Summertime is baseball season, and there is nothing better than filling up on a delicious brunch before heading to an afternoon game. That’s why my boyfriend, Alex, and I were super excited to get an invite from Wrigleyville’s newest dining locale: Maddon’s Post. Opened in May of this year, Maddon’s Post offers Italian-Polish dishes in a restaurant co-owned by Joe Maddon (manager of the Chicago Cubs) and Tony Mantuano (chef-partner at Spiaggia). Being a girl with almost 100% Polish ancestors, I was eager to see how they incorporated Polish cuisine into the brunch menu.
Arriving at Maddon’s Post on a sunny Saturday morning, we were a little surprised by how empty the restaurant was. Without a home game (the Cubs were playing at the Brewers that evening), Wrigleyville is generally pretty quiet. This gave us plenty of options for seating, and we chose a table past the bar, by the windows. Maddon’s Post is a huge restaurant, but they manage the space well by creating smaller, more intimate spaces. The bar area is reminiscent of an upscale but retro sports bar, with the tile from the floor extending onto the face of the bar. Large televisions play baseball games – prioritizing the Cubs if they are playing, of course. Our area past the bar featured comfy booths tucked into nooks and leather chairs surrounding the tables by the windows.
Maddon’s Post has even more seating upstairs, which they call the “flamingo room” after a Joe Maddon nickname. The space features a second bar area, a patio looking over Clark St. and Waveland Ave., and a secret private dining room, which can be easy to miss because the entrance is a pocket door disguised to look like the wall. Joe Maddon and members of the Cubs team sometimes use this room after home games!
We sat down and I ordered a mezzodi spritz (now called the itza-spritza online). It was light and refreshing – a great summer cocktail. Alex began his meal with La Colombe coffee in an adorable Maddon’s Post mug and the el Mantuano cocktail. We learned that despite being one of the most revered Italian chefs in the country, Mantuano’s spirit of choice is tequila, and the drink combines some of Chef Tony’s favorite things — tequila and Aperol. It’s an interesting combination, especially with Prosecco added to the mix, and Alex wasn’t crazy about it. I didn’t mind it, but it probably wouldn’t be my first choice. After ordering our cocktails, we realized that as an Italian-focused restaurant, the star of the beverage program at Maddon’s Post is probably the wine program. We asked and found out that the wine selection was curated by acclaimed beverage director and sommelier Rachael Lowe (Food and Wine Sommelier of the Year 2016), whose talents were recently recognized with a nomination for a 2019 James Beard Award for “outstanding wine program” at Spiaggia. With that said, we would go for the wine on future visits.
Our feast started with an order of Polish potato pancakes with applesauce and crème fraîche toppings and fried chicken wings with smoked honey drizzled on top. The pancakes had a crispy outside and a soft, warm inside that brought Alex back to his Jewish roots. Six juicy wings came on a plate for us, with a delicious, crunchy outside that had a hint of spiciness. We loved these!
Next up, hazelnut Nutella pierogies on a bed of citrus crème fraîche. While the dough was a little chewy, the inside was creamy, chocolatey goodness that any Nutella lover will enjoy. The crème fraîche helped to balance out the chocolate overload. This certainly isn’t a normal breakfast food – I would almost call it a dessert – but that only means you should save it until the end of brunch.
For our entrees, Alex ordered the steak and eggs while I opted for the cacio e pepe pizza from their wood-fired oven. Alex loves skirt steak, and this one hit the spot for him. Medium-cooked, it was juicy and came served with house-made butter, golden brown fries, and perfectly cooked over-easy eggs.
My pizza was so good! We definitely recommend getting a pizza here. The crust was doughy, but crisp on the underside making it easy to hold. It had a simple but robust cheesy flavor, so much so that I forgot there was also egg on this pizza! The pizza also came topped with arugula, so I didn’t feel like I was completely avoiding vegetables at this brunch.
Alex and I wrapped up our meal with mini chocolate paczki (pronounced “pownch-key”). These were a lot more dense than I remember paczki being, with a texture more like bread than a cake or donut. The strawberry and crème fraîche toppings added some moisture and paired well with the chocolate.
The Bitches say: four Champagne Flutes!
Maddon’s Post is a great Wrigleyville location for a unique Polish-Italian brunch. A perfect compromise for a brunch-loving girlfriend with a baseball-loving significant other.
Maddon’s Post serves brunch all day on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 10:30 a.m.