GLEN ELLYN – A new restaurant in downtown Glen Ellyn hopes to set itself apart from the other offerings in the area.
"There is nothing like this in this area," Maize + Mash assistant manager Mike Carl said. "In a 30-minute radius of this place, there's nothing like it. And it's going to be a destination place."
The restaurant, which describes itself as an American bistro, recently opened at 430 N. Main St., in the space formerly occupied by Deacon & Mercy restaurant, as well as Cab's Wine Bar Bistro.
Before starting at Maize + Mash, Carl worked at Muldoon's in downtown Wheaton for 14 years as a manager and bartender. He is a 1998 graduate of Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn.
"I kind of cut my teeth in the industry there," Carl said. "I loved working there, but this was a great opportunity to work for these guys. They are really good restaurant guys. They know what they are doing, and they don't mess around."
The owners of Maize + Mash also own Barrel + Rye and The Burger Local restaurants in downtown Geneva, as well as The Burger Social, set to open later this year on Hale Street in downtown Wheaton.
Maize + Mash focuses on what it calls "shareables."
"They're not appetizers; they're definitely meant to be brought out for the table to be shared amongst two to four guests," Carl said. "That is definitely our focus and the kitchen staff's area of expertise."
Those shareables include oysters, bone marrow and the house board (a selection of chef-procured meats, cheeses and accoutrements). Maize + Mash also sells a variety of sandwiches, including the southern (five-pepper-spiced fried chicken, bacon, smoked gouda cheese, fried egg and drizzled honey) and short rib grilled cheese (red wine-braised short rib, red onion, marmalade and gruyere cheese).
The restaurant also sells a variety of burgers, including the berkshire burger (smoked berkshire pork patty, bourbon-glazed bacon, applewood-smoked cheddar and red onion marmalade) and the signature Maize + Mash burger topped with bacon, caramelized onion, gruyere cheese, egg and dill pickle aioli.
Soups and salads also are on the menu, along with sides such as mash and gravy, macaroni and cheese, and grilled asparagus. All the food is freshly made in-house on a daily basis, Carl said.
Maize + Mash also carries craft beer, cocktails and more than 70 whiskeys and bourbons.
"We focus on local craft beer but are not limited to that," Carl said.
The food and cocktail menu will change on a seasonal basis, he said.
"Maybe in the summer we'll have something a little bit lighter, and in the fall and winter, we'll have something heavier," Carl said.
The restaurant does not take reservations.
"If people wanted to call ahead and give us their cell phone number, then we could text them when their table is ready," Carl said. "But we do not take any reservations."
If you go
What: Maize + Mash restaurant
Where: 430 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays and Mondays (kitchen closes at 9 p.m.), 11 a.m. to midnight Tuesdays through Thursdays (kitchen closes at 10 p.m.) and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays (kitchen closes at 11 p.m.)
Info: maizeplusmash.com, 630-547-2540