Brunch Bites: An Ina's Brunch Revival and Festive New Brunch at Carnivale

In this week's batch of brunch bites, Ina Pinkney sort of comes back from retirement but not really, and Carnivale kicks off brunch on March 16. 


Has the closing of Ina's left a gaping void where your heart used to be? You're not alone. Fortunately, Ina Pinkney has quietly been making the rounds at a few spots in Chicago to give us all a taste of her beloved cooking once more. Or of course you could always just purchase her heart-wrenching cookbook and re-create your favorites in between sobbing spells while reading her memoir. At any rate, Ina will be making an appearance at Cicchetti on April 5 and 6 to sign books and schmooze, while the kitchen creates some of her most iconic dishes for their new brunch menu. Her acclaimed heavenly hots are also on the menu at the just-opened Spritz Burger, which wasted no time in launching brunch. Pinkney will also be signing books at Prairie Grass Cafe on March 30, where chef/owner Sarah Stegner will be cooking up some Ina's favorites herself.

The old adage you can't teach an old dog new tricks is a). borderline offensive and b). totally untrue when it applies to Carnivale's brunch game. The longstanding contemporary Latin restaurant is set to (finally) get into brunch on March 16. Served from 10:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Sundays, the brunch menu follows suit with Carnivale's proclivity for modern Latin zest. Dishes include key lime French toast, carnitas chilaquiles, Cuban-Korean spiced chicken and waffles, and Ecuadorian dark chocolate-dipped smoked bacon.

- Matt Kirouac