The crisp garden feel of Etta extends from its décor all the way to its food. This Wicker Park staple is a great spot to enjoy a fresh, flavorful, and rustic brunch. The neighborhood feel of the restaurant is refreshing, welcoming and bright. It is filled with an abundance of plants and succulents of all kinds with natural light spilling in from one of the many windows. Our waiter was enthusiastic and helpful, joking with us and having a great time. It seemed like most of the wait staff shared this same liveliness and energy.
While the menu wasn’t extensive, all the options sounded enticing. It took us a while to choose what we wanted but our waiter was patient and helpful with the decision-making process. In the end, we decided on the buttermilk biscuit and gravy, fired roasted eggs, the classic omelet, and a few side dishes to share.
The fire-roasted eggs were a standout dish. Not only was the presentation on point (personally, I love anything served in a cast iron skillet), it also tasted wonderful. The beautifully baked eggs rested on a smoky, tangy, and spicy tomato sauce. The olives and capers balanced out the heat of the peppers with their sharp flavors and the abundance of herbs really added a depth of flavor to the sauce. However, it’s the focaccia that really stole the show here. This bread was incredible. It was both crunchy and chewy, slathered in butter and perfect for scooping up the creamy egg yolk and tomato sauce. This dish was seamlessly balanced and filling without being too heavy.
The classic omelet was exactly that, classic. The eggs were silky smooth and fluffy. Goat cheese and mushrooms is a go-to combo for a reason as they taste amazing together. The sharp flavor of the velvety truffle cheese paired nicely with the earthy maitake. While they add a nice flavor and texture, the omelet was packed full of mushrooms, so be sure that you’re a fan before ordering this dish. Though you can’t go wrong with this choice, it’s definitely a simple and standard option compared to alternatives on the menu.
Lastly, we have to talk about the buttermilk biscuit and gravy. This entrée wasn’t exactly what we were expecting, but it was tasty all the same. We were a bit surprised to see that the serving size was a single biscuit. We’re used to enjoying this hearty dish with double the carbs, so we were slightly disappointed by the small helping. On the plus side, the biscuit was also served up with country-fried chicken that was presented in smaller bite-size pieces, which was a different and flavorsome twist. The gravy was thick, creamy and peppery. The addition of Etta’s homemade hot sauce, made it spicy just the way we like; it paired very nicely with the crunch and saltiness of the chicken. The dense biscuit was good for soaking up all the gravy and fried chicken goodness. We were expecting a larger, more substantial portion for this dish, but with the addition of our sides, we left feeling comfortably full and satisfied.
The Bitches say: four flutes. The atmosphere was friendly, inviting and charming. All the dishes were satisfying brunch classics with bold and comforting flavors that did not disappoint.
Etta serves brunch Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.