When friends from high school visit Chicago, it’s an event. When friends from high school move to Chicago, it’s call for a celebration!
One of my good friends from high school, Ali Kanne, moved from Iowa City to Chicago, and as far as I’m concerned, she’s here to stay! I have looked forward to Ali moving here since she told me last October, and I even went and scoped out apartments for her and her boyfriend, Adam—that’s how badly I wanted them here.
One Sunday, after chatting with Ali about restaurants she wanted to try in her neighborhood, we decided to make our way to a quaint, and cute restaurant in Lakeview called Farm Bar. Farm Bar opened in late 2015 and launched brunch in early 2016—new brunch alert!
I had heard great things about this farm-to-table restaurant and I was happy to try it with Ali. Like many locally sourced restaurants, Farm Bar’s menu changes seasonally, giving customers the option to try something every season.
I arrived at the restaurant a bit before Ali, and the extra time gave me a chance to admire the adorable mural on the exterior wall, the air plants in mason jars on every table, and beloved birthday party happening at the far end of the restaurant.
A lovely waiter seated me at a small table near the front of the restaurant and explained the concepts behind the décor, menu specials, and promptly got me a freshly brewed cup of Sparrow coffee with cream, and sugar. The coffee was bold, smooth, and piping hot. I enjoyed this cup of coffee immensely.
Ali arrived a couple of minutes later, and we talked about her new apartment, how studying for the Illinois bar is going, and about the upcoming season of beach volleyball on North Avenue Beach.
When the waiter came around again, asking Ali if she wanted any cocktails or coffee, she declined as she needed to study later. Fair enough! I, however, did not need to study and I decided to try one of the signature brunch cocktails: the pink mimosa.
I was expecting the ‘pink mimosa’ to be pink, or at least a bit pinker. Regardless of color, the cocktail was delicious. I am a big fan of #roseallday in both hashtag and principal—I will never turn down a glass of rosé, and this combination of sparkling rosé with orange juice is a fun twist on the classic—officially Bitch-approved!
For entrées, both Ali and I were craving savory, filling brunch dishes. Ali opted for the spicy goat sausage poutine with goat sausage, white cheddar gravy, Caraway pickles, and a Sunnyside farm egg, all atop hand-cut fries. When the waiter delivered the heaping plate of deliciousness to the table, I was a bit awestruck. The pile of hand cut fries was what caught my attention, and I knew this dish would hit the spot for Ali–sure enough, it did. She commented that the dish was spicy, filling, and the fries were a well-cooked and crispy.
For my entree, I decided to change things up and go with the eggs Benedict with applewood smoked ham, poached eggs, Hollandaise, all on an English muffin and a side of spicy breakfast potatoes. The eggs were perfectly poached, with a nice, runny yolk. The English muffin was lightly toasted and stayed crisp despite all of the gooey goodies on top. The potatoes were spicy, but a bit too mushy for my liking—I like crispy, crunchy breakfast potatoes.
This small, locally sourced restaurant is a little gem in Lakeview, and I’m so happy Ali and I tried the brunch. It was a great way to end our Sunday, and I can’t wait to go back.
The Bitches say: A-. Farm Bar was a solid brunch experience from top to bottom. I would absolutely recommend this spot for brunch, and with a seasonally changing menu, it’s easy to stop by and try something new.
Farm Bar serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (773) 281-2599