A bustling neighborhood eatery in downtown Hinsdale
There’s a lot of history to Fuller House, even if the restaurant opened just a few years ago. The name is a tip of the cap to early settler Benjamin Fuller, whose descendants maintain ties to the Hinsdale community. The two-story eatery is housed inside what was once a veritable retail institution, Soukup’s Hardware. Later, the front part of the building became Fuller’s Home & Hardware. Pieces of the past serve as part of the décor, including reclaimed wood walls, vintage barrels, heavy beams and thick ropes dangling between floors connected by a dramatic spiral staircase.
But walk by Fuller House on a summer night and you’ll see that this place is very much in the here and now. A glance inside the large front window shows people packed around the expansive bar, catching up with friends and neighbors. Guests spill outside, gathered at tables set along the front sidewalk or in the charming beer garden, complete with picnic-style tables set under trees strung with old-time light bulbs.
Inside, an inventive menu is regularly tweaked. A welcome addition is Nashville hot chicken sliders, three mini sandwiches with just the right amount of heat.
Indeed, starters and sharable dishes are popular here, especially the cast-iron baked spinach and artichoke dip, the cauliflower bites, and a seriously big wood-fired pretzel twist accompanied by a trio of dipping sauces.
The large pizza oven behind the bar bakes a standout arugula prosciutto pizza, which has a hint of lemon that puts it over the top in flavor. One of the newer pizzas is a fire-roasted elote corn
pizza infused with cilantro and lime.
Burgers are on point, too, including choices like the Day Into Night burger, which comes with a sunny-side-up fried egg, artisan bacon, stout-infused onions, cheddar and garlic mayonnaise on a fluffy briôche roll; and the Red Devil, named for the Hinsdale Central High School sports teams and packing some heat with jalapenos, cheddar-jack cheese and habanero mayo. Burgers and other sandwiches, such as the tasty brisket grilled cheese and jerk chicken, come with a choice of house-made chips or hand-cut fries. The truffle-parmesan fries and fries paired with the restaurant’s signature “animal sauce” may cost a buck or two extra, but are well worth the indulgence.
A small choice of entrées includes an ancho-rubbed New York strip steak, a soba chicken bowl and a salmon and quinoa dish.
Much of the menu is devoted to foods that evoke comfort — and true to the restaurant name, a fuller flavor — but this is also a great spot for salads. Lots of color and good-for-you ingredients arrive in bowls teeming with fixings, including an always- reliable chopped salad, a grain and kale salad, and a salad with grilled salmon.
If you’re up for dessert, the banana bourbon pudding, served in a glass jar layered with vanilla pudding, banana slices, crushed vanilla wafers and bourbon caramel sauce and topped with fresh vanilla bean whipped cream, provides spoonfuls of pure delight.
Wood-fired pizzas; Nashville hot chicken sliders; salads
Appetizers: $9 – $12
Entrées: $16 – $21
Pizzas: $12 – $15
M - Thur: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
F – Sat : 11 a.m. – midnight
Sun: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sidewalk/courtyard dining; extensive bar and cocktail menu