Brunch Bites: La Stanza Ristorante and Dolce Italian
The first of the two Italian spots this week is La Stanza Ristorante, the fine dining back room of Labriola off Michigan Avenue. A new facet for the restaurant is a weekly Sunday brunch for the space, which runs from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., giving diners ample opportunity to experience the menu at their leisure. True to form, the menu skews elegant and upscale, with dishes like lobster Thermidor Benedict and octopus hash with a sunny-side up egg crafted by chef Rich Larbiola. In addition to other savory items and brick oven pizzas and sandwiches, the brunch program also offers a bounteous donut option in the form of "La Stanza's Donut Bar," featuring sweets from Stan's Donuts & Coffee. The DIY donut bar features an array of glazes and toppings for customers to go wild with. Think caramel glaze, pumpkin pie sauce, and toppings like chocolate chips, marshmallows, cereals, coconut, and bacon. To drink, get thirsty for an old-school take on classic brunch essentials, like Bloody Marys and mimosas made to-order tableside. A live jazz band will round out the experience from noon until 3:00 p.m.
In other Italian brunch news, Dolce Italian has taken the leap to up the ante on its breakfast menu with a full-fledged weekend brunch menu. Expect items like the Dolce "Benny" with poached eggs and ciabatta bread and the brunch pizza with sausage and egg. Bellinis, mimosas, and Bloody Marys are on hand for imbibing. There's also a "Bubbles Package" for $19 per person. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
- Matt Kirouac