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Centre Street Kitchen Brunch

While I always feel positively about brunch, my recent visit to Centre Street Kitchen ratcheted up gratitude and positivity to the next level. Centre Street brands itself as a “positivity restaurant.” They invited me and my boyfriend Cam in for some complimentary menu tastings. 

Centre Street Kitchen - Chicago

The theme is apparent from the moment you sit down. Folded on every plate is a menu with the note asking you to “go around the table telling each person something you appreciate about them.” But it’s not a gimmick. One wall has a neon sign proclaiming, “I’ve never had a bad day in my life.” This is the wishing wall. Diners finishing a bottle of wine can write a wish on the cork and place it behind a glass barrier. The goal is to eventually fill up the wall with wishes. 

Other walls are decorated with clusters of names. General manager Sara is the keeper of the names. Each is a memory of a loved one diagnosed with cancer. The idea is to cover all of the walls with names. A donation of $100 is required to put a name on the wall, with the money benefiting the “Never Had A Bad Day” foundation, a local charity focused on assisting pediatric cancer patients and their families. The goal is 70,000 names, raising $7 million dollars. 

Centre Street Kitchen - Chicago

After Cam and I exchanged our appreciation for each other, we were ready for libations. Since the restaurant was choosing our plates, the only decision we had to make was what to drink. Cam ordered a hazy IPA and I was talked into the blueberry Bellini by our friendly waitress. Centre Street’s staff is knowledgeable and more than happy to guide you through their menu. The Bellini was a bright purple-y pink. It was sweet and a little syrupy, making it more beautiful than tasty. It was also over $10 for one flute, making it a pricey cocktail for its small size.

Centre Street Kitchen - Chicago

Up first, we sampled the bruschetta. This dish is the perfect appetizer for the whole table. It comes in servings of three, so order extra servings. Each piece of toast was topped with whipped avocados, heirloom tomatoes, feta cheese, soppressata, poached eggs, and chives. Centre Street also offers avocado toast, but the bruschetta is cheaper and extra tasty. I highly recommend. 

Centre Street Kitchen - Chicago

Our main dish was the shakshuka. The vegetarian dish served baked eggs in a skillet of tomato, pimenton, bell peppers, and fingerling potatoes topped with feta. It was served with two pieces of sprouted grain toast. The sauce was savory and not spicy, to the point that I would have liked a little more of a kick. Two pieces of toast were not enough to mop up the saucy goodness and oozing egg yolks. Still, this was the best shakshuka I’ve had in years, and I’d definitely order it again with a side of more toast. 

Centre Street Kitchen - Chicago

Centre Street picked the baked doughnuts as our final plate and dessert. Three small doughnuts came in a butterscotch glaze with a chocolate crumble, sprinkled with powdered sugar. I have not had butterscotch in years. But I was wrong. This dessert was delicious, with the vanilla undertones of the butterscotch lightening the chocolate of the doughnuts. It left us nostalgic for childhood and each wishing for a small glass of milk. 

THE BITCHES SAY: THREE CHAMPAGNE FLUTES

Centre Street has a beautiful interior and mission. It’s a gorgeous spot for brunch with the ladies. The food is good, just not as memorable as we’d like. 

 

Kirsten Ballard

Chicago Food Editor & Social Manager

Kirsten is our Chicago Food Editor & Social Manager. From 9-5, she works at a Great Lakes nonprofit, but after hours she loves exploring Chicago, looking for dog-friendly bars and good Southern biscuits.

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