Brunch Bites: Charlatan and The Boundary Tavern and Grille

In this week's batch of brunch bites, Charlatan provides a new brunch destination in West Town and The Boundary Tavern and Grille revamps its brunch menu in Wicker Park. 


Brunch at Charlatan. Photo courtesy of Charlatan Facebook.

Three Aces has been a solid brunch contender for a while now, so the onset of brunch at West Town sister spot Charlatan is a bit of a big deal. Chef Matt Troost's penchant for contemporary American and Italian flavors is wholly unique, especially during brunch hours. Visit the restaurant on Saturdays and Sundays for malted waffles with cinnamon butter and Amaro whipped cream; chicken Parmesan sandwiches with arugula, fried capers, and fontina; bruschetta with eggs in purgatory, 'nduja whipped ricotta, and Calabrian chilies; peppered pork belly carbonara with smoked spaghetti, 45-minute egg, Parmesan, and parsley pistou; and lemon-ricotta pancakes with bourbon maple syrup and milk jam. Housemade maple-black pepper sausage, Calabrian tater tots, and cinnamon rolls with milk jam make for apt side dishes or starters. Head bartender Alex Gara gets creative as well with his own roster of brunch beverages: Hori Smoku with Sailor Jerry, Tawny Port, Gran Gala, egg white, lemon, and coffee; Canary in a Coal Mine with Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac, Fernet Branca, and cold-pressed coffee; and Milk & Cookie with George Dickel #12, Carpano Antica, Glayva, honey, milk, and a cookie. For real.

Another new brunch menu in town is the one taking shape at the recently revamped The Boundary Tavern and Grille. After the dinner and drink programs got a facelift, it's time for brunch to get its turn. Starting this weekend, the weekly brunch menu features unique additions like chicken and bread pudding, a riff on chicken and waffles with andouille sausage bread pudding in lieu of the waffle; Creole hash with andouille and egg; wild mushroom and spinach quiche with balsamic vinaigrette and Gruyere cheese; and a Cajun Benedict with andouille, poached eggs, buttermilk biscuits, and hot sauce hollandaise. Specialty brunch cocktails include The Pinkman with Prairie Cucumber Vodka, raspberry puree, and lemonade; The Bee's Knees with Jack Honey, Tuaca, lemon juice, Sprite, and soda water; and The 1932, featuring Grey Goose Cherry Noir, St-Germain, grapefruit juice, and Champagne. There's also build-your-own Bloody Mary and mimosa bars. 

- Matt Kirouac