusty bean soup with smoked ham, and a salad of barely dressed, local garden tomatoes so ripe and flavorful they should be a controlled substance. I reached flow state after devouring a charcuterie board at the counter, then housemade pork terrine on the drive home, only to cook up some of the Larder’s lamb bacon when I arrived. If loving the Larder is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.
3366 Erie Ave., East Hyde Park, (513) 871-1446, facebook.com/dutchslarder
Originally published in the March 2013 issue.