By Audarshia Townsend
Break out those cozy, thick sweaters and head out to some of our favorite places to brunch this fall. Crisp, autumn days call for filling comfort foods that get your week off to a great start. Plus, these places’ interpretations of classic brunch dishes will have your mouth watering.
Big Star. Justin Large's infamous breakfast burrito returns, only for the fall/winter season. It's nice and big (you might have to share!) and stuffed with eggs, chorizo, bean dip, chihuahua cheese, hot sauce, romaine lettuce, crema and crunchy tortilla strips. It's only available on Sundays, until sold out.
Bread & Wine. Chef Michael Dean Reynolds features a meat-heavy menu certain to keep your tummy warm and feeling full. He especially loves pork, and his Breakfast Banh Mi (pork belly, ham, pâté, kimchi, fried eggs, hash browns), cured pork belly (poached egg, cheddar grits, fresno chili hot sauce) and classic fry-up of house sausage, Canadian bacon, fried eggs and hash browns are certain to make you squeal. Brunch is served 10am-2pm Sunday.
Carriage House. You won’t find too many places in Chicago where you can get a legit chicken ‘n’ biscuits entrée. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed at this Wicker Park winner, where chef/owner Mark Steuer serves his complemented by pimento cheese and sausage gravy. For something even more satisfying, you might want to dig into pork shoulder paired with grits, seasonal vegetables and a fried egg. Brunch is 11am-2pm Saturday, Sunday.
Public House's Doughnut Fried French Toast (Photo: Lindsey Cavanagh/Public House)
Public House. No item is hotter than doughnuts right now, and chef David Blonsky takes the favored treat and turns it into one of the most awesome brunch dishes I’ve seen in awhile. Doughnut Fried French Toast is topped with a vanilla bourbon glaze and fresh peach jam. For savory, stick-to-the-ribs bites, order Public House’s version of the Bloody Mary: a skewer strapped with a hunk of Monterrey jack cheese, smoked chicken wing, pickled asparagus, three strips of anise-rubbed bacon, a mini Kobe corndog, a half stick of mozzarella cheese and sriracha-glazed grilled shrimp. Brunch is served 10am-3pm Saturday, Sunday.
Siena Tavern. The Italian-focused eatery, which is owned by the same group behind Public House, has curated a hearty fall brunch menu that includes a hefty portion of lobster hash. The ultra-rich entrée is topped with poached eggs and truffle hollandaise. And partner/chef Fabio Viviani’s obsession with Nutella translates well in the caramelized waffle, which is topped with Nutella butter and Blis maple syrup. Brunch is served 10am-3pm Saturday, Sunday.
Sinha Elegant Brazilian Cuisine. You cannot get any cozier than brunching in someone else’s home. It gets better when that home makes you feel as though you traveled to Brazil. Chef/owner Jorgina Pereira—a Brazilian native— hooks up authentic Brazilian dishes such as farofa (grainy cassava meal, sautéed with olives, onions, coriander, fresh chives, carrots and raisins), buttered plantains, collard greens, black beans cooked with beef and pork, and other dishes. It’s BYOB and live entertainment consists of samba dancers. 2 and 4pm seatings Sunday; reservations required.
Siena Tavern's lobster hash (Photo: Lindsey Cavanagh/Siena Tavern)
Standard Market Grill. Breakfast pizzas typically err on the side of the nice and neat—even when there’s an egg involved. Waking up for Morning Glory (smoked Manchego cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, scrambled egg, oven-dried tomato) has got to be pleasurable. And for those going meatless, the Early Riser (goat cheese, crispy purple kale, fresh asparagus, over-easy egg, roasted beets) is certain to be a great alternative. Brunch is served 11am-2pm Saturday, Sunday.
Terzo Piano. Chef Megan Neubeck’s already sitting pretty with this Italian-inspired restaurant that's the official eatery of the Art Institute of Chicago. We also love what she’s doing with the brunch menu, which motivates us to visit the museum more often. Her shrimp cake is genius, and comes topped with a cage-free poached egg, Bearnaise, arugula and a cherry tomato. And the grilled beef burger prepares you to face the chilly outdoors. It’s dressed with cow’s milk cheese, pickled zucchini and thyme aioli. Brunch is served 10:30am-3pm Sunday.