Flour Power - Chicago
During the pandemic, restaurants opened with an eye toward weathering the health crisis with business models designed to keep customers and staff safe in these worst of times; Flour Power is built around the concept of pasta for take-out, though it has the indoor space that will open up when the pandemic passes..
Flour Power offers pickup of a rotating menu of pasta items, prepared and packaged to be taken home and enjoyed. There have been a great many pasta places opening in Chicago over the past year or so, and what sets Flour Power apart is the amazing kitchen staff, which includes Chef Wilson Bauer, formerly of Michelin-starred Schwa, turning out truly superb pasta to-go.
Pasta kits show tremendous creativity, exactly what you’d expect from Bauer, who in the kitchen of Schwa turned out adventuresome platters that caused many in the Chicago culinary community to take a step back and just say “Wow.”
For example, in late November, 2020, the Flour Power menu included Campanelle (duck sausage, cannellini beans, and parmigiano); Lumache (acorn squash, pepita pesto, and pickled cranberry) and Malfade (spicy tomato, Brussel sprouts, and cured tuna).
On Sunday, Flour Power offers a lasagna dinner with garlic bread and salad. This is one of the few very traditional dishes served at Flour Power, and it fits right into the even-tempered vibe of a Sunday dinner.
As is probably obvious, the noodle dishes are European-focused, and Bauer has no current plans to serve ramen, though lord knows the city of Chicago likes a big bowl of Asian noodles, particularly during colder months. With his constantly changing menu, however, Bauer could offer ramen whenever the mood hits him.
As Eater Chicago explained, “Bauer, who enjoys the versatility of noodles, is enamored with pasta making. While diners won’t see intricate platings or rare truffles — the type of presentation a fine diner may enjoy — Bauer said his noodles will offer plenty of depth and creativity.”
The Infatuation reported on, and offers some words of advice about, ordering from Flour Power, “the short menu of handmade pastas is all I could ever want when I need a pasta pick-me-up. Just plan ahead: they’re only open Thursdays through Saturdays and release that day’s menu at 8 am.”
During the pandemic, Flour Power is takeout only, but the sixteen-seat indoor dining area will be open once the pandemic is past, at which point the restaurant will also be BYO.