Where to Eat Brunch on New Year's Day
You've been up late guzzling Champagne and throwing back hors d'oeuvres. It's been a rough finale to 2014, and you're in need of a hangover cure only brunch can provide. Start the new year off on a nourishing foot with New Year's brunch at one of these spots in Chicago:
Birchwood Kitchen: This Bucktown restaurant is nourishing and wholesome any weekend of the year, but brunch is especially apropos here on New Year's Day. Because nothing soothes the soul quite like cider cooked oatmeal with caramelized apples, melted leek and Gruyere croque vert, black-eyed peas with cheesy grits, and sourdough waffles with vanilla butter. Brunch is BYO, so feel free to bring in more bubbly to mix with pomegranate, blood orange, and orange juice. Birchwood has also got Bloody Mary fixings at the ready, in case you'd prefer to bring vodka.
Dusek's: It's vital to kick off the new year on a lucky note, with traditional luck foods like black-eyed peas and collard greens. Dusek's has just the ticket on their brunch menu, available January 1. Their special Cash & Coins New Year's Day brunch dish is a nod to lucky Southern lore, featuring an egg bake of braised collards and black-eyed peas, caramelized onions, ham hock, oyster mushrooms, roasted garlic cream, Fontina cheese, and sourdough toast.
HotChocolate: One of the quintessential New Year's Day brunch traditions in Chicago is the annual pajama brunch at HotChocolate. Seeing as many of us will be too exhausted and depleted to roll out of the house in anything else, it's the perfect way to enjoy brunch while remaining comfy. All the brunch staples are in place at HotChocolate, from quiche to fluffy pancakes, but be sure and sip on some pudding-thick hot chocolate to help gloss over your hangover.
Howells & Hood: Two words for you: Doritos chilaquiles. Two more words: hangover cure. This insane dish is on deck as part of Howells & Hood's New Year's Day Hangover Brunch, made with short rib, nacho cheese Doritos, cotija cheese, and salsa roja. No better hangover cure can be imagined. For $29 per person, guests can enjoy this dish along with other specials like doughnut French toast, cheeseburger strata, and blackstrap molasses ham and cheese muffins. Brunch is served from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 312-262-5310.
Travelle: Eggs are paramount for starting the new year sans hangover. Go the glam route with eggs Benedicts galore at Travelle, where the classic hollandaise-y dish gets the gourmet treatment six different ways for New Year's Day brunch. Try the English Benedict with rasher of ham and hollandaise; Moroccan Benedict with Merguez sausage, mint, and piquillo sauce; Norwegian Benedict with smoked salmon, fennel, and sauce choron; Florentine Benedict with spinach, artichoke, and sauce béarnaise; Travelle Benedict with lobster, spinach, and truffled hollandaise; or Burgundian Benedict with red wine-braised short rib, crispy shallot, and sauce Dijon. For $29 per person, diners can pair their Benedict with a mimosa or Bloody Mary. Brunch is available from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling 312-923-7705 or visiting TravelleChicago.com.
- Matt Kirouac