Wednesday, December 30

Mortar and Pestle

Lakeview
Brunch at Mortar and Pestle
Lakeview
Mortar and Pestle
Finally, there's a new brunch option in my Lakeview 'hood that makes me happy to call this neighborhood home. That's because when I'm at Mortar and Pestle, a new brunch and lunch spot from Stephen Ross and Stephen Paul (they met while opening Table 52), I feel like I'm at home. The intimate restaurant has been open less than two months which means there are still waits on the weekend for a table. Lucky for us, no one was eating brunch at 9:30am on a frigid Friday when the BF and I returned from vacation. No line, no wait!

The ambiance at Mortar and Pestle can best be described as eclectic, reclaimed, and rustic. The menu is fairly simple with three sections: starters, breakfast, and lunch, each with global influences from Morocco, the Middle East, England, and more.

Lakeview
Mortar and Pestle Dining Room
Lakeview
Mortar and Pestle Dining Room
There are so many interesting menu items and different options than you see on typical brunch menus. The BF and I decided to split three items, balancing sweet and savory notes. To start, we enjoyed every basic bruncher's favorite dish, avocado toast. I'm declaring 2015 the year of the avocado toast. I loved Mortar and Pestle's version because it's similar to the kind I make at home. They take three buttery and crispy toast pieces and top them with a generous portion of chunky avocado tossed with lemon, cumin, aleppo pepper, smoked salt, and chive. Adding citrus to avocado toast is key as the acidity offers a nice contrast to the creamy and rich avocado. 

Chicago Brunch
Avocado Toast
Our next shared dish was the Middle Eastern plate, certainly not something I'm used to seeing on a brunch menu. The dish featured foules mudammas, which is a mixture of fava beans, garlic and tomatoes, as well as labna, olives, and pita topped with zaatar (Middle Eastern herbs). Not only was this a beautiful dish, it was incredibly light and fresh. We loved the sampling of flavors, especially the zaatar and labna topped with olive oil.

Chicago Brunch
Middle Eastern Plate
Lastly, we enjoyed the decadent French toast with foie gras torchon, bacon powdered sugar, and maple syrup. The French toast was one uber thick slice of bread, oozing with gooey batter and maple syrup which we generously poured on top.

Chicago Brunch
French Toast
Chicago Brunch
French Toast
The maple syrup melted the foie gras delicately into each crevice of the French toast. The result was a rich, sweet, and fluffy delight.

Chicago Brunch
French Toast
Mortar and Pestle is a welcome addition to Lakeview, and a place I know I will definitely be returning. It's refreshing to find a restaurant doing something different during a meal that has become somewhat of a Sunday institution. But don't wait until Sunday to check them out. Besides, you're more likely to snag a table any other day of the week.

I'm giving Mortar and Pestle 4.5 ghosts out of 5!

Mortar and Pestle
3108 N. Broadway St.
Chicago, IL 60657
773.857.2087
Mortar & Pestle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

1 comment:

  1. I want some of all of this! Looks awesome. Can't wait to come home to Chicago for a visit -- hopefully soon!

    ReplyDelete

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