Maize + Mash
Creative American fare in downtown Glen Ellyn
The Tuna Poke
Whiskey may be a headliner at Maize + Mash — the name is a nod to the use of maize in the mash process for making corn whiskey — but this newly opened American bistro has a spirit that goes beyond the selections on its drink menu.
Thanks to an ambiance combining rustic reclaimed wood floors and paneling, a classic tin ceiling and contemporary silver light fixtures, the setting is as inviting as the menu and a signal that some unique culinary fusions can be found here.
Yes, corn whiskey is on the drinks menu at Maize+Mash, opened by the same team as the popular Barrel + Rye in Geneva. And mashed potatoes with gravy is a popular side dish.
Beyond these seemingly rustic basics, cuisine and creativity are elevated. The shared plates and appetizers include a bone marrow dish served with red onion marmalade, grilled bread, arugula and preserved lemon salad. Other on-trend offerings include cauliflower tots, duck poutine, tuna poke, and a house board splayed with chef-procured meats, cheeses and accoutrements. There’s also a bit of tableside entertainment to the shared plates — servers toss chips with truffle oil, parmesan and soft egg in a paper bag to the “oohs and “aahs” of patrons.
The Southern Chicken sandwich has a surprisingly light crunch, given that the chicken breast is dusted with a house-made five-spice seasoning before being lightly fried and served with cheese, house-cured bacon, a perfectly fried egg and a drizzle of honey on a rustic bun. There is an array of burgers, too, including veggie and chicken varieties. Salads are dressed for success as well, including a Bistro Cobb that doesn’t skimp on the grilled beef tenderloin, and also features mixed greens, bacon, avocado, corn, toasted pumpkin seeds, roasted red pepper, blue cheese and a just-right dose of vinaigrette.
The southern-meets-west-suburban charm extends to desserts, which are made in house with rich, pure ingredients and the same kind of love Grandma might stir in. Come early if you want to try the popular fruit cobbler. The sumptuous brownie is big enough to share and is served atop zigzags of caramel crème with a big dollop of fresh made whipped cream and cookie crumbles.
Open past midnight on weekends, Maize + Mash boasts an inventive, extensive drink menu. Whiskeys are prominent, and again, there is a mix of the rustic and the upscale. Offerings range from moonshine to a cucumber cooler and from locally crafted beers to a “bubbles and bramble” drink made with gin, Chambord, blackberries and lemon, among other fixings. A variety of specialty cocktails are offered priced in the $10 range.
Servers are friendly and enthusiastic, whether explaining how the short rib is smoked in house or providing to-go boxes before being asked.
As with the process of making whiskey, Maize + Mash has done well with the process of turning essentially all-American ingredients into a definite spirit of fun.
430 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn
Maize + Mash and Berkshire burgers; Bistro Cobb salad
Shared plates: $9 to $16
Entrées: $10 to $17
Sun - Mon: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Tue - Thur: 11 a.m. - midnight
Fri - Sat 11 a.m. - 1 a.m.
Sunday brunch and 70 whiskeys and bourbons,