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Aba Brunch

Aba is only a year old, and yet this Fulton Market hotspot has already established itself as one of Chicago’s most in-demand rooftop destinations. My friend and former Chicagoan, Kate, was visiting, and Alex and I were eager to take her here as it wasn’t open before she moved away. Unfortunately for us, it was raining the day we had a reservation! But Aba doesn’t skimp on the interior design; we exited the elevator, and it felt like we entered a garden with a bar.

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Four olive trees outline an interior seating area, with booths around the outside and private rooms situated in a couple corners of the restaurant. The bar sits in front of glass windows looking out onto their patio, and while we were sad we couldn’t sit out there, a giant skylight made us feel like we were outside anyway.

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Kate and Alex stuck with coffee for this brunch, and I will note that the waiters were incredibly attentive and generous with their coffee refills, stopping by just as Kate or Alex were about to finish their cup. I went for something with a few more bubbles that came highly recommended by our waiter: the rhubarb spritz. It was light and fizzy, with pieces of strawberry and a slice of lemon to add more flavor and color to the beverage. Our waiter also said the “zero proof” pineapple serrano soda was delicious with a shot of tequila in it!

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We started our meal with the chocolate babka, which isn’t much to look at, but is a luxurious trip for the tastebuds. The babka arrived at our table still warm and rich with chocolate. The sea salt was a nice touch, and they even threw in some raisins to make it look healthy. All three of us enjoyed this dish and appreciated that not a single bite was dried out.

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Aba’s menu consists of a lot of small plate options meant for sharing, so we decided to eat family style and ordered a couple of their signature spreads for the table. The first was a whipped feta spread which I believe is the Greeks’ answer to cream cheese. It was so creamy and addictive. The crushed pistachio added a little bit of crunch and there was a hint of citrus flavor from the lemon zest. So good!

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We also ordered the avocado and fava bean spread. This was great, but it fell short compared to the whipped feta. There was a slightly gritty texture to this spread, but the hint of mint was refreshing.

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Alex insisted on one of our dishes being the short rib shakshuka, and Kate and I were happy we listened to him. Shakshuka is a dish of poached eggs in a tomato sauce with a bunch of spices. The tomato sauce was on the spicy side, with tender short rib and soft potatoes. This was my favorite dish of the meal. Alex also took some of the house bread and stacked the whipped feta and shakshuka on top for a delicious creation of his own. He highly recommends everyone try this combination.

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Our final dish was the zesty chicken kafta and eggs. Served with lemon dill rice, tzatziki sauce, and vegetables, it was fine, but didn’t blow us away. It was the greek version of the basic breakfast plate: eggs, meat, and starch. The chicken was well-spiced and the fried eggs were spot on, but we’ve had better tzatziki. 

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The Bitches say: Four champagne flutes!

Aba is a great rooftop destination in the Fulton Market district with a mediterranean menu you can share with friends!

Aba serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Katlin Gnojek

Chicago Food Editor

A management consultant from 9 to 5, Katlin loves marketing, Champagne, and a killer pair of shoes. When she is not working, you can find her unwinding over brunch, at a BodyPump class, or baking to her heart's content at home. Katlin will never turn down a chocolate croissant.

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