Chicago’s new cheese and charcuterie shop and restaurant Lardon specializes in salumi and charcuterie, all made on site. Partly inspired by old-world salumerias, butcher shops, and cafes found throughout the world, Lardon was started by Steve Lewis and Chris Thompson of Meadowlark Hospitality. Thompson’s charcuterie program mainly focuses on using the whole animal and sourcing from local purveyors and farmers throughout the Midwest.
Lewis and Thompson gave Lardon’s space a complete two-year rehabilitation and made sure that the final space included subtle nods to the original 110-year-old building with its original wood joists, exposed brick walls, white subway tiles lining the back bar, and resorted antique honeycomb tiled floors.
Some charcuterie favorites include the soppressata with notes of white pepper, chile flakes, and white wine, the ‘nduja with Calabrian chiles, smoked paprika, and sweet paprika, and the finocchiona with fennel seed, red wine, and black pepper. There are also some amazing cheeses, including the Humboldt Fog Cyprus Grove goat cheese from California, the semi-soft Mobay goat and sheep cheese from Carr Valley in Wisconsin, and the Prairie Breeze Cheddar from Milton Creamery in Iowa.