Recent Foodie Finds

October 29, 2015

Another week, another set of tasty restaurants I just have to share with you. This week, I'm sharing two dinner options and two brunch options to consider the next time your wondering, "where should I go?"

Barley & Brass
Barley & Brass Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Last Friday, I stopped by Wicker Park's Barley & Brass for dinner. I had not heard much about this place so I pretty much went in with an open mind. The food was far better than I expected. We started with chili honey wings that were smothered in a sweet and spicy sauce and were perfectly crispy to the bite. I love wings and these packed a ton of flavor. The sauce kind of reminded me of the General Jane's chicken at Au Cheval, which you must try (in addition to their famous burger).

Chicken Wings
Chili Honey Wings
We also tried the roasted short rib with barley cake, carrots and beans. It was like fall on a plate! So tender and flavorful. Barley & Brass also has a ton of drink options including kegged cocktails, beer and wine.

Short rib
Roasted Short Rib
I give Barley & Brass 4 ghosts out of 5!

Meli Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Have you been to Meli Cafe for brunch yet? It's always a solid option and with three locations in the city, you're bound to find a convenient location. Meli has a huge menu of breakfast and lunch specialties, but what I love are their freshly squeezed juices, and seasonal specials. 

On my last visit, I tried the skin hydrator with kale, pineapple, lemon, and cucumber! 

Meli Cafe
Skin Hydrator Juice
We tried the club sandwich, avocado toast, and a brand new seasonal special, pumpkin cheesecake French toast! OMG it was amazing! They take brioche French toast and stuff it with pumpkin cheesecake filling and then top the whole thing with pecans, honey, and whipped cream. Run and get it before it's off the menu!

Chicago Brunch
Brunch at Meli Cafe
Meli Cafe
Club Sandwich
Meli Cafe
Avocado Toast
Meli Cafe
Pumpkin Cheesecake French Toast
Ceres' Table Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Another brunch option in my Lakeview 'hood is Ceres' Table, which was just honored again with a Michelin Bib Gourmand! I've been to Ceres' for dinner before, but didn't even realize they offer brunch. The brunch menu features mostly egg dishes and some pizzas, as well as some items to share such as mascarpone toast or burrata. 

We stuck to the egg dishes: eggs in purgatory with eggs, tomato sauce, arugula, Parmigiano, and crostini, and eggs Toscana with beans, kale, sausage, asiago, poached eggs, and bread. These were definitely not your standard brunch options, which I can totally appreciate. I also appreciated the fact that they serve the best coffee, Sparrow Coffee Roastery.

Ceres' Table
Ceres' Table
Ceres' Table
Eggs in Purgatory
Ceres' Table
Eggs Toscana
I give Ceres' Table 4 ghosts out of 5!

Pizza East
Pizza East Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Last, but not least, I found myself eating A LOT of pizza this week. Pizza East at Soho House has been hosting monthly "Ready, Steady, Pizza!" pizza battles pitting Pizza East's chef against chefs from other pizza restaurants in Chicago. Each chef has to prepare a pizza using a chosen ingredient, as voted on by Pizza East's Instagram followers. The night I attended, the chosen ingredient was prosciutto and Pizza East's chef Daniele Cauli was matched against Nellcote's chef Anthony Dirienzo.

Chef Anthony's pizza featured prosciutto, Togaranchi, smoked Scamorza, housemade Italian sausage, giardiniera, arugula, and a sunny side up egg. The runny egg was drizzled around the crust before we ate it! I loved this 'za! It had a perfect combo of spice with the sausage, giardiniera, and arugula.

Pizza East
Prosciutto, Togaranchi, Smoked Scamorza, Housemade Italian Sausage, Giardiniera, Arugula, Sunny Side Up Egg

Chef Daniele's pizza included prosciutto, Hen of the Wood mushrooms, Gorgonzola, and kalamata olives. That Gorgonzola really packed a punch! There were a ton of flavors going on. Check out Pizza East on Instagram to find out when the next Ready, Steady, Pizza! event will take place.

Soho House Chicago
Prosciutto, Hen of the Wood Mushrooms, Gorgonzola, Kalamata Olives
Note: my meals at Meli Cafe and Pizza East were complimentary; however, all opinions expressed are my own.

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