It isn’t often a brewery causes a traffic jam. When the brewery is as dazzling as Jackie and Gregory Dikos’ spacious new Field Brewing (303 E. Main St., 317-804-9780) in Westfield, it’s no wonder a few more folks are steering down State Road 32 that runs through this once-quiet suburb’s bustling downtown. But it isn’t just fans of local brews who are streaming in for the couple’s easy-drinking pours. The Dikos, a decorated distance runner and an orthopedic surgeon-turned-home brewer, managed a culinary coup when they snagged Alan Sternberg, recent star of Cerulean and one of the creative masterminds behind the pop-up dinner club Common House, to head up their kitchen and create what surely ranks as one of the state’s most daring brewpub menus. Sternberg’s renown, as well as the brewery’s secluded tasting room and gorgeous outdoor patio, had the Dikos drawing up a map of available parking just days after their grand opening on October 1.
That patio features a bocce court, Jenga, and a giant Connect 4 to entertain the whole family, just in case you have to wait for a table. But you’ll be glad you struck around for finger food such as Sternberg’s tender, crispy lamb ribs slathered in aromatic chimichurri and nestled in a pool of cooling cucumber yogurt. Also impressive are roasted Brussels sprouts, gorgeously browned and blistered but still slightly al dente and dressed with generous chunks of bacon and a tangy maple dressing. Deviled eggs stuffed with pimiento cheese and chewy, dark-brown pub pretzels with whole-grain mustard are more typical brewery fare, though they make refined companions to the Dikos’ house beers, such as a smooth autumn brown ale and a malty extra special bitters. Sandwiches and salads include a fragrant rosemary pork sandwich with milky butterkase cheese and apples on house sourdough, as well roasted beets, German potato salad, baby carrots, and a simple field greens salad with a host of house dressings.
The true stars of Sternberg’s menu, however, are his pastas, which lately have been somewhat of a back-to-basic obsession for the young chef known for his Technicolor plating and playfully deconstructed dishes. His pillowy ricotta gnocchi with delicata squash, mushrooms, and pumpkin seeds, as well as his garlicky, bread-crumb topped rigatoni, would be welcome additions at any local Italian trattoria. Sternberg’s true ingenuity shows, however, when he takes the leftover grain from the beer-making process, dries it, and mills it into a flour into tender pasta ribbons that he tosses with broccolini, chickpeas, kale, and a warmly-spiced harissa butter. It’s a dish like no other around the city, whether an upscale foodie draw or an approachable brewpub. And it’s more than reason enough to brave the traffic on Westfield’s main drag for a brewery experience that’s far more than the beer.
More images from Field Brewing: