Peasantry by nature, royalty by flavor

December 26, 2012

I recently checked a restaurant off of my must-try list, The Peasantry, in Lincoln Park. I met up with a couple of my fabulous friends from my trip to Israel for an early brunch on the Saturday before Christmas. I arrived at 11 am, when they open for brunch, and had my choice of wooden tables in the rustic dining room. I'm pretty sure this was the only weekend that I wouldn't have to wait for a table!

The bar
The Peasantry describes themselves as a restaurant serving "elevated street food" and is run by the same folks behind Franks 'n' Dawgs, also in Lincoln Park. I had heard wonderful things about their brunch menu, but they do also serve dinner.

Full menu
We started off with a couple Americanos and bloody mary's, although I have to say, it was a bid weird they didn't have brewed coffee. I think I'd prefer brewed coffee over espresso, but it was still a nice change from the ordinary.

Americano and brunch menu
The hardest part about choosing a brunch entree is that the description of each is so detailed that nearly everything sounds delicious. I think I would have been satisfied with any one of the brunch offerings! After asking our server a million+ questions, ("what's your favorite item on the menu?" "what would you choose between x and x?" "how is that prepared?") we each decided on an entree.

My friend Becca chose the pork belly breakfast sandwich at the suggestion of our server. Thick slabs of rosemary pork belly were sandwich between two slices of brioche and topped with a Brussels sprouts slaw, kimchi aioli and fried egg. I'm not a huge fan of pork belly but I found this version to be quite flavorful, especially with the sprouts slaw and that aioli.

Pork belly breakfast sandwich
My friend Missy decided to go with one of the two entrees I was actually deciding between, the curried breakfast flatbread. A gigantic grilled flatbread was topped with sliced radishes and pears, arugula, two fried eggs and was drizzled with a cider vinagrette and coconut curry. I loved how the bread was extra crispy on the edges but chewy in the middle, allowing you to soak up the runny eggs blended with that delicious curry.

Curried breakfast flatbread
My entree was The Peasantry's take on classic chicken 'n waffles. The base of the dish was a whole kernel corn pancake which was topped with chicken bits tossed in chili and cocoa and fried to a crisp. Adding a sweet contrast to the spicy and savory chicken was a red apple slaw. I could not get over how perfect the chicken littles were cooked. Each piece melted in your mouth after you bit into the light and crunchy coating. The corn pancake was a bit dry and lukewarm, but the chicken and slaw made up for it.

Chicken and corn pancake
Overall, I enjoyed the relaxing wooden oasis The Peasantry provided. It's the perfect place to gather with friends for any meal of the day. I appreciated the attention to detail and intricate flavors that seemed to have gone into crafting each entree. Another small detail that did not go unnoticed was the fact that the chef personally brought out each of our entrees. It was as if he was formally presenting his works of art.

I will definitely return to try out their cocktails and dinner menu! The Peasantry gets 4.5 stars for their friendly staff, unique atmosphere and not-so-average brunch offerings.

The Peasantry
2723 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
The Peasantry on Urbanspoon

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