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Chicago Makes Its Mark on Nashville

Chefs and restaurateurs are expanding their Chicago brands southward to Nashville. Although Nashville is roughly 450 miles South of Chicago, the two cities have never felt closer thanks to a recent uptick in restaurant expansions and chef movement. The draw for Chicago restaurants and bars to branch out to Nashville, essentially the closest Southern city […]

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Aug 29, 2017 04:25 AM
Weekly Planner: Happy Hour at Broken Shaker

Happy Hour at Broken Shaker New happy hours are a dime a dozen these days in Chicago, but the version taking place at the Broken Shaker may be the coolest (and most irreverent) yet. It’s called the “Happy Hipster,” and it’s a playful, nostalgia-inspired combo that features a secret recipe burger with fries and a domestic beer […]

The post Weekly Planner: Happy Hour at Broken Shaker appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Aug 28, 2017 12:18 AM
The Polenta Bar Brings a Taste of Northern Italy to the West Loop

In recent years, fast-casual dining has manifested in many different ways, in part triggered like a Domino effect by companies following the Chipotle model of customized food, quick service and quality ingredients. From noodles and salads, to Middle Eastern food and poké, Chicago’s fast-casual scene has a lot to choose from, but none are quite […]

The post The Polenta Bar Brings a Taste of Northern Italy to the West Loop appeared first on Dining Chicago.

Aug 23, 2017 06:06 PM

New Brunch Options Range From Bar to Prix Fixe

Chicago's boundless brunch scene offers a full spectrum of options, from casual counter service to polished prix fixe. Two of the city's latest brunch additions pretty much bookend the gamut, with Trenchermen debuting a Saturday bar brunch this weekend, and Acadia unfurling its Sunday brunch prix fixe. With Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo this weekend, it will likely depend on how much debauchery you get yourself into where you wind up for brunch.


Trenchermen has been serving Sunday brunch for some time now, featuring inventive variations on weekend staples such as pretzel cinnamon rolls, sauerkraut bagels, and waffle ice cream. This weekend, the Sunday repast will be supplemented by the restaurant's new weekly Saturday bar brunch. Some dishes will carry over from the Sunday menu, but for the most part, Saturday's menu will stand on its own. Items tend towards the gluttonously indulgent, with dishes such as whiskey caramel-glazed doughnuts, banana bread French toast with coffee ice cream, and a hot brown sandwich with smoked turkey, cheese sauce, and tomato jam on Texas toast. As chef brothers Mike and Pat Sheerin do best, they're taking familiar, comforting foods and raising the bar, an pun for the brunch menu. Pastry chef Lisa Bonjour and sous chef Rebecca LaMalfa, who happens to have a knack for pastry herself (hint: she makes great cookies), collaborate on a rotating breakfast bread basket of goodies like pistachio bread and preserved plum and black bean scones (what!). Saturday brunch is served from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. starting May 4.



(Now you'll be able to eat this pretzel cinnamon roll on Saturdays too!)


In a slightly different direction, Acadia just unveiled a new brunch program last week, now being served every Sunday. This glistening seashell of a restaurant is best known for its elegant contemporary American dinner fare. The opulent space does not immediately scream "brunch," but leave it to chef Ryan McCaskey and his deft team of culinary compatriots to put a ritzy twist on brunch. The menu is prix fixe, offering guests multiple selections for the first two courses, followed by a seasonal tart. First course selections include cured salmon with a corn johhnycake, curried egg salad, crème fraîche, and caviar (because the only thing more brunchy than coffee is caviar, right?); Deer Isle scallop with seasonal hash, quail egg, and truffle; or a Scotch duck egg with mustard aïoli and wild watercress. Second courses include buckwheat pancakes with Maine blueberries and Wisconsin maple syrup; duck ham in hay with fried eggs and spring vegetables; and the crown jewel, lobster eggs Benedict with truffle hollandaise, Serrano, and country potatoes. I'm partially surprised the Benedict doesn't come with shaved money on top. Pastry chef Thomas Raquel finishes the meal with a seasonal tart, and augments the menu with à la carte doughnuts and breakfast pastries. Brunch costs $35 per person, served every Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.



(Scotch duck egg. Photo: Acadia)

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Tags: Brunch



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