Barley & Brass
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).
|Chili Honey Wings|
|Roasted Short Rib|
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!
|Skin Hydrator Juice|
|Brunch at Meli Cafe|
|Pumpkin Cheesecake French Toast|
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.
|Eggs in Purgatory|
I give Ceres' Table 4 ghosts out of 5!
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.
|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.
|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.