Meet Ferdia Doherty, the man behind Chicago’s Farmhouse Tavern

written by Enjoy Illinois on April 18, 2013 in Chicago and Ferdia Doherty and Food & Drink and Mile Markers with no comments

People are drawn to Chicago’s Farmhouse Tavern for a variety of reasons. Some visit for the 28 craft beers on tap, their local wine on draft, delicious homemade sodas, or fresh from the farm ingredients. Others go for the rustic heartland ambiance in the midst of the bustling city, or to be reminded of a simpler time. Whatever the reason, people continue go back to Farmhouse time and time again to be greeted by the Irishman at the door.

Raised in a fishing village in Ireland, Ferdia Doherty didn’t set out to be a restaurateur. He fueled his creativity in the design and marketing industry, running his own agency in Chicago for seven years. That all changed when Ferdia met TJ Callahan, a veteran in the restaurant turnaround business and fellow Irishman. TJ hired Ferdia’s company to work on a project with Irish pubs, admittedly because of Ferdia’s Irish roots.

Chef Eric Mansavage and Ferdia Doherty of Farmhouse Tavern

Chef Eric Mansavage and Ferdia Doherty of Farmhouse Tavern

Ferdia and TJ’s strong Irish personalities instantly clicked and their business relationship morphed into an idea to co-own Chicago’s first farm-to-tavern restaurant.

Inspired by the bounty of the Midwest, and chef Eric Mansavage’s roots, Farmhouse specializes in locally sourced food and drink. As a child, Ferdia remembers eating his father’s catch of the day, meat from his neighbor’s farm, and vegetables and cheese from local farms. These early memories formed his belief that it’s important to know where your food comes from.

Farmhouse’s rustic ambiance is a cozy retreat in the heart of Chicago

Farmhouse’s rustic ambiance is a cozy retreat in the heart of Chicago

“Beer Nuts” and craft brews offer an explosion of flavors

“Beer Nuts” and craft brews offer an explosion of flavors

Farmhouse brings Ferdia’s belief to life. The tavern makes its burgers, condiments, desserts and sodas from scratch – a difference you can taste from the first mouthwatering bite to the last morsel of delicious goodness. All ingredients, beer and wine are sourced from states that border Lake Michigan, with a vast majority from right here in Illinois. The local flavors give diners a true taste of what Illinois is all about.

What’s not to love with signature dishes like the Farmhouse “Classic” pasture raised, Grass-fed Burger, sourced from Quarter Circle Seven Ranch in Marengo, IL, or the Indiana Duck Breast Schnitzel, served with warm potato salad and perfectly prepared with cherry demi-glace. Even better, all of the dishes at Farmhouse can be paired with craft brews from great craft beer houses, like the Chicago-based Revolution Brewing Company’s “Cross of Gold” ale or a fantastic glass of wine on draft from Fox Valley Winery in Oswego, IL.

Get a hearty taste of the Midwest with Farmhouse’s Beer Braised Grass-Fed Beef and Roasted Root Vegetable Pastie

Get a hearty taste of the Midwest with Farmhouse’s Beer Braised Grass-Fed Beef and Roasted Root Vegetable Pastie

Main Harvest dishes, like the Half Roasted Amish Chicken, highlight the best flavors of what’s in season

Main Harvest dishes, like the Half Roasted Amish Chicken, highlight the best flavors of what’s in season

Next time you’re in Chicago, pay a visit to Ferdia at Farmhouse for a truly local dining experience. Farmhouse Tavern is located at 228 W. Chicago Avenue, just steps away from the CTA Brown Line Chicago stop. Reservations are accepted.

You can find Farmhouse on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube or by following the below map. And, check back next month for Part II of our Farmhouse feature in which we sit down with chef Eric Mansavage.

– The Illinois Office of Tourism


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Ferdia Doherty

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Ferdia Doherty is the owner of local craft tavern Farmhouse Chicago. After growing up in Ireland, Ferdia moved to his new home – Chicago. He has traveled all over Illinois in search of ingredients for his locally-sourced menu and has a deep appreciation for the people and places in the Land of Lincoln.

Ferdia always says farm-to-table dining comes down to the fact that it’s just good to know where your food comes from. Follow along as he explores what he calls Midwestern fare, and get a taste of the melting pot that inspires his own food creations.