I was born at 11:28am. I’d like to think this is why I have a deep fondness for the mid-morning hours and particularly for the sweet and savory smorgasbord that is brunch. I’m almost certain that I entered the world with a keen sense of the fluffy omelettes, jam-smothered toast, and foamy lattes being consumed all around me. To this day, I find great comfort, security, and serenity in brunchtime.
Brunch is leisure. It is protected time in which the day is still young and full of possibility. Time is counted not in minutes but in the number of coffee cups that have been refilled.
Brunch welcomes everyone to the plate. Salty smoked salmon, slices of juicy fruit, drippy eggs, rich pastries, crisp salads, and bubbly champagne are merrily married.
Brunch is friendship. It is the meal over which I have shared some of the best conversations with people dearest to me, allowing sweet memories to languidly linger in pools of maple syrup.
Summertime has afforded both Kate and I the privilege to brunch at some delightful cafes around Chicago in the company of good people (hello Claire and Danielle!). My brunch philosophy: 1. Find friends who like to share 2. Order two items—one sweet, one savory 3. Split them down the middle 4. Savor it all with a big cup of coffee.
Kingsbury Street Cafe — 1523 North Kingsbury Street. The sweet: lemon pancakes with blueberries, creme anglaise, and lemon sauce (ah-mazing). The savory: goat cheese, spinach, and mushroom omelette with roasted tomatoes and homemade multigrain baguette toast.
The Bongo Room –1152 South Wabash Avenue (South Loop location). The sweet: vanilla bean brioche french toast with vanilla bean sauce, strawberries, and chocolate crumble. The savory: artichoke, pesto, roasted yellow pepper, feta, and avocado omelette with dill potatoes and multigrain toast. Pardon the mishmash of a photograph.
Medici on 57th – 1327 East 57th Street. Abandoned my philosophy and went to town on the incredible homemade pastries: carrot muffin and chocolate croissant. Side of fruit for good measure. Enjoyed on their rooftop patio.
I am always on the hunt for new brunch spots, so please share your favorites!
Wishing you many beautiful brunchtimes.