It was a sweltering Saturday in Chicago, but HBIC Cori Sue was visiting our beautiful city and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to show her how we do rooftop brunch. Being the doll that she is, she trekked over to my hood for brunch at Chop Shop in Wicker Park.
To say Chop Shop is well-rounded would be an understatement. Steps off the Damen blue line stop, you’ll find the authentic butcher shop, restaurant, bar, concert hall, and private event space. A girl’s gotta have options. You wouldn’t know it when you walk in, the entrance looks like a simple butcher counter and sandwich shop. Around the corner, lies a large stool-lined bar that leads you to 1st Ward, their private space and concert hall in the back of the building.
Upstairs, Chop Shop has a large dining space that leads to a small enclosed rooftop. On it, the wood tables are surrounded by cute & colorful vintage chairs. The rooftop makes up for its lack of skyline views with quaint charm. We sipped on mimosas served in coupes, which was surprising for this laid back restaurant. Light champagne, rhubarb bitters, and fresh orange juice were just what we needed on a hot summer day.
We started by sharing bacon cheddar biscuits and prosciutto-wrapped buratta. The bacon cheddar biscuits were incredibly moist and flakey. We wouldn’t normally pair bacon and cheddar with honey butter but this combination proved us wrong.
The proscuitto wrapped burrata was equally delicious. The thin, salty pieces of parma prosciutto encased creamy, chilled burrata cheese and was sprinkled in a wine reduction and sea salt. After moving to a shadier table to avoid the intense sunlight, we both agreed the brunch was off to a great start.
Cori Sue ordered the stuffed portabello mushroom, which didn’t sound appealing to either of us at first. The mushroom was topped with a dense, spicy patty of sausage, followed by a fried egg, and arugula. It was an interesting, hearty stack of breakfast, that was healthy and satisfying at the same time. It was surrounded by fried balls of potatoes, which were totally out of this world.
Usually, I can’t resist any dish with lobster, and my tastes didn’t waiver today. I had the lobster polenta cake Benedict. The dense, moist polenta cakes were covered with big pieces of fresh lobster and covered in a rich and creamy crab hollandaise. The dish was covered in chives and black pepper, that masked the lobster flavor a bit more than I’d like. I mostly enjoyed the melt-in-your-mouth polenta cakes, it was a unique Benedict that I’d definitely come back for.
The Bitches Say: A. Chop Shop’s multi-functional space has a quaint rooftop and well-rounded brunch flavors.
2033 W. North Ave.
Chop Shop serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.