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Out to Brunch
Katie Schroeder and Lisa Shames | Photo: Courtesy of Belly Q | April 15, 2013
After checking out BellyQ's newly launched brunch menu, we decided to revisit some of our favorite weekend haunts now offering up options for the early birds. Here, a few new brunch menus that should be on your must-try list. Bloody Mary, optional.
1. Bill Kim's modern 200-seat restaurant BellyQ is consistently packed with fans of his Korean barbecue and elevated Asian street food. Now, the West Loop spot introduces its Sunday brunch menu, offering savory items like fried chicken with Chinese biscuits and pork sausage gravy, or French toast with Asian caramel, granola and bananas. The cocktail list features specially created concoctions you won't find on the dinner menu that are infused with antioxidants and other healing properties to get you moving after a long night out. And don't miss the housemade soft serve ice cream made with coconut milk and topped with passion fruit shaved ice and coconut gelée—it's so refreshing, we almost licked the bowl. Now that's something to get out of bed for! 1400 W. Randolph St., 312.563.1010, bellyqchicago.com
2. Known for its nighttime revelry and always-packed rooftop Studio Paris, Paris Club is a Hubbard Street mainstay, known for its candle-lit, boudoir-esque environment as much as its Parisian fare. Its new weekend brunch menu created by Executive Chef Alex Ageneau references the City of Light with dishes like Parisian crêpes with Nutella and toasted hazelnut, and lobster scrambled eggs with black truffle and served with a toasted baguette, a nod to the restaurant's favored lobster crostini small plate. 59 W. Hubbard St., 312.595.0800, parisclubchicago.com
3. When word got out earlier this month that everybody’s favorite small plates spot—and the one that really started it all—Avec would open early on Sundays (starting at 11am) it was one of those stop-the-press moments in the food scene world. Even better? Its signature chorizo-stuffed dates and anise-marinated hanger steak would be available, in addition to egg-centric dishes and focaccia topped with cured salmon. Rise and shine, indeed. 615 W. Randolph St., 312.377.2002, avecrestaurant.com
4. Acadia’s chef/proprietor Ryan McCaskey has already earned plenty of praise—including a glowing review from this magazine—for his sophisticated style of cooking at this South Loop stunner. With the recent addition of Sunday brunch, we have even more opportunities to sample his contemporary riffs on classic American cuisine. Eggs Benedict get fancy in a good way with the addition of lobster, truffle hollandaise and prosciutto, while a tart taps into the season with morels, pickled ramps, garlic scapes and pea tendrils. Be sure to save room for the housemade doughnuts from pastry chef Thomas Raquel. 1639 S. Wabash Ave., 312.360.9500, acadiachicago.com
5. We’ve been a big fan of chef Andrew Brochu since we first tried his creative, flavorful food at Kith & Kin and later at Graham Elliot. Over at The Monarch, he pairs his finely honed culinary skills with a more casual setting and equally delicious results. And that goes for the new Sunday brunch, which includes dishes such as fois gras mousse with strawberry jam and toast, duck confit chiliquiles, and shrimp and grits. See, change is good. 1745 W. North Ave., 773.252.6053, monarchchicago.com