It might not be shorts weather yet, but it's about time to raise a big ol' bloody mary to wish winter a not-so-fond farewell. Take advantage of the sunlight, bare as much skin as you dare and get an early (or early afternoon) start on your day at one of these nine new brunches, two of which are set to launch this weekend.
2957 W. Diversey Ave. 773-661-9170
Launched: Early March
Dishes: The pork chop sandwich ($9) on a house-made Portuguese roll with pickled vegetables, crab chips and spicy mustard has already become a favorite on the Logan Square restaurant's brunch menu, as have the 10-karat dumplings, curried shrimp steamed in carrot dough and topped with orange tobiko ($9).
Drinks: Get your morning caffeine kick from the Breakfast of Champions ($10), made with coffee brandy, egg whites, lemon juice and chocolate bitters, or share a carafe of the Fat Rum Punch ($32), a blend of rum, plum drinking vinegar and Thai basil.
Brunch time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. No reservations.
2956 N. Sheffield Ave. 773-687-8177
Launched: March 15
Dishes: The Lakeview seafood shack is borrowing the crabcake from its popular Crabby Patty sandwich and featuring it in an eggs Benedict with poached eggs and Old Bay-seasoned hollandaise ($14). For something lighter, go with the egg white cheddar frittata ($8), which is loaded with tomato, mushrooms and peppers.
Drinks: Nurse your hangover with a bloody mary ($6) made with a horseradish and tomato mix and served with spiced salt on the rim and a garnish of okra, celery and olives.
Brunch time: 10 am.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. No reservations.
180 N. Field Boulevard 312-938-4303
Launched: March 22
Dishes: Satisfy your sweet tooth at this Lakeshore East steakhouse by ordering a sticky bun ($6) for the table; rotating flavors have ranged from apple-pecan and salted caramel-pear. The steel-cut oatmeal ($8) is also popular, blended with a decadent mix of roasted apples, cinnamon-brown sugar butter and golden raisin jam.
Drinks: Chef Billy Caruso makes his own bloody mary mix from 40 ingredients, including plum tomatoes, red bell peppers, garlic, olive juice and creole mustard, and garnishes the drink with anything from grilled shrimp to a slider ($10). You can also make your own mimosas with a kit including a bottle of champagne and a carafe of fresh-squeezed OJ ($20).
Brunch time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Reservations recommended.
2000 W. Roscoe St. 773-697-7965
Launched: Late March
Dishes: Fill up on the Breakfast Burger, a quarter-pound of beef topped with country-style bacon, eggs and three-year cheddar ($9), or the steak and eggs with bacon vinaigrette and fingerling potatoes ($15). Sweet options include French toast ($7) with cream cheese, bananas, walnuts and orange zest or fruit-topped buttermilk pancakes ($7)
Drinks: Opt for the Roscoe Village joint's $10 mimosa bar or customize your bloody mary ($6) with 10 different seasonings, plus a rotating selection of garnishes such as shrimp, pepperoni, sausage and cheese.
Brunch time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. No reservations.
671 N. St. Clair St. 312-642-1800
Launching: April 12
Dishes: This swanky Streeterville restaurant showcases its masterful baked goods with options such as ciabatta French toast ($12) served with sweet whipped ricotta and chunky caramel-apple compote, or the bakery basket ($8) filled with plain and cheese croissants and a poppy-seed muffin served with house-made rhubarb jam.
Drinks: Try a traditional Italian cocktail such as a spritz ($12) or bellini ($8), or wake up with the Green Dragon Punch ($10), a blend of green tea, fresh-squeezed lemonade and rum.
Brunch time: 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Reservations recommended.
433 W. Diversey Pkwy. 773-248-3230
Launched: Feb. 20
Dishes: The Lincoln Park bar started offering brunch the week it opened, serving hearty dishes such as chicken and biscuits ($12) with chicken gravy, a sunny-side-up egg and sharp cheddar cheese covering a buttermilk biscuit. For the crab cake Benedict, the same crispy crabcakes from the dinner menu are topped with poached eggs and hollandaise and served with potato hash ($12).
Drinks: While they offer mimosas with fresh-squeezed orange juice ($6) and a bloody mary made with vodka from West Loop CH Distillery ($8), owner Patrick Wrona recommends taking advantage of the bar's extensive draft selection and going with a Vander Mill apple cider ($6).
Brunch time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations recommended.
2434 W. Montrose Ave. 872-208-7246
Launched: March 15
Dishes: The Ravenswood restaurant offers fare from around the globe, including Cuban huevos ($11) with two fried tortillas, black beans, roasted peppers, two eggs, fried plantains and cilantro, and the Canadian-inspired pretzel French toast ($11), a sweet-and-salty dish where the bread is dipped in creme anglaise and topped with vanilla-whipped cream, bananas, walnuts and bourbon maple syrup.
Drinks: The restaurant doesn't offer a separate drink menu for brunch, though you're welcome to order anything from the dinnertime cocktail list.
Brunch time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Reservations accepted.
951 W. Fulton Market 855-834-6464
Launched: March 9
Dishes: This West Loop restaurant launched brunch to coincide with its Craft Beer Experience tasting menu, so you'll find beer incorporated into every dish. The French toast ($12) is cooked in a custard flavored with orange, vanilla and Bell's Oberon ale and topped with vanilla-brown butter powder, candied orange segments and a buttercream made with coffee-infused beer. On the savory side, the bay leaf-cured smoked salmon is served with beer butter sauce and a potato croquette ($16).
Drinks: Beer is also the star of the cocktail menu, which features a beermosa ($6) made with Off Color Brewing's Troublesome wheat beer and a bloody mary made with chorizo-infused vodka and served with a beer back of Pipeworks' Ninja vs. Unicorn double IPA.
Brunch time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Reservations recommended.
IO Urban Roofscape
127 W. Huron St. 312-374-1830
Launching: April 12
Dishes: Soak up some sun at The Godfrey Hotel's retractable roof- covered lounge while sharing small plates such as the Greek yogurt parfait ($7) featuring honey-sweetened granola and citrus granita, or the huevos rancheros ($9), an inverted version of the Mexican dish with a pair of chili-poached eggs topped with a hot red salsa, guacamole, cilantro and tortilla shreds.
Drinks: The River North spot offers the brunch equivalent of bottle service with packages for groups including a bottle of champagne and nine or 14 shared plates ($200 or $400). You can also order a la carte cocktails such as the blueberry-lavender mimosa ($12) or a pitcher of margaritas or mojitos ($28).
Brunch time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Reservations accepted.
1516 E. Harper Court 773-493-9333
Launched: End of March
Dishes: The barbecue restaurant's recently opened Hyde Park location serves a meaty brunch with fried chicken and waffles ($12) with ancho chili-infused syrup and eggs Benedict ($11) with blood orange hollandaise, herb-roasted potatoes and pulled pork or chicken.
Drinks: Order the house-made bloody mary mix, which includes sriracha and barbecue sauce, with your choice of bacon vodka or Maker's Mark bourbon ($9).
Brunch time: 7-11 a.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Reservations accepted.
Samantha Nelson is a RedEye special contributor. firstname.lastname@example.org | @redeyeeatdrink