Dining Chicago

Brunch Bites: Jellyfish Starts Brunch and Brunch Guru Jeffrey Mauro Joins Berrista Restaurant

In this week's batch of brunch bites, Jellyfish joins the brunch fray, while a brunch maven partners with Homaro Cantu in bringing the miracle berry to Berrista Restaurant.


Chicken and green tea waffles
(Chicken and green tea waffles. Photo: Jellyfish)


Brunch is on at Jellyfish, and true to form the weekend meal adapts the restaurant's propensity for contemporary Asian flavors. This means nori omelettes with togarashi homefries, five-spice chocolate-stuffed French toast with taro root drizzle, eel Benedict with soy paper and white beans, chicken and green tea waffles, and something called Buddha's plate, a wholesome medley of panko-crusted tofu, roasted Japanese eggplant, baby zucchini, Brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips, and Thai curry. There's lots to drink too, such as Tokyo iced tea, lychee mimosas, and the Jellyfish Bloody Mary served with an uni shooter.


One of the most revered brunch restaurants in the city, and for that matter the country, is set to team up with Homaro Cantu of Moto and iNG to bring the miracle berry front-and-center at Berrista. Jeffrey Mauro has already proven his brunch mettle as the chef/owner at Jam, giving a.m. fare the gourmet treatment often reserved for dinner. From brunch amuse bouches and elegant Benedicts to brunch tasting menus and sous vide French toast, Mauro certainly knows a thing or two about masterful morning cookery. And now the chef has teamed up with longtime pal Homaro Cantu to open Berrista, a flavor-tripping coffee and pastry shop headed to Irving Park. The concept focuses on the miracle berry, a West African fruit that alters flavor receptors on the tongue to make sour things taste sweet, thus reducing the need for sugar in food. The berry has been a staple at iNG, but now Cantu strives to put it right in the spotlight at its very own cafe, showcased in a variety of sugar-free baked goods. As Cantu steps into more of a directorial role overseeing his various kitchens, he's amassed top talent to run the day-to-day culinary work. Hence the partnership with Mauro, someone Cantu worked with at Charlie Trotter's, brought on to lead the way on miracle berry cookery. Look for Berrista to open this spring.


- Matt Kirouac

Neighborhoods: Logan SquareWest LoopWest LoopGold CoastIrving Park

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