On Friday, April 5th one of my dreams finally came true. Cru Kitchen & Wine Bar served Sequins At Breakfast, a group of Chicago’s Glitterati raising money for Bright Pink. What also shined was the menu – a tasting of crispy and fluffy beignets, fresh fruit and my selection –  house smoked salmon with a toasted poppy bagel, cream cheese, capers, hard cooked egg, sliced tomato and red onions. If I had to choose one decadent breakfast – it would be exactly this plate of perfection. And thankfully it will shine on the menu at Cru Kitchen & Bar every brunch.

Brunch at Grass Fed

Chai infused bourbon, chicken and waffles, with a buttersotch dessert! Fall is in the air at Grass Fed in Bucktown and Godfather Stacy Johnson, founder of Food Mafia, has the pics to prove it.

“Casual, warm space that offers dinner and now brunch. And they have 9 parking spots available!!”

“Everything we had was great – biscuit, fried chicken and waffles, waffle minis, green eggs and ham, and the butterscotch for dessert. ”

“The drinks were all great but the bourbon infused with chai served on ice is a must!! Even for those that don’t usually order bourbon. Service was great.”

Every Monday TheFoodarazzi features some of their favorite food shots and reviews from FoodMafia.

Mafia Mondays – Across The Pond

Today’s Food Mafia “Mafia Monday” post is by Goodfella Agnes04 – and features North Pond’s brunch and James Beard Award winning chef Bruce Sherman.  She loves their brunches – and we could not agree more!

“North Pond has been in my top 3 favorite restaurants in Chicago, not only for spectacular dinners, but also for a truly amazing brunch.

Last Sunday we went for brunch with another couple. It was a gorgeous day out. We sat in the front room that offers amazing views of the pond, park and downtown skyline.

Our server, Shannon, is probably one of the best we ever had…we always request him when dining at North Pond. He is knowledgeable, personable and shares our passion for food and wine. Truly an all around great guy.

We started off with hand crafted cocktails…a take on summer sangria – made with fresh strawberries that have been soaked in late harvest riesling…so good!

The restaurant offers a 3 course brunch for $33…with 4 choices in each category…you can’t go wrong.

I had the Crab/Avocado to start (peekytoe crab with avocado mousse, mint, radish, carrot broth) very refreshing…great starter.

Also had the Cucumber/Salmon (chilled cucumber melon soup with cured salmon, pumpernickel and serrano for the touch of heat) great take on a gazpacho

My main dish was Shrimp/Asparagus (shrimp a la plancha, asparagus, beets, gnocchi,hazelnuts) also a perfect summer dish.

For dessert we ordered one of each…my favorite was the Rhubarb/Orange (citrus rhubarb tart with oatmeal crumble and orange blossom ice cream! How cool is that…

All the entrees were seasonal; just perfect! Bruce Sherman is a very talented chef and I’ve never had a bad dish there. I’m always surprised with the creativeness that goes into every plate that he puts out.

We enjoyed ourseleves and will definitely be back to try the summer menu.

Thanks again North Pond!” – Agnes04

Every Monday TheFoodarazzi features some of their favorite food shots from FoodMafia.

Urban Brunch Series

Gilt City Chicago sure knows how to throw a great party.  The Urban Brunch Series was created in conjunction with Gilt City and Barista Prima Coffeehouse - an exclusive collection of the world’s finest Arabica coffees roasted in the tradition of Europe’s most celebrated coffee houses for the Keurig and Keurig Vue single cup brewing systems.   Superstar Chef Mindy Segal from Hot Chocolate was on hand to pair a fabulous brunch with the brews for 70 guests.  They arrived in Ubers, had photos taken with Postagram and sipped coffee and Fantinel Prosecco bubbles!  We all felt like we were on vacation with the live tunes, courtesy of the People’s Music School.  

Designed for the passionate coffee lover, Barista Prima was brewing coffee all morning long.

Everyone was going crazy for Chef Mindy’s Strawberry-Rhubarb bellinis.

Croissant Wrapped House-Made Breakfast Sausages with Maple Syrup.

Quiche is WAY cool – with English Peas, Gunthorp Farm’s Ham and Roth Kase Gruyere.

Petite Brioche French Toast, Lemon Curd, and Preserved Klug Farm Bluleberries.

Hamming it UP!

And compliments of Barista Prima – we all get our own brewers at home.  I cannot wait to brew more Barista Prima Coffeehouse coffee at home using my new brewer!

All photos courtesy of Francis Son.

The brunch kicked off the Gilt City Chicago Insider Sale.

sunda funda day

Filming for watch312.com’s brunch episode led to a girl’s Sunday Funday with Shannon Binder and Meghan Goulette.  We tasted our way though brunch from East to West, and there was a bacon rimmed Bloody Mary in it for me, which was my favorite part.  Sunda is great when you want to try something new with their unique offerings, not to mention a build your won Bloody Mary Bar.

Garden Eggs Benedict – Poached Eggs, Toasted Brioche, Sautéed Spinach & Tomato with Herbed Hollandaise.

Tempura French Toast.

Braised Pork Belly on Crispy Rice Patties with Poached Eggs and Sunda Egg Sauce.

They have a selection of dim sum, shu mai and sushi for a new approach to brunch.

Bacon and Togarashi spice rimmed Bloody Mary.

aloha from brunch at sola

Aloha!  sola is a great place to go anytime, but Chef Carol Wallack also serves a great brunch.  All her dishes are fresh and full of flavor, with a Hawaiian point of view.  The wasabi pea rimmed Bloody Mary packs a punch, and she has mini beer backs - ready to go!

This one was my favorite – house smoked salmon with miso yogurt and pickled vegetables from her trips to the farmer’s markets. 

Short Ribs Benedict – Carol’s prize-winning short ribs, eggs, cheddar biscuits, pesto and delicious hollandaise.

Ham and Cheese French Toast with mustard honey and plum-ginger preserves.  Very much like a breakfast Croque Monsieur.


To see sola and our brunch adventure – check us out on watch312.com – dish IT! with Amanda Puck.

Babes On Ice

I know it’s wrong.  I know it.  Sometimes (not all the time) I love a good crisp white wine on ice.  So when Moët & Chandon actually creates a product to be served over ice, intrigue is sparked, and a love affair is born.  And it’s great to share over a lazy Sunday brunch with your girlfriends.

Moët Ice Imperial, designed to be served over ice, a popular drink of choice for those relaxing and basking on the French Riviera (true story).   It is a blend of pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay, with notes of tropical fruits such as mango and guava and sweet spices like licorice, red fruits and peppermint.

And it can be garnished and mixed with many things – my choice of the day was lime twists …

… and fresh strawberries.  Mint is also a perfect addition, playing up those peppermint notes in the wine.

At Rockit Bar & Grill In Chicago, their traditional lox plate paired perfectly, as the girls and I sipped and dreamed of the French Riviera. 

It also paired well with this rich Quiche Lorraine.  Applewood smoked bacon, gruyere cheese and a small caesar salad.

Girlfriend Brunch at The Publican

We started out right with the Bloody Mary, a pickled flavored wonder with house-made celery bitters, and a beer back of Lagunitas Zephyr.

Decadent ricotta and zucchini bread with wildflower honey.

Soft shell crab sandwich with delicious cheddar melted on a sliced biscuit and thin crispy bacon.

Little gem salad with a creamy basil and buttermilk-muscatel dressing.  I haven’t really posted many salads I just realized …