The kitchen at Cardinal Spirits opened in May 2017 with seasonal, from-scratch food and a CIA-trained chef at the helm.
Dinner: Daily beginning at 4pmWeekend brunch: Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm
Current dinner menu | Hi-res imagesCurrent brunch menu | Hi-res images
Past menus:Fall 2017 dinner menu | Hi-res imagesSummer 2017 dinner menu | Hi-res imagesSpring 2017 dinner menu | Hi-res images
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WHAT KIND OF FOOD DO YOU HAVE?Our dishes are seasonal, shareable and made from scratch. They’re meant to complement our cocktails and echo the casual-yet-exceptional vibe that guests have come to expect at the distillery. You’ll find that our food is nourishing, honest and approachable. A small menu allows us to be thoughtful about every single ingredient, including the terrific produce that is grown right around us. And yet, nothing is fancy — we’re simply starting with great ingredients, treating them well and combining them in wonderful ways.Seasonal. Our menu changes often throughout the year to reflect ingredients that are available locally. When possible, we source from Rathgebers' Garten, a certified organic farm south of Bloomington.Shareable. The menu is intentionally top-heavy with snacks and starters, that when mixed and matched with each other or paired with a main dish, makes for an engaging and memorable meal. We want to break the idea that dinner has to be one big plate of food that contains a protein, a starch and a vegetable. Guests are encouraged to share and taste their way through the menu.From scratch. We go through the trouble of making ingredients like sauces, stocks, dressings and more by hand. Take our simplest-seeming dish: Bread & Butter. Our sourdough bread is made in-house daily, and our butter is hand-churned and served in its own buttermilk.WHAT INSPIRED THE DISHES ON THE MENU?We wanted the dishes to be cocktail friendly — this is the kind of food that becomes a part of a memorable evening: it keeps the conversation going, dishes are interesting and exciting, and are ones that you won’t find at other places.WHY DID CARDINAL SPIRITS OPEN A KITCHEN?When our distillery first opened in February 2015, we found we could take interesting spirits and exciting (and occasionally unusual) ingredients and make cocktails that are effortless and memorable. The food from our kitchen is meant to do the same. We want as many people to taste and enjoy our spirits, and craft spirits in general, and having food to complement our spirits is an important part of that mission.HOW DO THE COCKTAILS AND FOOD WORK TOGETHER?Our dishes are incredibly cocktail friendly. That said, there are no rules for pairing our cocktails and our food. Enjoy what you like!WHO IS YOUR CHEF?Executive chef Dean Wirkerman’s culinary experience is a blend of exceptional training, worldwide travel and cooking in some of the best kitchens in the country. Dean is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, the premier culinary school in the country. His professional experience includes chef de partie at Per Se, chef Thomas Keller’s 3-star Michelin restaurant in New York City, where he specialized in French pastry and bread arts; chef de partie at Charlie Trotter’s, the legendary fine-dining restaurants in Chicago; and Uchi, the contemporary Japanese restaurant in Austin. Rounding out Dean’s experience: an externship in Umbria, Italy; culinary instructor of yeasted breads at Ivy Tech in Bloomington; owned and operated a yakitori food cart in Bloomington.After traveling widely, Dean and Robyn, our general manager, were itching to return to the Midwest, and both landed at Cardinal Spirits. We’re lucky to have this husband-and-wife team elevating our business!