When it's this frigid outside, the idea of attempting a weekend brunch that goes beyond toaster waffles eaten while huddled under a blanket seems downright unreasonable. If there's anything that stands the chance to ply you from the cozy comforts of your couch, it's the toasty offerings at these freshly debuted weekend brunches.
The Glunz Tavern
1202 N. Wells St. 312-642-3000
Launched: Early February
Dishes: Top picks at this Old Town bar include the eggs Benedict ($10), made with prosciutto instead of Canadian bacon, as well as the hash, which features roasted chicken, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, onions and sage, all topped with poached eggs and hollandaise ($10). For something a little lighter, there's the house-made granola with yogurt ($7).
Drinks: Glunz's bloody mary ($8) served with a Warsteiner beer back is its most popular brunch drink. Don't like bloody marys but still want a brew? Try Founders Breakfast stout ($6), a full-bodied oatmeal stout.
Brunch times: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. Friday and Saturday brunch service will be added when the sidewalk cafe opens this spring, weather permitting. No reservations.
1745 W. North Ave. 773-252-6053
Launched: Early February
Dishes: At this Wicker Park gastropub with a seriously royal name, former Graham Elliot chef Andrew Brochu puts his spin on comfort food classics such as biscuits and gravy ($10) and chilaquiles ($14) made with duck confit instead of the traditional chicken. For something sweet, try Brochu's Bavarian-style pretzel ($7). Tossed in a mix of cinnamon, sugar, cloves and dried raisins, it smells like it came from tempting mall purveyor Auntie Anne's--but tastes much better, said Brochu.
Drinks: Named for Dracula, the Vlad the Impaler bloody mary ($8.50) is made with vodka infused with cracked, pan-roasted peppercorn and garnished with sweet and spicy Hungarian pickles. The Queen Bee ($8.50) combines hot chamomile tea blended with booze-spiked honey and a shot of Jack Daniel's whiskey.
Brunch times: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. Reservations recommended.
Little Market Brasserie
10 E. Delaware Place 312-640-8141
Dishes: This Gold Coast restaurant headed up by chef Ryan Poli features flavors from all over, from the Canadian-inspired poutine with chunks of short rib and a fried egg ($14) to the chorizo omelet ($11.50) with queso fresco, guacamole, cilantro cream and poblano pepper. If you think smoked salmon and cream cheese slathered on a bagel sounds mouth-watering, try them atop a crispy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside hash brown cake ($13.50).
Drinks: The Green Machine ($8), juicy blend of kale, green apple, celery, basil and lemon garnished with a slice of cucumber, will get your meal off to a healthy start. If you prefer your brunches boozy, the Applejack Milk Punch ($8) offers plenty of kick, blending milk and vanilla with applejack (a spirit made by distilling cider) and a sprinkle of nutmeg on top.
Brunch times: 6:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations accepted.
1400 W. Randolph St. 312-563-1010
Launched: Early March
Dishes: At this six-month-old West Loop restaurant, chef Bill Kim relays his signature Asian-inspired flavors into vegetarian-friendly dishes such as a chickpea patty melt ($11) made with lemongrass- and cumin-seasoned chickpea fritters, or the coconut grits with veggie gravy-topped crispy tofu ($12). Carnivores can dig into smoked duck eggs Benedict topped with tempura egg and curry hollandaise ($15.)
Drinks: The Belly Mary ($10) uses horseradish, ginger, hot sauce and celery bitters mixed with gin, vodka, tequila or scotch. You can also try the house-made passion fruit drinking vinegar, a tart soda-like drink that's good for digestion, blended with absinthe and a shot of mezcal in the Fists of Fury cocktail ($11).
Brunch times: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays. Reservations accepted.
1360 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-687-8697
Dishes: Not surprisingly, the top picks at this quaint Wicker Park taqueria are breakfast tacos ($8) filled with juicy braised bacon, scrambled eggs, avocado and pickled jalapenos, or steak topped with hash brown-style potatoes, cilantro, chipotle aioli, grilled onions and poblano peppers.
Drinks: An alternative to the standard bloody mary, a spicy michelada ($5) mixes red salsa, beer, vodka and lime and tomato juices. If you're in the mood to sip something fruitier, the blood orange mimosa ($5) will do the trick.
Brunch times: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. No reservations.
435 N. Clark St. 312-610-4200
Dishes: This countrified River North bar and restaurant recently added a handful of breakfasty specials to the weekend lunch menu, including fried chicken and waffles with jalapeno-bacon honey ($12.95) and buttermilk cheddar biscuits with gravy ($9.95)
Drink: If the whiskey concoctions on the regular cocktail menu—such as the bourbon-maple-lemon mix that is the Riverboat Gambler ($10)—sound too strong for day drinking, there is a classic bloody mary ($10) available.
Brunch times: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Limited reservations accepted.
High Noon Saloon
1560 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-227-9339
Launched: Late March
Dishes: This week-old Wicker Park bar peddles Tex-Mex-inspired dishes such as French toast made with hefty slices of Texas toast ($8) and an eggs Benedict made with black beans, chorizo and poblano cream sauce ($9).
Drinks: A $25 brunch package includes your choice of entree along with your fill of mimosas or bloody marys.
Brunch times: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations accepted for parties of eight or more only.
MORE BRUNCH BUZZ
>>Hash (1357 N. Western Ave. 773-661-2964), a BYOB breakfast and lunch spot serving myriad variations of the namesake dish, opened Wednesday on the border of Wicker Park and Humboldt Park.
>>A second location of Lakeview's Kanela Breakfast Club (1552 N. Wells St. 312-255-1206) opened in Old Town in mid-February.
>>-South Loop restaurant Acadia (1639 S. Wabash Ave. 312-360-9500) will begin serving a three-course $35 Sunday brunch on April 28.
>>River North waffle sandwich shop Bel 50 (738 N. Clark St. 312-496-3948) launched a weekday breakfast menu in late February featuring dishes such as chicken chilaquiles with waffle chips and a Denver omelet with a side of waffle bread.
>>Last month, Sable Kitchen & Bar (505 N. State St. 312-755-9704) launched a new shareable brunch menu featuring half-size and whole portions of dishes such as bacon brioche French toast and pigs in a blanket.
>>Last weekend, Bread & Wine (3732 W. Irving Park Road 773-866-5266) debuted a new Sunday brunch menu featuring dishes such as egg-topped gnocchi and johnny cakes with lemon curd and honey butter.
>>Spanglish Mexican Kitchen (555 S. State St. 312-663-1668) has been serving zesty breakfast fare ranging from breakfast burritos to huevos rancheros in the South Loop.
Additional reporting by Lisa Arnett. firstname.lastname@example.org | @redeyeeatdrinkCopyright © 2015, RedEye